Grassroots Effort Achieves More than 6,700 Signatures So Far — A Greater Number than the Votes that Put the Mayor in Office
“Overwhelming support” from Normanites to recall the mayor, says founder
Norman — Unite Norman — the grassroots group behind the effort to recall the mayor and city council for defunding the police and not upholding the will of the people — announced today they are well on their way to getting the recall effort on the ballot.
The grassroots group shared that they have now garnered more than 6,700 signatures — that’s more voter support than Mayor Clark was actually elected with.
“The people of Norman are speaking overwhelmingly,” said Russell Smith, the founder of Unite Norman. “We’re only about a third of the way there, and certainly have more work to do, but we’re strongly encouraged by the overwhelming response of support from the voters.”
In just the last few days, Clark has begun to backtrack on the defunding of police, as allies circulated graphs with fuzzy math and shell games suggesting they didn’t really defund the police.
Now, the incumbents are suggesting they shouldn’t be recalled because of the added expense to election administration.
Grassroots organizers suggest perhaps the mayor could offer to step down if she wants to save money, now that they’ve surpassed the level of support she once had.
City Clerk Brenda Hall recently revealed that a special election could cost the city $28,000. Yet organizers say that doesn’t reflect the whole picture. "That cost is dwarfed by the expense of training new officers," said Jim Spearman, a 40-year veteran of the Norman Police Department. "The cost to backfill just one new officer exceeds $90,000 per year, and it takes two years of training for them to get to the point of making decisions. That's $180,000. With so many officers leaving early, the actions of this mayor and council are easily costing taxpayers millions of dollars just in officer training," Spearman stated.
Organizers agree and suggest there’s one way for the mayor to prevent that cost.
“The mayor is complaining that a recall election will be expensive,” said Unite Norman co-chair Sassan Moghadam. “While I appreciate her newfound fiscal conservatism, I have an even better idea: you can always resign and save the people the trouble and cost to the city.“