ARDMORE, OK -- Yesterday the Ardmore Development Authority Trustees were in for a surprise at their monthly meeting. President and CEO of the ADA Wes Stucky announced his retirement.
After heading the Development Authority for 25 years, Stucky said he received a clear message.
"I think the voters spoke that we either don't need an economic development program or we don't want one," Stucky said.
Stucky said that's part of the reason he decided to step down. But his retirement isn't effective until the end of April next year. In the meantime Stucky said he'll help plan the A-D-A's future, which includes budget cuts. It lost nearly two million dollars in funding when the quarter-cent sales tax for jobs proposition didn't pass at the polls.
"We have to really start curtailing operations and cutting back and I always believe we start at the top," Stucky said. "And that's me."
Cutting back also includes the ADA's current operations, like the four industrial parks it owns and the fire department at the Ardmore Airpark.
But Ardmore Chamber of Commerce chairperson Scott Chapman said the ADA has created a half a billion dollars in investment from outside companies, and that growth has spread to other areas of town.
"It's managed that and brought us a lot of growth not only in the community in terms of infrastructure but in terms of jobs and the economy," said Chapman.
For now, Stucky is still working for the economic development of Ardmore.
"I may have to see some of those projects through to the end," he said.