WACO, TX — Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver leaves office this week at the end of an extended term after coronavirius concerns delayed the election of a new mayor and City Council.
He's had more than his share of challenges and he says he passes the baton to Mayor-elect Dillon Meek, with a long list of accomplishments.
Of all the things Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver takes pride in from his time in office, you'll never guess what tops his list.
I bet nobody came up with a landfill.
"I'm also proud that I think we are going to get our landfill. Finally, permitted, you know, it won't happen on my watch but we've gotten way down the road and that's such an important thing for our entire region," said Deaver.
To be sure, Waco has more glamorous projects in the works, but let's face it, we all need a place to take our trash.
"Waco is positioned really well. We've got a number of projects that are on the books, ready to start some of them are starting in the midst of the pandemic, and others are just right around the corner," said the soon-to-be-former mayor.
The "Fixer-Uppers" have made Magnolia improvements, I-35 is getting its own makeover, and did you hear? Amazon's coming to town.
Kyle Deaver says he exits his so-called "volunteer" job leaving the city in better shape than he found it.
Regrets? Mayor Deaver’s had a few.
The biggest is the lack of progress in better developing the Brazos riverfront, a process that recently began to show new life.
”I've had some setbacks along the way on our riverfront development that have been frustrating, but I think in the end we're going to get a great project on.”
”I'm also frustrated with where we ended up with the drainage issues around 935. And during the 35 expansion I think we could have found a better solution there, but we just couldn't get it done."
And as Waco keeps booming, he's found a way to keep taxpayers from footing the whole biil to extend roads, water and sewers to new, far-flung subdivisions.
"Outlying areas I mean that's one of the things that we've recently addressed with impact fees, is to try to, and we don't want to limit growth or restrict growth we just want the growth to pay for itself...” he said.
He take pride in leaving a city government that takes race relations seriously.
”Council has made equity priority strategic priority. I think the race equity training that hit a lot of our city leaders and other leaders throughout the community have been through have helped us understand some of the mistakes that have been made in the past and try to avoid those going forward," said Deaver.
And despite the monumental challenges of COVID, he brought the best minds in town together to tackle the virus issue.
”Even this extra six months that I didn't plan for...I wouldn't trade this for anything. I mean it's just been...the way that our city has come together and being able to watch that and watch that collaboration and participate in it. It's just invaluable. And it is so inspirational.”
An inspired man, who leaves a city now inspired, to do great things while trying to provide a living wage, and a decent place to live.