City Commission rescinds mask mandate, names Kevin Norris Chief of Police

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
The Ardmore City Commission voted three to one to rescind and repeal the resolution calling for face coverings to be worn in indoor public spaces. Though no longer required by the city, individual businesses can opt to require masks if they so choose.

The Ardmore City Commission held an eventful meeting on Monday evening, and two of the items addressed will be bringing changes to the City of Ardmore. Among these changes are the repeal of the mask mandate for indoor public places, and the appointment of Kevin Norris to the position of Chief of Police beginning April 17.

The commissioners voted three to one to rescind and repeal November’s resolution for mandatory face coverings. Mayor Doug Pfau, Vice-Mayor Beth Glasgow and Commissioner Sheryl Ellis all voted in favor of the repeal with Commissioner John Moore voting to keep the mandate in place. While the mandate is no longer in effect, individual businesses will still be able to require masks if they so choose.

City Manager JD Spohn said the city chose to lift the mandate because of the major decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“When the commission implemented this resolution our numbers were increasing rapidly,” Spohn said. “I’m happy to report that now our numbers are low and hospitalizations are in the singe digits at most. So we are recommending to rescind the indoor mask mandate resolution.”

While the mandate is over for now, Vice-Mayor Glasgow pointed out that it could be put back into place if COVID-19 numbers start to go back up.

The Commissioners also voted to promote Deputy Police Chief Kevin Norris to the position of chief after Chief Ken Grace retires later this month.

“When Ken Grace took over this position over seven years ago, we asked him to pick a deputy chief that he felt could lead the department when he decided to retire, and we think he made an excellent choice,” Spohn said. “He’s worked in every area of the police department — narcotics, investigations, you name it and Kevin (Norris) has done it for the police department. This is going to be a great outcome for all parties.

Norris’ first day as chief of police will be April 17.