DeSoto Mayor State of City Address Thurs. honors local heroes

Two Black men with two black women
(Left to Right) Cedar Hill Mayor Stephen Mason, DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor, Texas State Representative Yvonne Davis, and Lancaster Mayor Clyde Hairston

Close to 250 people gathered in DeSoto’s Bluebonnet Room on Thursday afternoon to hear Mayor Rachel L. Proctor deliver DeSoto’s 2024 State of the City Address. It was Mayor Proctor’s third State of the City address since she’s been in office and she used the occasion to discuss the City’s key projects and to focus on the people who made a real difference in DeSoto.

The Mayor singled out several members of the DeSoto community to praise for their civic contributions including DeSoto High School’s Grammy-winning Choir Director Pamela Dawson, Vietnam Veteran and Bronze Star for Valor recipient James Baylor who was wounded at the Battle of Hamburger Hill, retiring 28-year City of DeSoto employee Kathy Jones who assisted thousands of community members over the years, and Coach Claude Mathis who led the DeSoto Eagles football team to its first-ever back-to-back Class 6A Division II State Championship. The Mayor also honored two of the student-athletes who accompanied Coach Mathis, Quarterback Darius “DJ” Bailey who was the Offensive MVP in the State Championship game, and Linebacker Keylan “Keke” Abrams who was the Defensive MVP and also an intern for the DeSoto Fire Department.

Mayor Proctor summed up the contributions of these standout community members when she said, “DeSoto stands on her own, but because of these individuals who have made such a difference, DeSoto shines brightly for all to see!”

The Mayor praised the City’s finance team for lowering or freezing its tax rate for residents and businesses for 13 straight years including a decrease of one cent in the current budget. She stressed that the City also worked hard to maintain and strengthen its bond rating which is currently at AA and has been for the past seven years. Mayor Proctor pointed out that DeSoto has been consistently recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its financial reporting, winning its Distinguished Budget Presentation for nearly twenty years, and receiving its Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for close to forty years. She also noted that DeSoto has received a Transparency Star Award from the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

Mayor Proctor then provided the gathering with updates on some of the City’s top projects including the McCowan Park Aquatics and Recreation Center, the Hampton Road Corridor Redevelopment Plan, the updated Comprehensive Development Plan, and numerous roadway infrastructure projects including Wintergreen Road, Westmoreland Road, UHL Road, Parkerville Road, and the Meadows Parkway,

Mayor Rachel Proctor observed that the biggest reason for DeSoto’s successes in the past year has been the cooperative civic spirit of the people who live and work in our City. Said Mayor Proctor, “DeSoto succeeds when we work together and combine our efforts to move our City forward. As I always say, Progress moves at the speed of relationships!”

You can view the Mayor’s presentation of DeSoto’s State of the City Address on our Facebook Page  News outlets should feel free to use any of the footage from DeSoto’s State of the City Address, or the photos below, for your coverage.