DESTIN — Tuffy Dixon, who has worked for the city of Destin in some capacity for nearly 40 years, will no longer serve on its governing board.
In a letter provided Sunday to City Manager Lance Johnson, Dixon, who is a year away from completing a second four-year term on the Destin City Council, announced he was resigning effective immediately.
The one-time chief of the Destin Fire District said Monday he’s simply had enough of the contentious politics that has consumed the city for several years.
“I used to look forward to going to the meetings, but now it’s got to the point where I’ve started dreading going to the meetings, and when you get to that point it’s time to do something different,” Dixon said. “I hate not to fulfill my commitment, but it has just gotten to be a little bit more than I can handle. I just don’t have the energy to deal with it.”
Destin’s City Charter clearly states that when a council seat is vacated a new member must be elected no sooner than 60 days and no longer than 90 days from the date it becomes empty, according to Paul Lux, the Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections.
At a special meeting set for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, the council plans to consider candidates to temporarily fill the empty seat. The council also agreed to have a special election on March 12 for voters to choose a candidate to fill the final year of Dixon's term. That is the date already set aside for municipal elections in Fort Walton Beach, Shalimar, Cinco Bayou, Crestview and Laurel Hill.
In his letter, Dixon apologized to his supporters, but said the city had reached a point where everything brought to the council seems to be controversial. He said he was tired of losing friends over the decisions he was being asked to make.
“I just feel like I’ve done all I can and it’s time to do something different,” Dixon said. “I want my life back.”
Dixon was elected to the city council for the first time in 2012 and returned for a second term in March of 2016.
Tony Judnich contributed to this report.