By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – “It’s been a delight to be part of this family.”
That message is being shared by Marc Hader, who has served as Canadian County’s District 1 commissioner for nearly eight years.
The comment came as Hader was honored during a Dec. 5th farewell reception. He is preparing to leave elected office in a few weeks.
Hader describes himself as a “Christian Constitutional Conservative Republican.”
“I’ve kept my word and slept really well at night,” said Hader, who will relinquish the District 1 seat Dec. 31.
“Even though there was sometimes a difficult decision, I always did what I said I would do.”
Among those attending the reception – on Hader’s birthday – were fellow Canadian County elected officials and county personnel who gathered inside the Canadian County Commissioners’ public meeting room.
Hader’s wife, District 41 State Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader, presented a citation from the Oklahoma House of Representatives acknowledging Commissioner Hader’s dedicated service.
District 2 Commissioner Dave Anderson has worked closely alongside Hader over the past eight years.
“I’m really proud of the things we accomplished together like the new county fairgrounds and Cardinal Point (family justice center),” Anderson told Hader. “There’s a lot that didn’t exist in Canadian County before you came.
“I’m proud of the work that we’ve done together and glad to have gotten to know you.
“I wish you the best on whatever future endeavors you have lined up.”
Hader had sought a third, four-year term as commissioner, but was defeated in the June 28th Republican primary election.
The winner was Tom Manske, an auctioneer and former Canadian County OSU extension educator who will start the next four-year term Jan. 1, 2023.
Hader was first elected as Canadian County’s District 1 commissioner in 2014, succeeding Phil Carson, before being re-elected in a contested 2018 race.
“We’ve been the fastest-growing county for a decade straight; it’s almost getting old to say so,” said Hader, citing the growth in county property tax revenues. “We want to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”
He touted county officials’ “fiscal restraint” with the budget.
“As we’re growing, we easily could have started hiring lots of people, growing our ‘kingdom’ and spending all those dollars,” Hader noted. “I suggested being restrained.”
In recent years, Canadian County’s elected officers have set aside funds for future construction of a new county courthouse/administration office complex. Hader’s greatest regret about leaving office is not being able to be part of that development process.
New District 18 state Sen. Jack Stewart (R-Yukon), also served with Hader as a county commissioner.
“I enjoyed working with Marc,” Stewart said. “He brought a lot of good ideas to Canadian County.”
Addressing the audience at his goodbye reception, Commissioner Hader detailed some accomplishments Canadian County has seen during his tenure.
Among highlights have been:
- Construction of the Canadian County Expo & Event Center, which has spurred economic development and tourism.
- Development of Cardinal Point to help domestic violence survivors.
- Promoting the county’s Human Resources department and enhancing technology security services.
- Rebuilding and overlaying some 100 miles of road in District 1.
- Development and improving partnerships with municipalities in Canadian County.
- Road improvements in the Oklahoma City limits of Canadian County, due largely to the election of OKC Council Members Barbara Young and Bradley Carter.
- Upgrading the equipment and shop at the District 1 yard.
- Lobbying efforts at the State Capitol that have helped the county’s quadruple maintenance and operation funds for road and bridge projects.
Commissioner Hader is confident he’s leaving District 1 in fine shape for his successor.
“Tom is going to have a great crew and great equipment to work with, and revenues are coming in wonderfully,” he added.
Hader especially thanked the Canadian County staff, calling them “our most valuable resource.”
“You kind of go unnoticed or unrecognized, so I just want to say I appreciate everybody here who ‘takes care of all the details’.”
The outgoing District 1 commissioner told the audience he “never liked titles” or having his name on signs for new county buildings.
Hader prefers being called a Christ follower, husband, dad, grandpa, and patriot.
“This certainly has been a great honor,” he said. “Who knows what the future holds? Denise and I both have a lot of other places to serve. So, I’m excited about what that next chapter is going to be.
“There’s an awful lot of friendships I’ve made here, and those are going to stay in place. I’ll have those for the rest of my life.”