Vice-Mayor Doug Pfau highlights work being done around the city at Ardmore Community Forum
City government and business leaders gathered Wednesday for the Ardmore Community Forum. Vice-Mayor Doug Pfau gave a presentation highlighting some of the achievements made over the previous year and went through many of the city's departments acknowledging their contributions and plans for 2022.
He began by addressing the many changes in city leadership with, and reflected on the loss of, Commissioner Martin Dyer who died at the beginning of the year.
"Martin Dyer served our community selflessly for over 32 years on our commission and that does not take into account all the other boards and lives he touched when he was alive," Pfau said. "I've always said that Martin had forgotten more about Ardmore than I'll ever know."
He also addressed the retirement of Commissioner John Moore who left office in May. Dyer's and Moore's seats were filled by David Plesher and John Credle respectively. Nancy Sjulin also recently joined the commission after the resignation of Commissioner Beth Glasgow.
In addition to the change in elected officials, the city has also recently seen a change in administrative staff after the retirements of Police Chief Ken Grace and City Manager JD Spohn. Their positions have been filled by "the Kevins," as Pfau put it, with Kevin Norris' promotion to police chief and Kevin Boatright promoted to city manager.
From there, Pfau went on to the individual city departments.
The I.T. department recently began it's Access Ardmore Innovative which allows citizens to send text messages with questions about services or to report issues. During the program's first 45 days, it received 19,000 texts, and new features will be added in the coming months.
From there he went on to the police department which recently added Rip the K-9 therapy dog and a bicycle patrol program. One new innovative for the department is the APD Cares Program which will allow officers to interact with the community in a positive nonenforcement context. The recent community pool party and the coffee with cops get togethers are also a part of the program.
Pfau also highlighted the success of the city's public works department earlier this year during subzero temperatures.
"You may have had your pipes freeze at your house, and we had some pipes in the city that burst," Pfau said. "But the people of Ardmore didn't go without water, and a lot of Oklahoma towns can't say that."
Keeping on the topic of water, he outlined the new mobile readers on water meters that allow customers to keep track of their water usage via the Eye on Water application.
Pfau then focused on the Ardmore Public Library which is currently up 75% in enrollment for citizenship classes. During the pandemic the library also offered 35 virtual programs which engaged over 1,000 people. The also offered offsite in-person programs with partners to offer 109 programs to over 3,000.
One of the last departments he addressed was the parks department which has had many new projects come to completion over the last year. The city has added to pickle ball courts to Regional Park, Walker Park and Whittington Park, and The Clubhouse won a best of the best award from the Associated General Contractors of America for a project under $10 million. Plans for the upcoming year include adding a walking trail to Whittington Park and new signage for the trails at Regional Park.