The Norman City Council will consider amending the city charter in time for the Nov. 3 ballot.
During the Tuesday night meeting, a draft ordinance was introduced to the council that would add a city auditor department. The auditor would “advise City Council and the city manager of financial and operational audits relating to the efficient and economic operation of Norman city government,” the ordinance reads. No action was taken on the item.
The council cut $235,000 from the Norman Police Department’s salaries and benefits fund on June 16 to pay for it but the funds are at risk depending on the outcome of a lawsuit.
The Norman chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police filed a lawsuit on July 2 alleging the council acted unlawfully on June 16. The FOP has accused the council of open meeting violations and violates a voter approved half-cent public safety sales tax. The PSST requires the city to fund a minimum number of public safety officers, but the council’s vote on June 16 left nine positions cut from the department.
The Charter Review Commission, which evaluates proposed amendments and makes recommendations to the council, did not recommend the measure, according minutes of a meeting last fall.
“The Charter Review Commission discussed this issue at its meeting on September 19, 2019 and unanimously recommended not to add such language to the Charter,” the report states.
The commission believed there is “potential need for an internal auditor from time to time,” but was “unsure a full-time position was needed given the ability of the city to hire independent auditors on an as-needed basis,” the report stated.
According to the ordinance, the auditor would be appointed and removable by the City Council.