Monday, September 1, 2014
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Jeff Landrith will step down as Mustang's Mayor on May 1 after serving for six years. (Staff photo by Victor Hamberlin)
 
By Jon Watje
Managing Editor 

When Jeff Landrith gradated from Mustang High School in 1989 and left to attend the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, he never intended on coming back to the town he grew up in. 

“I couldn’t wait to leave Mustang when I graduated. I really didn’t think I would come back,” he said. “But after getting married and before we had our first child, we knew Mustang was the place we wanted to raise our kids.”

In 2006, Landrith was sworn in as Mustang’s mayor and on Tuesday, May 1, he will leave the seat he has held the last six years. 

“It was an honor to serve as mayor,” Landrith said. “I learned a lot and enjoyed it.”

Landrith studied computer science at UCO and currently works as a systems engineer for L-3 Communications. He also travels give talks about cyber security. 

“I had a chance to see how the City of Edmond operated and I had a chance to travel the world for a bit,” he said. 

After marrying his wife, Kelly, the couple moved back to Mustang to raise their children, their daughter Waverly, who is now 8 years-old and son Wilder, 3. 

“I had a chance to see how other, larger communities work and I knew that we couldn’t have ‘good old boy’ politics if we wanted to move forward as a city,” Landrith said. “In Mustang, I wanted to restore the public’s trust in the City Council. People naturally distrust government and I didn’t like seeing the council fighting back then.”

Landrith talked to former mayors of Mustang before making his decision to run for the seat. He had grown up next door to former mayor Ross Duckett and also had discussions with Al Tesio and Richard Riley, who also served as mayor. 

Landrith was sworn into his first, three-year term in 2006. 

“I did my best to make sure that if someone had a question to the city, that it would get answered,” he said. “I also wanted to help people see how the city worked and show the difference between what was perception and what was reality. I really wanted people to get involved.”

During his time as mayor, Mustang saw growth and change. 

“In the last six years, we have gone from a small town to a real player in the metro area,” he said. “We have seen the arrival of Lowe’s, the Armory and other businesses. We can’t have small town politics anymore.”

One of the major accomplishments during his second term was the recent passing of the $3.6 million bond issue that will expand Town Center facilities and construct new ball fields at Wild Horse Park. 

“With the passing of the bond issue, there will be a hotel that comes here and more businesses now that they have seen that we have made an investment in the city,” Landrith said. “I think we are on the right track.”

Landrith also spoke highly of the current City Council members.

“The City Council is working as a team right now and they want what is best for the city, not just themselves,” he said. “Whenever we disagree, we disagree civilly.”

Although he could of ran for another term in office, Landrith said he never intended on serving more than two terms.

“I think it is good to have fresh blood and someone with new ideas come in,” he said. 

Mustang Ward 1 City Councilman and Mayor-elect, Jay Adams, will be sworn-in to replace Landrith at the next council meeting on Tuesday, May 1. 

“Jeff and I came in at the same time and there was a bond between him and I that formed,” Adams said. “He had a clear vision for the town and he has done a great job. It was an honor to serve with him.”

Landrith also spoke highly of Adams, who he endorsed in his campaign for Mayor. 
“Jay will do a good job,” Landrith said. “He does a good job at seeing things on the public side and on the city side. He has no agenda and wants to help the community.”

Landrith said he encourages Mustang residents to get out and be involved in their city.

“I would tell them to get out and attend one meeting a year,” he said. “I would say that 95 percent of the people have never attended one meeting. The more you get involved, the more you understand how things work in your city.”

As for his six years as mayor, Landrith said he enjoyed the experience. 

“It was very humbling and it was an honor to serve the city that way,” he said. 

Now, Landrith is looking forward to spending more time with his family and his children. 





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