With just three days left before he leaves for another job in Dickinson, the City of Dayton on Wednesday, July 21, hosted a farewell party for City Manager Theo Melancon, awarding him a key to the city and a plaque recognizing his accomplishments since arriving in Dayton four years ago.
Melancon is crediting with helping to develop two tax-increment reinvestment zones – one to revitalize downtown Dayton and one for the 1,050-acre Gulf Inland Logistics Park on US 90 West. He also helped bring major economic development projects to the Dayton area, including the Rail Logix Dayton Interchange Industrial Park on SH 146.
Under his leadership, he led the city to create a Unified Development Code and a Master Parks Plan that led to major improvements throughout the city’s five parks, most notably to Daniel Park, with upgrades to ball fields, field lighting, concession stand and a new playground. He also led the push to bring a high-speed fiber Internet project to Dayton that the City will own and operate.
Throughout his time in Dayton, Melancon pushed for improvements on mobility projects, such as construction of new sidewalks and the expansion of roads, and he leaves Dayton with a plan to create an elevated T-intersection over US 90 at Waco Street, which should alleviate some of the heavy traffic flow that can be especially problematic during rush hour traffic or when school buses are in operation.
Melancon is leaving Dayton for a position as the first city manager for Dickinson, Texas. Up until now, Dickinson has operated under a city administrator.
While the City of Dayton seeks a new city manager, through an executive head-hunting company called Strategic Government Resources, it has hired an interim city manager – David Willard, a retired city manager who previously worked for the Texas cities of Longview, Borger and Odessa.
Willard is set to officially start on July 26.
At his going-away party on Wednesday, guests includes Dayton Mayor Caroline Wadzeck, Liberty Mayor Carl Pickett, Liberty City Manager Tom Warner, current and former Dayton city council members, City employees and Chamber representatives.