Retired Fire Chief lands new city job

Retired Fire Chief lands new city job

LAWTON, Okla._After some re-arranging of the city government, Lawton residents now have a new Assistant City Manager of Operations.

Bart Hadley has worked for the city for the last thirty years. He served as Fire Chief for 10 years and after retiring from the department in 2013, he moved over to the Municipal Court where he's worked as Director for the last three years.

Under this re-assignment, Hadley will be overseeing the city's streets, sewer, and water and trash divisions.

Hadely has been helping the citizens of Lawton for the last thirty years, and said this new title will give him the opportunity to elicit changes that will continue to make Lawton a better place.

Having been born and raised in Lawton, Bart Hadley takes pride in the wellness of the city.

"This is my home, and it's important to me to make this a better place," Hadley said.

Hadley's father was also a veteran of the fire department, and it's from him that he gets his philanthropic tendencies.

"He always taught me to be involved and to try and help and to do what you can for your community. He was very involved in civic organizations, and charitable organizations, and I have been my whole career as well," he said.

Hadley said he is hopeful he'll be an asset to citizens, and is aware of some of the challenges the city has been facing the last few years.

"We have a very limited revenue stream with the city of Lawton, and so we've got to be very careful and very prudent. We made a lot of cuts over the last several years, but things are still tight," he explained.

He said the city isn't anticipating much of an increase in revenue. However, he will work to make improvements despite having limited funds, and said that wouldn't be possible without the city employees.

"It doesn't matter what happens they're going to do the very best they can, to provide the best service that they can," he said.

Hadley said he will also will continue working as the Director of the Municipal Court for at least the remainder of the fiscal year, and the quality of the city employees is part of what has made his transition so easy.

"They're able to keep things operational and keep it working on a daily basis, without me being there every day," Hadley said.

As the Operations Manager Hadley said the main goal is to continue providing citizens with the same quality services, despite the cuts to personnel.

Hadley assured there wouldn't be a noticeable difference with the overlap of his positions. He said this isn't the first time he's worn two hats; while transitioning into his position at the court, he was still serving as fire chief for about a year.

Hadley replaces Jerry Ihler as Assistant City Manager of Operations after Ihler was appointed to the City Manager seat back in June. Jim Russell will still be the city's Assistant City Manager of Administration. Russell oversees the IT, human resources, fire and police departments.