Moore City Manager Celebrates RetirementDec 02, 2016
17-years is a long time for one person to be a city manager, but Moore’s Steve Eddy is exactly one of those rare people. As he steps down from the post this December, Eddy said it's humbling to have been able to serve the city he loves for so long. Eddy said he attributes his lengthy career to his upbringing.
“A lot of people know me here from when I was little or in school or growing up at First Baptist Church and all those kind of things,” said Eddy, “So there was a little bit of extra weight on my shoulders, if you will. I didn’t want to besmirch, if you will, my dad’s name—my name, my family name.”
Moore has changed a lot over the course of Eddy’s career, something he said was just a dream among co-workers back in his early days as the city’s Community Development Director.
“I’ll never forget Craig Turner and I, who’s with Bank First now, were talking about or dreaming about what Moore could be,” said Eddy. “Can you imagine what Moore would look like if we were to develop along I-35 because we had this artery carrying tens of thousands of cars through Moore every day.”
Moore has grown in remarkable ways during Eddy’s tenure. That growth has come in spite of some difficult challenges. The departing city manager has overseen recovery efforts after three major tornadoes, in 1999, 2003, and 2013. Eddy said that while the 1999 tornado nearly crushed his spirit, it was in the wake of that storm that he learned just how special Moore truly was.
“I don’t think I was ever at a lower point in my career certainly, maybe in my life regarding a leadership position, in going out there and seeing the devastation,” said Eddy. “Just a really black feeling about how can we ever recover from this or can we ever recover from this.”
But Eddy said that what he saw in the weeks and months after the 1999 tornado helped him realize that the people of Moore were remarkably resilient.
“The adage about how do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time, and that’s what we did,” Eddy said. “We found out that we could recover and we did recover, and as bad as the two storms were in 2003 and 2013 I never had that feeling again after that whether the community could recover or not. I knew we could.”
All of those recovery efforts along with the remarkable growth experienced by the city of Moore are no accident. It takes strong leadership to help accomplish those things, but Eddy is quick to defer the credit to those with whom he worked.
“From your lieutenants to assistant city manager Stan Drake and to all of my department heads, many of whom have been with me for most of my career or all of my career as city manager,” said Eddy. “We have had some changes, but you’ve got to have outstanding people in those positions for the city to be successful and then for me to be successful, frankly.”
It’s a team tested by fire, according to Eddy, and that team has through those tests with a unified spirit and vision.
“We’ve all been through the lowest lows depths of the valley to the highest highs that there can be for a community,” said Eddy. “I think it’s made us stronger as a team. We could have a major incident at any point and the team would know what to do.”
And now, as his career comes to a close, he’s taking the time to appreciate the things that he loves about serving as city manager.
“I’m going to miss the people around, of course, here, and the people of the community,” said Eddy. “I think I’ll miss just being a part of the decision-making process of things happening, of new projects coming along, of new businesses opening their doors and those sort of things.”
But there’s one thing he says he will not miss at all.
“Maybe a few less calls from the police chief in the middle of the night saying, ‘Steve, we’ve got a problem,’” said Eddy.