Ada native Alvin Files is leaving his hometown behind after 35 years of faithful service.
Files began his career as part-time city attorney under Les Younger, Ada’s previous city attorney. He graduated from Ada High School in 1969. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a history degree, Files went to OU Law School.
“I came back here right after I graduated from law school and passed the bar exam,” he said.
In Sept. 1975, Files said he began working with Younger.
“One of the first things I did was trying cases in municipal court,” he said. “I’ve done that continuously up until (Thursday, Nov. 4).”
Another of Files’ first projects was getting easements for the “new” water line from Byrds Mill Spring, which is now over 30 years old.
He had a private law practice from 1975 to 1994 with Younger and received an additional degree in computer science from East Central University in 1991.
“In 1994, I became the full-time city attorney,” Files said. “During that time I became assistant city manager and I also handled the city’s computer infrastructure.”
He was in charge of setting up a large network that connected the city’s buildings.
Files said his time at the city has been enjoyable.
“The high points of the job were being able to help people when they had problems,” he said. “Just working with people on a day-to-day basis has been the best part of the job.”
He said a low point of the job was when he wasn’t able to help a resident.
“A lot of the job is telling people, ‘No.’ I don’t like to do that but have had to many times,” he said.
Files said he’s always seen Ada as a growing community and the city has several decisions to make in the future if its residents want to see it continue that growth. One of those decisions includes Ada’s future water supply.
“On the water situation, Ada is at a decision point. It’s one of those really important decisions that comes along for cities every 20 or 30 years. I think the decisions that Ada makes on water are going to affect, not just people now, but the generations to come,” he said.
Files said he would personally like to see the city build a lake.
“The Arbucke-Simpson Aquifer is going to be a part of Ada’s water future from now on. It’s not a source of water that we want to abandon but I don’t think it’s going to be sufficient if Ada is going to grow to be the kind of town I would like it to be,” he said. “I would like to see Ada 50 or 75 years from now being more like Norman is today with 100,000 people and ECU expanded greatly.”
He said Ada is likely to face other challenges with economy and infrastructure in the foreseeable future.
“The citizens of the city have made a good start on (infrastructure) by approving Proposition 1,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a challenge for people going forward to deal with all of that. The strength of Ada has always been the people. They’re hard-working, they want things to improve and want Ada to be a better place.”
Files is now headed to Salem, Ore. with his wife, Susan, to be closer to his grandchildren.
“It’s time to do something different. We’ve been to Oregon a number of times since our son and daughter-in-law moved there. We have two grandsons. One of them is three and the other will be one year old in December. We’d like to be closer to them and be able to see the grandchildren more than the two or three times a year that we’re managing right now,” he said.
Once there, he’s going to look into getting back to work.
“I’m in the process of getting admitted to the Oregon Bar Association,” Files said. “I may do some law practice there in Oregon I’ve looked around at some city jobs.”
He’s also taken some courses on labor arbitration and is interested in pursuing that line of work.
“There are several things I’m going to be looking into once we get settled in,” he said.