Kevin Strength passed his gavel to Waxahachie's newest mayor during a special council meeting Monday morning.

Strength made the motion to name David Hill as the mayor of Waxahachie; a motion that carried unanimously, 4-0. Councilmember Melissa Olson not in attendance.

Strength stood from his seat after the vote and motioned for Hill to sit at the head of the board and lead the remained of the Monday meeting.

The Waxahachie City Council is a five-member body which is elected by the citizens into at-large positions. After an election, the council votes to reorganize itself by appointing a new mayor and mayor pro tem if they choose.

This year, the council appointed Hill as mayor and Mary Lou Shipley as mayor pro tem — a position formerly held by Hill. Hill was reelected last year and Shipley was reelected during the May 4 joint election.

Strength served for five years as the city's mayor and decided to finish his term on the board as a councilmember.

"I can't, I guess, leave without mentioning what Kevin has meant to me as a mentor," Hill noted. "I'm 72, he's not. I've learned a lot."

Hill said, going forward, he is excited to have Strength on the council with Shipley as the mayor pro tem.

City manager Michael Scott said he was thankful for Strength's leadership and he looks forward to working with Hill over the next year.

"Mayor Hill, congratulations. I like the sound of that — Mayor Hill," Scott said. "I do look forward to working with you for the next year."

Shipley echoed Scott's sentiments.

"I also greatly appreciate what Kevin Strength has done in the time he has been the mayor," she said. "He has certainly set an example of how to serve the people, and I know David is up to meeting that, and I hope I am too."

Hill moved to Waxahachie from Houston about 13 years ago with his wife, Mickie, so that they could be closer to his children and grandchildren. They both then quickly found their niche in the community.

Hill owns David Hill's Custom Homes and has for the past 30 years. He noted that in this year as mayor he plans on putting the business on the backburner and, instead, focusing that energy toward finding ways to improve the city's infrastructure, such as its water and sewer lines.

"I think the direction of the city is the right direction, and we will continue projects we started and we have in the queue for the next five to 10 years," Hill said. "There's so many things and you think about what you can do."

Hill said he wants to continue the responsible growth of the city, but not necessarily at the same rate that has transpired over the past few years. He noted that slowing down a little would help with infrastructure upgrades before that growth can continue.

"I've got four kids that live here and 16 grandkids and five great-grandkids that live in the city, so I have a vested interested in the direction the city goes," Hill added.

Hill, who has served on the city council for the past six years, has a heart for community involvement goes well beyond him. Both he and Mickie were recently recognized by the Waxahachie ISD Partners in Education for their volunteer work across several district campuses.

"We work together all the time, and whatever he needs me to do, I'm there for him," Mickie said. "I just couldn't be more proud."

David added that he always lived in a big city, but he feels he found where he belongs in Waxahachie.

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Samantha Douty, @SamanthaDouty

469-517-1451