Dayton gives nod of approval to city manager, swears in new officers

Jasmine Fontenot and Nicholas Turner were sworn as new police officers on July 15 by Dayton Police Chief Robert Vine (right).

By Vanesa Brashier,

Dayton City Manager Theo Melancon will receive a roughly 15 percent raise after the city council on July 15 voted to amend his salary from $128,000 to $150,000. The bump in pay came after an executive session held to evaluate Melancon’s job performance.

Since joining the city in July 2017, Melancon has led Dayton through the development of a Comprehensive Plan, Downtown Revitalization Plan, Master Parks Plan and Land Use Plan. These are building blocks for the city as it prepares for the growth that will come with the completion of two sections of the Grand Parkway and the sprawl of residential and industrial development from the greater Houston area.

Patti Jett is the new communications director for the City of Dayton. She is pictured with Dayton City Manager Theo Melancon.

Melancon gave credit to the council for having the vision to lead Dayton into the future.

“I am proud of the council and staff. They have put together an outstanding record over the past two years. We have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time, but we have so much more to accomplish,” Melancon said after the meeting. “I am blessed that the council has the faith in me to be the leader to guide staff and serve as an adviser to council on policy. They have set a high bar and we intend to exceed it.”

Councilman Alvin Burress said Melancon’s raise is well-deserved and necessary.

“I can promise you he is a gem that Dayton needs to keep. He has a very high IQ when it comes to city management matters. He stays on top of things and is constantly looking for ways to benefit the city,” Burress said. “He has a commitment to the city and is making sure we grow the right way. We couldn’t do it without his vision and knowledge.”

Since the July 15 meeting, Melancon has been selected as one of 30 city managers to attend the International City/County Management Association’s Gettysburg Leadership Institute, which will take place Sept. 8-10.


Another highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the city’s annual audit by Houston-based certified public accounting firm of Belt Harris Pechacek. The city received a clean audit with only a couple of recommendations.

The audit recommended that the city establish procedures to review and reconcile ledgers on a monthly basis and closely monitor funds held by the Dayton Community Development Corporation to avoid having a balance that exceeds the guarantees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Melancon said changes have already been made to avoid these issues in the future.


Dayton Police Department has two new officers joining the ranks. Jasmine Fontenot and Nicholas Turner were sworn in at the start of the council meeting by Dayton Police Chief Robert Vine.

Fontenot most recently worked on the security team for the Liberty County Courthouse. Turner, who has almost five years in law enforcement, previously served as a patrol officer, motorcycle officer and fatality accident investigator with Longview Police Department. He also served as a patrol officer and patrol sergeant with Gladewater Police Department, where Vine was chief prior to joining Dayton Police Department.

In other business, council voted to seek bids for emergency medical services for the city and authorized payment of $183,670 to Texas Pride Utilities to replace 18 fiberglass manholes with precast concrete manholes off FM 321 at CR 686.

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