University Park Gets New Mayor, Councilmember

Tuesday’s University Park city council meeting was Olin Lane’s last as mayor and Taylor Armstrong’s last as mayor pro tempore. 

The council also approved the appointment of Gage Prichard to serve as mayor pro tempore until 2021 and Randy Biddle to take over in that position from 2021 until 2022.

“These past six years have been very challenging and rewarding. The city has accomplished a great deal of positive growth during this time. These accomplishments have come about because of the great teamwork of the city council,” Lane said.

Lane also praised the residents who’ve advised the council and city employees.

“All that being said, nothing could have been accomplished if it were not for the dedication and expertise of all the employees of the city. Every department met or exceeded their goals and budget responsibilities under the exceptionally capable leadership of City Manager Robbie Corder. It’s been a real pleasure working with each and every one of you,” he said.

Armstrong spoke about what he’s learned during his time on the council.

“Our citizens are smart, they know what’s going on, they pay attention, and they sure as heck don’t mind telling you what they think. Now, that actually is the very definition of democracy. So that has taught me to listen… and in the end, I’m sure I’m going to make somebody unhappy with my vote, but, on the other hand, I have to think about what’s the best vote for the whole city,” he said.

Armstrong also praised city employees and residents.

“I’ve also learned that we are blessed with a wonderful staff who make our lives better every day in ways we don’t fully appreciate,” he said. “Competent government has never been more important than today and University Park is a paradigm of good government… But most of all, I’ve learned that University Park is one of the finest places to live and raise a family anywhere and that’s a result of both citizens and staff constantly working toward the common goal of making this place we call home better.”

Armstrong also spoke about the agenda ahead for the city.

“This council has teed up an aggressive agenda for the next council. These tasks would be challenging under normal circumstances, but these are far from normal times. Most of these call for substantial financial expenditures at a time when the state has limited our tax base and if that weren’t bad enough, the coronavirus threatens our very way of life… I know you will hang on in the face of adversity.”

New Mayor Tommy Stewart and new councilmember Mark Aldredge finished the meeting by taking the oath of office with the rest of the city council. 

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, former deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order.

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