Promises Made: Ward 5 Residents Meet New Councilor | New
Residents of Ward 5 called on their next city councilor to sort out police issues and stop large developments, and called for a partisan ceasefire at a neighborhood meeting Thursday night.
Councilor-elect Rarchar Tortorello called the meeting and invited a landowner who intends to develop an “agri-marriage” wedding venue at 72nd Avenue and Tecumseh Road. Tortorello held the meeting at Cornerstone Church and promised to hold monthly ward meetings across the jurisdiction to hear grievances and seek solutions.
Tortorello and Ward 3 Councilor-elect Kelly Lynn will be sworn in next Tuesday to begin their two-year term.
The hot topic in the room was the location of the wedding, as residents kept asking Tortorello what he would do to stop him. He has repeatedly urged residents that if they object or have any concerns, they could speak with owner Ben Cox and come to the August 12 Planning Commission meeting.
A farm or farm wedding is a rustic-themed outdoor wedding trend fueled by couples on a budget, several wedding planners websites reveal. Cox told residents the intention was to create small, intimate weddings.
Cox attempted to negotiate with residents over concerns such as potential noise, excessive traffic on the narrow road, and the site’s hours of operation. He did not promise that customers would not be allowed to bring alcohol, although the venue will not provide food and drink.
He stressed that the venue would be placed on his property away from the most distant residence, and although zoning guidelines and special use permits limit the venue to 300 occupants, he said he did not plan to accommodate only 200. -Parking space and plant flowering trees and colorful flowering plants. He would be allowed to hold events four days a week, as directed.
The tone of the meeting shifted to politics. A resident argued with Tortorello over the presence of partisan issues on his official Facebook page.
Among various non-political articles, Tortorello’s page shows recent entries promoting First and Second Amendment rights, opposition views on critical race theory, and an article titled “Leftists Don’t no compromise; they see your compromise as a sign of weakness.
“You represent me and whatever percentage didn’t vote for you,” said the unidentified resident, “and it’s important to me to know that you’re not going to call and curse us on your page official. How can I trust that you represent me honestly? “
Tortorello said he spoke to her about the matter previously in private and spoke about free speech and the nature of social media.
“Social media is social media,” he said. “I see things I don’t like about the mayor and I ignore him, but I see your point of view. I wrote an article in January on how to bridge the gap in Norman. I got the support of the Conservative side and killed the other side because they didn’t want to see this.
“I’m from the other side, and I want to see this,” she said.
“If I don’t agree with someone, it’s a matter of politics, but I can get along with anyone, and personally I’ve shown it,” he said.
Tortorello said he met Mayor Breea Clark after the election and what was supposed to be a meeting lasted more than two hours. After the two posted a photo of their rally, he said they both received severe partisan criticism for it.
Some defended him on Thursday, saying the “left council” had launched partisan battles by bringing national issues to the stage. These residents criticized the June 2020 council decision to reallocate $ 865,000 from an increase in the police budget to community programs.
“I will say I agree that there shouldn’t be politics on a city page,” said another resident. “I will say, speaking in your defense, that it is very, very difficult when we have the left wing ruining this town.” They are stuffing us down our throats with a national program that much of the city does not agree with. So I think on one page we better leave politics out, but it’s hard when you have radicals on city council to turn our lives upside down.
Tortorello said he took everything that had been said about it into consideration. Another resident said she needed to know where he was standing in the 2021 presidential election after rumors spread that he was in Washington, DC at the time of the Capitol uprising on the 6th. January. She asked him if he had confidence in the electoral process.
Tortorello said he was in a hotel room “during all this nonsense” and was there to support then-President Trump.
“Mr. Biden is now the president. End of story,” Tortorello said.
Police response times and the need for increased patrols in the sprawling rural neighborhood were also a concern raised by residents.
Tortorello said he had had regular meetings with Norman Police Department chief Kevin Foster and his response was based on 911 calls. He encouraged residents to report crimes by calling 911 then that he continue to explore solutions with the NDP.