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Tannehill Ready To Take The Reins As Mayor Of Oxford

While several Alderman seats are up for grabs in today’s election, the race for mayor has been decided since March 3 after no other candidates decided to oppose Ward II’s Robyn Tannehill to replace outgoing Mayor Pat Patterson. Now that election day has finally arrived, Tannehill is ready to take the reigns and says that the last few months have allowed her to focus on the future instead of a typical campaign. 
“Being able to transition for the past several months rather than going door-to-door campaigning has been such a gift,” Tannehill said. “It has allowed me to start putting all the pieces in place so that we can hit the ground running. Typically after election day, you have three weeks, but I’ve had three months to meet with department heads and start putting plans together.”
Tannehill’s inauguration is set for June 29th, and once she takes over, she can’t wait to get to work. It’s no secret that Oxford’s growth has been a topic of conversation around town over the past few years, and while it must be dealt with, Tannehill knows that things could be worse. While managing growth, she wants to ensure Oxford retains the sense of community it’s come to be known for. 
“When growth is your biggest challenge, you shouldn’t complain. We have good problems in Oxford,” Tannehill said. We’re doing a great job of putting ordinances, zoning, and land development codes in place to protect the architecture and look of Oxford. I’m just as passionate about protecting the sense of community, and that’s harder to do. You can’t write an ordinance to protect the sense of community, so that’s something that I’m going to spend a lot of time focusing on.”
Tannehill takes over for Patterson, who decided not to seek re-election after spending 16 years in public service, including two terms as Mayor. Patterson and Tannehill have worked together in several capacities since Patterson hired her to become the tourism director for the city in 1995. During the transition period, Patterson has continued to mentor Tannehill. While things may be run differently, she is grateful to learn from a close friend and colleague. 
“We are good friends and have worked together for many years. He has taught me a lot, and he’s making this transition so easy by being transparent about how everything works. I’ve asked him more questions over the past three months, and I’m sure he’s tired of it, but he never shows it,” Tannehill said. “We will do it differently. We have different personalities, different leadership styles, different things that motivate, but we both have Oxford’s best interest at heart.”
This is an important day for Tannehill, but she is quick to deflect the spotlight back to Oxford citizens. She knows that for real progress to be made, everyone needs to give input and know that they have been heard. During her term, Tannehill wants to ensure everyone is involved in Oxford’s future. 
“I’m extremely honored to serve,” Tannehill said. “I look at this, not as a title, but as a public service. I want people to know that I will always be approachable, that I want their input and value it. I work for the taxpayers of Oxford, I know that, and it’s important that they know that. I want people to be part of the next four years. I don’t want it to be a mayor and seven board members who are casting the future of Oxford; I want it to be a community-wide effort.”
Managing Oxford’s bright future may seem like a daunting task, but ever since she tossed her hat into the ring, she has been patiently waiting for this day to come. When no one else decided to run, it confirmed Tannehill’s thought process. 
“Clearly I’m the only person crazy enough to want to do it.”

Steven Gagliano is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com.
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