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Dr. Joe Carter announces candidacy for Norman Ward 2 City Council seat

Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report
Joe Carter is a candidate for Norman Councilmember Ward 2
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NORMAN, Okla. – Dr. Joe Carter, a longtime resident of Noman's Ward 2 is running for city council. Elections are slated for February 2018.

The Ward 2 City Council seat is currently occupied by Councilmember Aleisha Karjala, who announced her intent to run for State Senate District 16 in 2018.

Carter, 58, has been married for over 37 years to his wife, Terri, and they have three children Jessi, Matt, and Rylie. Carter is a local veterinarian with over 33 years of experience. 

He is involved in multiple local organizations including the Norman Animal Shelter Oversight Committee, serves as co-chairman of Save Norman’s Trees and is the medical director of Wildcare Foundation. He is also a member of McFarlin United Methodist Church, the Norman Chamber of Commerce and Sooner Centurions.

Carter decided to run, in part, after his involvement with "Save Norman’s Trees", a citizen advocacy group aimed at protecting historical trees in Norman. 

If elected, one of Carter's priorities would be to revitalize the businesses on the south side of Norman. 

“Ward 2 has been particularly beaten hard by the construction projects on Interstate 35, Lindsey Street and the relocation of so many businesses from the south side of Norman to the north side,” he said during an interview with Red Dirt Report.

Regarding the city's recent discovery of an accounting error that resulted in 10 years of accumulated money, to the tune of $5 million, Carter had this to say," If this type of mistake would have been discovered sooner, we would have been able to move forward in some projects that could have helped people, instead of making all these sacrifices."

Carter castigated the two-page OG&E deal signed 25 years ago by the city of Norman that doesn’t make the electrical company accountable for anything, saying, “That is a billion dollar agreement!”

He believes a good OG&E deal should provide more guarantees and obligations on what the electrical company should do, which in turn would help the city save money.

“I think if we could make progress on this subject alone, it will expand and improve the revenue stream and decrease expenses,” Carter asserted.

He added the money saved could be used for other projects like the stand-alone senior citizen center.

“No one I know is against a free-standing senior center,” Carter said.

He also believes any new arena should stay on campus. 

“Something walkable for the students makes more sense,” he said, noting every aspect of the project should be discussed with Norman citizens before approval.

Carter believes that a large majority of city projects and issues, like the senior citizens center, the stormwater utility fee and OG&E deal, have the same affliction: total opacity in how the projects are handled.

It is something Carter personally experienced as part of the Animal Shelter Oversight Committee after Normanites voted for a $3 million animal shelter in 2011. The city of Norman underestimated the cost of the shelter by $300,000, forcing them to reduce the cost of the initial project.

“There is a lack of common sense,” he added.

Carter believes the best cure for this problem is to inject more transparency and vigilance.

In response to why people should vote for him, he said, “I want to give back to the community that allowed me to grow my business and raise my family. For me, this isn’t about politics—but about working hard for my neighbors and friends.People want someone that they can trust and someone that they know who cares.”

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Olivier Rey

Olivier has traveled in 20 countries on six continents before landing in Norman. Native French...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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