Barnes chosen as city’s new mayor

Hill ousted in council shakeup; Wallace voted mayor pro tem after new members take oath

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
Doug Barnes
The Waxahachie City Council will meet at Waxahachie City Hall at 401 S. Rogers St.

The Waxahachie City Council will have a new look moving forward after the swearing-in of two new councilmembers and the selection of a new mayor and mayor pro tem.

Doug Barnes is the city’s new mayor, and newly-elected Billie Wallace will be mayor pro tem after Wallace and Travis M. Smith each took the oath of office as new councilmembers during a special meeting on Tuesday. Wallace and Smith won runoff elections in balloting on June 5.

Wallace replaces Mary Lou Shipley not only as a councilmember, but also as mayor pro tem. Shipley finished third in the May 1 joint election for Place 4 and didn’t make the runoff.

Likewise, David Hill was ousted as mayor and will be replaced by Barnes, who was elected to the City Council in November 2020. Hill will remain on the council as a member representing Place 1; his term expires in May 2022.

After the reorganization, Barnes — who served as the city’s director of economic development for 18 years before stepping down in 2020 — congratulated Smith and Wallace and said he looked forward to working with them. He also praised the city’s staff.

“Normally in a City Council you have two goals,” Barnes said. “Those goals are, number one, is to make Waxahachie a better place in which to live, and then secondly, make Waxahachie a better place in which to make a living. We’re going to continue to do that. We’re going to move forward, because we’re here to help our citizens enjoy quality of life.

“This council has been busy and it’s going to become even more busy,” Barnes added. “We’re working on a strategic plan, the comprehensive plan, the thoroughfare plan and in two weeks we’ll be having meetings on the budget … It all comes back to quality of life for our citizens.”

At the end of the meeting, Barnes praised Hill for his service as mayor to a round of applause.

In accordance with the city charter, the five councilmembers decide among themselves who will serve as mayor and mayor pro tem.

Hill nominated himself for mayor but received no vote from any other councilmember, throwing the seat open. Wallace nominated Barnes, who received a 4-1 vote with Hill opposing.

Smith nominated Wallace for mayor pro tem, and Wallace was approved by a 4-1 vote with Hill again dissenting.

Hill thanked the people of Waxahachie for his time as mayor and thanked former councilmember Chuck Beatty, who was defeated by Smith in the runoff after 26 years on the council.

“The time on the council has been exciting,” Hill said. “It was a difficult year with the pandemic ... but we were able to stand up a hub and vaccinate 81,000 people in Ellis County with the help of many people involved.  We will go forward and do the work of the city.”