Scott Dixon announces Ward 8 candidacy
October 17 — Scott Dixon announced his candidacy for the Ward 8 seat in the Norman City Council election in February 2022.
The candidate plans to focus on homelessness, stormwater, public safety and improving business relationships and advice for economic growth. Councilor Matthew Peacock currently occupies Ward 8 headquarters.
Dixon said he had been following council meetings for two years, but it wasn’t until council reallocated $ 865,000 from the budget increase proposed by the Norman Police Department on June 16, 2020 that he decided to run for the seat. In July 2020, he joined Unite Norman, a group that formed to recall Odd City Councilors and Mayor Breea Clark.
“It looks like the board overall is anti-business, anti-development, anti-everything,” Dixon said. “We seem to be falling further behind and other cities seem way ahead of us in many ways.”
City staff members told council about a multi-year growth lag in sales tax revenues; those conversations at board meetings were not lost on Dixon, he said.
To boost revenue, the candidate said he would be willing to consider a controversial project: the arena proposed by the University of Oklahoma Foundation. The proposed 10,000-seat arena included space for restaurants, a plaza for events and festivals.
“The sales tax revenue generated by the arena will be transformational for Norman,” Dixon said.
The foundation applied for tax incentives through the North Park University tax increase district in 2018. It was a project that met resistance from the council and ended up in court after the Former OU general counsel Fred Gipson filed a lawsuit in 2018 to force the foundation to turn over many of the cases he alleged were subject to the state’s open records law. The parties have settled.
The foundation withdrew its application in July 2018, preventing the council from voting on the project and protecting it for future consideration by the council. Foundation spokesperson Chip Carter said the foundation agreed not to seek tax incentives, and foundation attorney Sean Rieger said it was withdrawn due to the lack of tax incentives. board support.
As the foundation sought $ 102.7 million in district funds to fund tax increases, it also pledged an increase in sales tax revenue to the tune of $ 400 million in private investment.
“I would like to work with [Cleveland] County and the OU Foundation to build the arena at UNP to really turn this area into a destination entertainment area, ”Dixon said.
While the arena is an example of Dixon’s ideals opposed to those of the board, he backed Dais 2020’s general bond package to offset the Norman futures sales tax fund’s deficits by half a cent. Voters refused to support him and Unite Norman took credit for his failure.
“I would like to review those links,” Dixon said. “I saw the bonds close as a sort of vote of no confidence in the board.”
He also agrees with the council that $ 60 million in city-wide stormwater projects needs to be addressed with a financing solution. The city has no utility charge for stormwater, and voters turned down bond proposals in 2016 and 2019.
“We keep kicking that can on the road,” he said. “This is the endless problem that I would like to work for a fair solution, to find a solution.”
If elected, Dixon also hopes to tackle homelessness – he wants to ensure that those released from mental health facilities have immediate support to prevent them from ending up on the streets, he said. declared. He was aware of the need for affordable housing and said improving relationships with developers could mean more people will consider building in Norman.
Although he has no experience in local government, Dixon cited his experience on several committees, including the board of directors, at the McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church. He and his wife Tiffany attend Victory Church with their two children. Tiffany is the principal of Roosevelt Elementary School.
Dixon is originally from Chickasha and moved to Norman in 2008. He received a BS in Construction Science from OU in 2003 and an MS in Energy Management from Oklahoma City University in 2020. Afterwards a career in oil and gas sales, he is now a pharmaceutical sales representative.
Mindy Wood covers Town Hall news and notable court cases for The Transcript. Contact her at [email protected] or 405-416-4420.