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Norman to elect Wards 2, 4, 6 councilmembers in municipal contest

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Councilmember Lee Hall

Norman Ward 4 Councilmember Lee Hall speaks at a candidate forum at Norman Regional Hospital on Feb. 3.

Norman residents will vote Tuesday in a municipal election featuring races for three city council wards.

Polls for the election, which will choose councilmembers for Wards 2, 4 and 6, will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to a press release.

The election for Ward 2, which has no incumbent, will include candidates David Perry, Matthew Salcido and Andrew Tiffany, according to the city council sample election ballot

Ward 4 incumbent Lee Hall is running against Gale Hobson, according to the sample ballot. Ward 6 incumbent Bill Scanlon is running against Doug Kalicki and Elizabeth Foreman, according to the sample ballot. The incumbent for Ward 8, Alexandra Scott, is running uncontested.

Ward 2 candidates

David Perry, a former public school teacher and Norman small business owner, plans to focus on Norman’s budget issues if elected, Perry said in a Norman City Council candidate forum on Feb 3. 

In addition to making large tax increment finance proposals for potential consideration in a public vote, Perry will also focus on finishing life projects such as the Senior Wellness Center and sports complexes and making municipal broadband a public utility.

“My priority, if I get elected, will be to solve some of our budget issues for the city of Norman,” Perry said. “Hopefully, we can end the TIF increment rather quickly. I hope we look at other forms of revenue, such as municipal broadband, as a way to diversify our revenue issues here in Norman.”

Matthew Salcido is a college student who has done activist work supporting environmental justice, gun reform and empowerment of transgender and non-gender conforming communities, according to Salcido’s campaign website.

Salcido intends to focus on increasing interconnectivity and empowering marginalized communities within the city of Norman, Salcido said at the forum. Salcido hopes to increase public transit options by extending transit services to be available every day and adding more sidewalks in the city.

“I think connectivity is essential to building a prosperous city,” Salcido said. “And just because someone cannot afford a car does not mean they do not deserve to have access to essential resources here in our city. I want to bring that in as well as walkable sidewalks to ensure that everybody can get where they need to go.”

Andrew Tiffany, a pastor from Norman who has worked as an accountant, plans to focus on bettering Norman’s budget by increasing revenue.

Tiffany’s main focus is on increasing revenue through tourism and attracting young professionals and college graduates to Norman, Tiffany said at the forum.

“We are the city of festivals,” Tiffany said. “We talked about that a lot. We have the Medieval Fair, we have Jazz in June, the Norman Music Festival. And if we can find ways to capitalize on the tourists coming to town, where they eat at our restaurants, where they buy the gas at our gas stations.”

Ward 4 candidates

Incumbent Councilmember Lee Hall is an OU alumna who worked on many Norman committees before joining the council.

As the current councilperson for her Ward, Hall said at the forum she will continue to focus on the current and future fiscal years, in addition to improving public transit city-wide. According to Hall’s city council bio, she also works to improve the housing options and infrastructure and combat homelessness in Norman to support “efforts to build a diverse and inclusive community where we can all live, work and play.”

Gale Hobson has worked as a licensed psychologist for roughly 40 years and currently owns a business in Norman.

Hobson said in the forum that, if elected, her goal is to work to improve the overall mental health of Norman.

“We have a lot of generational family here, through the university and Norman, and I really care for this community,” Hobson said. “I want to see us do better in Norman in terms of mental health and provide for the homeless, but especially mental illness.”

Ward 6 candidates

OU alumni and retired business professional David Kalicki also plans on focusing on the budget and finding the holes in the budget through working with the other council members and city staff, Kalicki said in the forum.

“I think we're taxed high enough right now,” Kalicki said. “I think we just need to utilize the funds that we got to the fullest and find holes in the budget.”

Ward 6 incumbent and Air Force retiree Bill Scanlon said in the forum he will seek to fix revenue problems by creating more jobs. 

"It's time to solve our revenue problem and to get us out of the deficit issues that we seem to struggle with annually and open the door to such things as progress with the homeless, the disadvantaged and others," Scanlon said.

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