January 05, 2011 Edition

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Hoxie mayor strives
to improve community

Newly elected Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker was sworn into office on Monday. Tinker spent his first day in office meeting with department heads and implementing new plans for road repairs.

Shantelle Prater
Staff Writer

When asked about his first day as Hoxie Mayor, Lanny Tinker responded that it was a "humbling day."

"One of my life dreams has been to come back and serve the citizens of this community because the city has been so good to me and my family," he said.

Tinker began his first day in office by being sworn in on Monday. From there he met with each department head, and plans to meet with each city worker in the following weeks.

"I will fulfill my obligation as mayor to help improve our city services," said Tinker. "I want to meet with every employee to make sure they understand that we work for the citizens."

Tinker's main priority as mayor is to enhance the town's appearance, which he feels will help attract more residents and new businesses.

"We want to create an environment that people will want to come back to and start building again," Tinker said. "We need to reinvent Hoxie."

Plans were also discussed by Tinker and the council to improve all city services and create an atmosphere appealing to others. Tinker has already reduced the mayor's salary by $5,000, all of which will be used to benefit the Hoxie Cleanup Fund.

"My intention is to clean up Hoxie," said Tinker.

Money from the cleanup fund will be used to replace the city dumpster, which will be available at the city shop for all residents. According to Tinker, the dumpster should be available to residents within the next few weeks.

"It's a high priority to me to form a committee that will monitor current ordinances and determine what we can do to improve them," Tinker said.

The newly formed committee will help to enhance neighborhood beauty, and will maintain and create new ordinances to clean up lots that have become eyesores.

"In a town this size it's unacceptable for houses that burned four or five years ago to remain on vacant lots," said Tinker.

Tinker also stated that the city has major infrastructure needs, including improved road maintenance.

"We already have a street implementation plan set in motion for 2011," Tinker said. "Planning should be completed at the end of this month as street conditions are well behind where they should be."

In addition to community improvements, Tinker said he believes the city needs to improve its departmental procedures, which he feels will provide opportunities to strengthen the city.

"I believe in servant leadership," said Tinker. "I serve the citizens and the employees. I want people to be comfortable to voice their opinions and concerns."

Currently no changes have been made to department heads or city employees.

"No one's job is in jeopardy on the front end. But I do ask that every person do their job," Tinker said. "Those who can't, I'll help to coach them to success if possible."

Tinker feels all employees should do the best job they can at whatever they are doing.

"I think we have a great council, and I'm really looking forward to working with them," he added.

The mayor's office will operate with an open-door policy for all residents.

"I will post a daily schedule so citizens can see where I am at all times," said Tinker, who also plans to provide newsletters in the future, which will update employees and residents on issues involving the city.

"I came into this position with an understanding that it is my job to serve all citizens," Tinker said.

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