Following an executive session during the Ardmore Development Authority meeting, the board of trustees approved a motion which reorganizes leadership.
In a 5-0 vote, the board acknowledged the resignation effective Dec. 31 of Brian Carter from the Ardmore Tourism Authority, Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Foundation, and reaffirming his sole responsibility as interim president and CEO of the Ardmore Development Authority. The board also accepted the resignation of Mita Bates as senior vice president and chief financial officer effective Dec. 31, with a residual appointment as legal officer for duties as required for resolution of current legal issues.
Carter said the reason for his resignation from the three organizations was made to focus his energy on the ADA.
"I have found myself working on a set of problems that requires an intense amount of focus," he said. "This action allows me to apply that focus."
Carter was named ADA interim president and CEO following Wes Stucky's retirement in February. Since Stucky vacated the office, the ADA has been busy with litigation in an effort to secure a right of way that is a crucial component of completing the multi-million-dollar transmodal project at the Ardmore Airpark. Stucky helped spearhead the project, which is nearly complete, save the right of way.
In the past two weeks, both the ADA and the city of Ardmore have held special meetings in regard to actions surrounding the litigation. The ADA had filed a condemnation against Highway 53, LLC, which owns the land on which the right of way is located. The condemnation hearing has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 3. A hearing on a money judgment Highway 53, LLC filed against the ADA for damages to its property in excess of $10,000 is also scheduled for that date.
"The litigation had an impact on my decision, but it's not solely based on that," Carter said. "But it is a factor."
Carter said the ADA will look for a successor for Bates, whose focus will be in her current position as president of the Chamber, ATA and Chamber Foundation.
"This empowers her and makes sure they have her undivided attention," Carter said.
"The direction I would like to go is looking for a replacement for the CFO duties. It could take a lot of faces. If the position is not filled by the end of the year, we can extend the timeframe."
Carter said having a CFO on board is necessary for the ADA to be able to function based on its checks and balances. While he is the one who signs the checks, the CFO is the one who approves the expenditures. Without a CFO in place, the ADA will be unable to enact purchases.
During the meeting, the board approved a committee of chairman James Chambers, Phil McAnally and Henry Roberts to present nominations for impending vacancies on the board. Jessie Nance resigned from the board after moving out of town, and both McAnally and Chris Sandvick have terms which are expiring. McAnally is ineligible to run for another term, having served consecutive three-year stints on the board.
The board also approved an engagement letter to Rahhal and Henderson for a 2013 fiscal year audit. The request will come with a request in writing for the audit be completed by Jan. 15, 2014. The ADA would like to have its audit completed quicker than in the past in an effort to be along the same timeline as the city.
The board also approved a motion to declare six sets of bunker gear surplus. The gear will be donated to Smoky Valley Volunteer Fire Department, which is located outside of Springer.