By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Yukon’s new mayor says she’s “humbled” to be part of such an exemplary city council in an “amazing” city.
Shelli Selby, who was elected in 2018 to a four-year term as the Ward 2 council representative, said she’s privileged to serve Yukon. She was chosen as mayor near the start of Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
Selby took the mayor’s seat after a 3-2 vote among city council members, with Jeff Wootton and Aric Gilliland supporting her nomination. Donna Yanda and Rick Cacini had nominated each other for the mayoral post.
“I’m looking forward to serving with a cohesive council as we work to make Yukon stronger and even better than it already is,” Selby said Wednesday afternoon. “I’m also looking forward to working with City Manager Jim Crosby and the rest of our City staff as we overcome this temporary setback and return to the strong economy that we’ve enjoyed these last few years.
“We are fortunate to have such strong police, fire and all other City departments.”
In comments she made near the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Selby said she truly believes the Yukon City Council is “for the people.”
“As our council sees a changing of the guard, I believe that this council will become even more united in all that we do for you, the citizens,” she told the audience.
Selby succeeds Mike McEachern, who had been mayor for the last two years but couldn’t run again for city council due to term limits. Yukon’s council annually selects the mayor and vice mayor for the next year at its first May meeting.
Many Yukon businesses and City of Yukon facilities were forced to close in mid-March under local and state emergency orders due to COVID-19.
And many residents have had to shelter at home and restrict their activities amid the pandemic.
“As Yukon faces this difficult time that we’re going through, I want us to remember to be optimistic (and) that Yukon’s future is even stronger than ever,” Selby said Tuesday night.
“And as we say, we are going to come out of this ‘Yukon Stronger’. We’re continually advancing our community through this challenging time.”
Yukon’s new mayor referred to major infrastructure projects like State Highway 4 reconstruction and the Frisco Road interchange, which she expects will spur more economic development.
She anticipates many new businesses being established in Yukon.
As mayor, Selby said she looks forward to more interior street improvements, sidewalk upgrades, park activities, and youth programs.
Embracing a “sense of community,” Selby encourages citizens to stay positive and hopeful
as local businesses and venues start to reopen and life gets “somewhat” back to normal.
“I’m glad to see us reopening our city gradually,” she said.
“If you are at risk, please continue to stay home and be safe. Wear gloves if you have to go out.”
Yukon’s new mayor was asked to describe her leadership style.
“I want to surround myself with wise people and look out for what’s best for our community as a whole,” Selby said. “I will take time to investigate, ask questions and look at the entire picture.”
Yukon’s new mayor, and her husband of 34 years Bart, moved to Yukon in 1987 and have lived in the same house in Parkland II for 26 years.
“We came here because we liked the small community feel and great schools,” Selby said. “And we’ve never, ever regretted our decision.”
Selby spent seven years teaching in Mustang Public Schools before 12 years as Student Assistance Program director helping at-risk youth.
She then was an SAP counselor for student support groups in Yukon Public Schools for 14 years.
Selby retired after 33 years in education to take her “dream job” – event coordinator at Spanish Cove Retirement Village.
“I spent four years working at an amazing place,” she said. “Those people redefined aging for me.”
She then worked for the Oklahoma Infant Transition Program at OU Children’s Hospital, counseling mothers in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Selby is now a licensed professional counselor at the Oklahoma Pediatric Therapy Center’s Yukon office.
Ten years ago, she started Jacob’s Cupboard in memory of her late son. This is “no-questions-asked” food pantry that has fed thousands of families in the last decade.
Selby is women’s pastor of West Metro Community Church in Yukon. She volunteers with Feed His Sheep to feed the homeless in downtown Oklahoma City and with the Beautiful Day Foundation providing monthly birthday parties for Yukon students.
Selby volunteers with a free monthly grief support group for mothers and heads the economic vitality committee on Yukon’s Main Street Board of Directors.
She’s also a member of Beta Beta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a sorority of women educators who perform community service.
Previously, Selby served several years as vice president and was the first female board of member of the Putnam City Optimist Club. She’s also coached youth softball, soccer and flag football.
Shelli and Bart Selby’s three sons – Jacob, Zachary and Kyler – all attended YPS. The family includes daughter Maycie, stepson Chris and four grandchildren.