By Tina Montgomery
The race for Mayor of Dixie Inn is now down to only one candidate, resulting in Donna Hoffoss, who is serving in that capacity now, gaining the title of Mayor in January without actually having to run for the post.
Former Mayor Kay Hallmark-Stratton qualified for election on Friday, July 22 uncertain whether Hoffoss would file or not.
“About noon on Friday, no one had filed for the position of Mayor of Dixie Inn. I went and filed for the position, not knowing if Mrs. Hoffoss, Dixie Inn interim Mayor, would file or not,” Hallmark-Stratton said in a statement sent to this journalist.
Hallmark-Stratton said she had talked to Hoffoss earlier last week and was told “she planned to file.” When no one had qualified by noon, Hallmark-Stratton filed for the position. She was in Shreveport when she found out Hoffoss was the only other candidate to file, but she did not have enough time to return to the Clerk of Courts to withdraw her name.
“I mailed the withdrawal letter on Monday [July 26]. Mrs. Hoffoss has done a great job as interim Mayor and will serve Dixie Inn well as Mayor” she added.
Hallmark-Stratton resigned from the Mayor’s position in May 2022 after having served since 2016. Her reason for resignation was that she was ready to enjoy retirement and pursue personal interests.
Starting from the time she was elected Hallmark-Stratton said she learned all she could about the position and the day to day workings of the office. She received guidance from the other Village officials and worked to bring theVillage business office up to date. She and Mike Chreene, Utility Director, and Police Chief James Edwards made the ability to accept payments for utility bills and traffic fines by debit and credit card possible by learning how to utilize the credit card machine which had sat idle for several months.
“Mrs. Dana James joined Dixie Inn as Clerk in late January 2017, and we learned so much together,” she said. “I felt the people of Dixie Inn deserved the city hall to be open each day of the week from 8 AM-5 PM, except holidays and weekends, and be able to do business with the Village in 21st century fashion. Computers were upgraded and business was conducted in a business manner, which I am proud of.”
During her 5½ years in office, the former Mayor accomplished many needed projects, including a new water treatment plant with a new generator, a workshop and storage shed for Village equipment as well as a place for the workers to work on the equipment, new electronic-read water meters, a pavilion for the Children’s Park, and other small improvements.
There are several projects which the Village has received funding for prior to her resignation that Dixie Inn will benefit from in the future. Among those projects are a new elevated storage tank at the wastewater treatment facility, a new wastewater treatment facility addition, a bathroom facility at the Children’s Park, and a generator for the City Hall and Police Department.
Hoffoss along with Aldermen Judy McKenzie and Lance Milligan (all of whom were on the council during Hallmark-Stratton’s term) will carry these projects through with the help of Mike Chreene, Utility Director, and the new alderman to be elected in November.
Lastly, Hallmark-Stratton received information from Leslie Durham (Delta Regional Authority) that funding for high speed internet service in Webster Parish has been announced.
“It looks like Dixie Inn residents can look forward to reliable internet service in the near future. The council and I worked on this project for quite some time and I know they are excited also,” she said.
Hallmark-Stratton ended her statement saying, “Now I can continue with my retirement, as planned in May when I resigned the office. I wish all of them the best.”
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