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Longtime City Commissioner Martin Dyer dies

Drew Butler
City Commissioner Martin Dyer

Longtime City Commissioner Martin Dyer died on Tuesday. At the time of his death Dyer was the commissioner for the city’s Southwest Ward, a position he had held since 1985. He had also served one term as commissioner for the Northwest Ward from 1980 until 1983.

During his time on the City Commission, Dyer was elected mayor eight times. His most recent term as mayor came during the 2017-2018 session. During his term of service to the City of Ardmore, he was also recognized statewide by the Oklahoma Municipal League who named Dyer the 2017 Oklahoma Mayor of the Year for a city with a population of more than 5,000.

Mayor Doug Pfau said Dyer’s service to the city has been immeasurable, and the entire community will mourn his loss.

“Being a commissioner is about being of service to your community,” Pfau said. “We don’t get paid for it, so you volunteer your time. And he did for over 40 years. He was a man that truly cared about this city and how it progressed.”

City Manager JD Spohn said it was an honor to work with Dyer over the past several years.

“He was the cornerstone of our community,” Spohn said. “He was always thinking about how we could improve, and he was instrumental in making so many projects happen. It was several years ago when he came to me and showed me pictures of a town in California, and those became a big inspiration for our street scape project. I’m so glad he got to see that project get completed.”

Pfau said Dyer was a seemingly endless source of information about the city itself and the workings of city government.

“I would always tell people that Martin’s forgotten more about Ardmore than I’ll ever know,” Pfau said. “You could ask him about any building in town and he could tell you what it used to be and what it was even before that. As a commissioner sometimes we would vote on something and I would ask him why we were taking the time to take a vote. He could explain why and then tell you about the time we didn’t and how mistakes were made. With him you could count on never making the same mistake twice.”

Dyer’s current term is set to expire in May, and the filing period for those interested in running for the Southwest Ward is from February 1 to 3. Pfau said no decision has been made about what to do with his seat in the mean time. Commissioners are currently having discussions with city management and attorneys about how to best move forward. They will make an announcement once they come to a decision.