WACO, TX — With 68.95% of the votes, Dillon Meek is now the new mayor of the City of Waco.
"It went from nerves to excitement," Meek said. "Then really became humbled, just so humbled that Waco voters would put their trust in me."
Walking into office, Meek will be familiar with the council chambers, as he's already served in the District IV council seat. In June, Meek moved and the District IV seat became available for a short term, leaving him open to run for mayor and with a wealth of knowledge for the position.
"In the last five years, [I] learned the social economic and infrastructure needs of our city, but really got to build a lot of great relationships with community stake holders," he said.
Taking office during a pandemic, Meek knows he has a big job over the next two years.
"It's an interesting time to be in government, but I have so much peace walking into this office," he said.
Eric Coffman, a Waco voter who's lived in the city for four years, says working around a pandemic is hard but Waco has done everything the right way.
"Waco has been doing a really good job of listening to health professionals and guiding the decisions they've been making," he said.
Meek is looking to continue that trend, and if it comes to shutting back down or opening completely, he says everyone needs input.
"We need to pull together members together for different sectors of our community and make sure we have a robust, transparent conversation and make sure that we hit the right balance in a transparent way. I'm committed to that," Meek said.
Building the economy, staying sustainable, and keeping property taxes at a reasonable rate are all things on the minds of Waco voters.
Coffman says it's exciting to see the city grow, but hopefully it happens where it not only benefits us but our environment as well.
"Particularly as we build and grow, I would like to see Waco doing that in a sustainable way," he said.
According to Meek, the City has entered into a contract to purchase 100% green, renewable energy for all of its operations at a price which is 14.57% below the current contractual rate, with an estimated annual savings of $413,781, and $2.97 million over the seven-year term.
"I'll continue to be committed to making sure that we're good stewards of the financial resources we have and also at the same time to reduce environmental impact," Meek said.
25 News also asked him how the search for Waco's new police chief is coming along. Ultimately it's the city managers call, but Meek is excited to have a hand in a new leader.
"I'm hopeful for a police chief that is going to be able to jump into a city like Waco and have the experience to reduce crime and keep our neighborhoods safe," he said. "To build trust with officers and community members, and we have a history in Waco of police chiefs who work toward that end."
Meek says we all have the common goal to make our neighborhoods safer and reduce crime.
There is also a worry about rising property tax rates as Waco continues to grow. The mayor-elect says he'll be looking for a way that not only intrigues people to move here but stay here when they visit.
"We always have to look on a budget by budget basis and see if there's opportunity for savings or property tax rate reduction," Meek said. "I think we also have to work proactively to grow our economy, and if the economy is growing, the people should be able to make more money."
Meek is excited about growing our economy, being strategic and proactive with small businesses and corporate giants.
"I want to upscale our workforce. I want to make sure they have the skills that they have good jobs that pay good wages," he said.
Mayor-elect Meek, along with other new council members, will start their terms after the Waco City Council Business Session on Nov. 17.