Reopening Ardmore: Mayor Pfau discusses goals for his term as mayor

Drew Butler

At the last meeting of the Ardmore City Commission, Doug Pfau was elected mayor of Ardmore. According to the City Charter, mayors are elected by city commissioners. The City Commission is composed of five members, with four commissioners representing district wards and one commissioner at large. Each of these commissioners is elected by voters throughout the entire city, but each of the ward commissioners must be a qualified elector from the ward they represent.

Every member currently serving on the commission has run unopposed for his or her current term. In fact, there has not been an election for a seat on the City Commission since Mayor Pfau won his seat as commissioner at large in 2014 by defeating his opponent 539 votes to 375 votes.

This is Pfau’s second term as mayor, having previously been elected mayor in May of 2016.

“It might seem odd that we’ve changed mayors at a time like this, but that’s the way the City Charter is set up,” Pfau said. “New mayors and vice-mayors are always elected during the first regular meeting in the month of May.”

Pfau said the first part of his term as mayor will deal with reopening the city and coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Obviously, coming out of this pandemic and all of the things we’ve had to do for the safety of our people and the safety of our town, we’ll be looking at how we continue,” Pfau said. “We’ll look at if we need to slow down the reopening or if we can continue with the plan we’ve got. I think we’ll find out pretty quickly.”

Pfau noted Ardmore’s position as a hub of shopping and events in south-central Oklahoma draws more people into town than other communities in the region. This means carefully watching the numbers of COVID-19 cases and being strategic and careful in opening.

“We’ve been putting a plan together to reopen the library and the community water park for the season,” Pfau said. “We’ve also got The Clubhouse getting ready to open. We’re looking at how we can safely, and how we can make sure we’re keeping up with the CDC guidelines for how we can do all those things.”

He also noted that tax revenue might be an issue in the coming months.

“The city as a whole has to be really careful right now,” Pfau said. “The basis for our entire budget is sales tax, that’s probably hurt us the past little bit. But we’ll be seeing more of that information as the months come.”

He also pointed out all the positives still coming to the city.

“We’ve still got several great things happening,” Pfau said. “Of course there’s The Clubhouse, and we'll be putting up the stoplights on Rockford (one on 4th Street and one on Merrick Drive) that everyone is so excited about. They’ve got those bases done, so the lights will be up within a few months. There is also still some construction going on and new businesses are still coming to town.”

In closing, Pfau said the most important thing he can ask of the people is to be kind to one another and take care of themselves.

“There are some people who are extremely worried about this (COVID-19 pandemic), and there are some people who don’t think we should have ever shut down in the first place,” Pfau said. “We’re such a divided country right now, I just wish everyone would be kind to one another and understand that not everybody sees things the way you see them. It’s okay to express your opinion, and it’s your right to do that but be kind and be nice to each other. And understand that in the whole scheme of things you are responsible for yourself, and the actions that you take.”