Norman Residents Start Petition To Remove Mayor & Half Of City Council

Wednesday, July 8th 2020, 6:08 pm

NORMAN, Okla. -

A group of Norman residents is working to remove Mayor Breea Clark and four city council members.

“I’m proud to be from Norman, but recent actions have been embarrassing to us for sure,” Russell Smith with Unite Norman said.

He said the city’s mask requirement has been top of mind for many people, however, he said the recall push is bigger than one issue.

“What started to wake me up was the city council’s attempt to make us a sanctuary city,” he said. “Then recently, it was the funding issue with the police, the reallocation of the budget, that was what really hit home with me that really shook me awake.”

He said the council is taking up issues hot on the national stage, but not relevant to Norman.

“Our focus is to have a council that will tackle all of Norman’s problems from water quality, flooding to protecting neighborhoods,” Smith said. “We want a council that’s not making deals behind closed doors, a council that doesn’t have knee-jerk reactions.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, the group had 2,500 members in a Facebook and has raised nearly $12,000 for the petition asking voters to remove Mayor Breea Clark and Ward 1 Councilwoman Kate Bierman, Ward 3 Councilwoman Alison Petrone, Ward 5 Councilwoman Sereta Wilson and Ward 7 Councilman Stephen Holman.

Clark said she didn’t have enough information on the recall push to give News 9 a comment.

“My only hope is that this group sticks to the facts (such as the fact that the police department received increased funding in this new fiscal year, albeit less than they asked for) and abides our new temporary mask ordinance which covers door to door contact,” Bierman said in a statement.

Unite Norman said they are a non-partisan group.

“We are trying to get rid of radicals,” Smith said. “This has nothing to do with Democrat or Republican, left or right. We want to center the ship here in Norman.”

The group said it is filing the petition this Friday and will then have 30 days to collect signatures.

“We have to have 25% of registered voters in each ward and then 25% of the citywide registered voters for the mayor,” Smith said. “That's a big number.”