NEWS

Meet the candidates: Tuffy Dixon

Savannah Vasquez
svasquez@thedestinlog.com
Tuffy Dixon is a life long Destin resident and is serving on the current city council. He is a big advocate for preserving Destin's heritage.

Editor's Note: The Log will be highlighting each candidate running for office ahead of the March 15 election. The series will begin with the mayoral candidates, then feature those running for city council.

Current city councilman Tuffy Dixon is running for re-election in the upcoming Destin’s city council race. Eleven candidates are vying for the seats, and Dixon said he believes he has a unique advantage.

“I think with my unique perspective in having been a lifelong resident and my love for the city I’m able to weigh things out and do what I think is the right thing, and try to think in the way of the everyday citizen,” he said. “I’ve lived in Destin my entire life and I’ve always enjoyed serving this community. I love this city and I would do anything I can to help this city and it’s citizens.”

Dixon elaborated that in his nearly 60 years living in Destin he has seen a great amount of change and wants to ensure the city’s residents and leaders don't forget about the past.

“I’m really passionate about preserving our heritage,” he said. “Our charter boat fishing industry is where our community came from and where I hope it always continues to be. Without that and our beaches we have nothing.”

As part of the council since 2012, Dixon said he has taken part in several projects that have improved the city and his motivation to run as an incumbent are in part, to continue those projects and see them to completion.

“There’s a lot of things upcoming that I want to be a part of, things left unfinished that I would like to see through,” he said. “My big thing is transportation. The fact that we are doing what we can with the cross town connector, I hope we can get that going. And the comprehensive plan, we need to get that finished and to see our city a bit more responsible in development.”

Dixon added that there are a few projects that he advocated for that he is most proud of as a member of the current council.

“The big thing was the funding for the stabilization of Norriego Point, that is a big deal,” he said. “The engineering to begin work on the cross town connector is a big deal that we were able to get them moving along as well. One of the things I’m really glad about is that we eliminated the tier three allowance in our city and I’m also very proud of the fact we were able to get derelict vessels addressed, not just me but the entire council.”

Raised in Destin, Dixon said he has always been drawn to public service.

“I worked for the fire district for 32 years. I was a volunteer fire fighter in Destin in 1976 and became a paid fire fighter in 1983,” he said. “I became fire chief in 1990 and I was fire chief for just over 19 years until I retired in 2009.”

Today, Dixon serves on the city council, works part time for the State Fire Marshal’s Office as an accident investigator and also works part time as a Fire Service Consultant in Tallahassee.

“I always say I have three part time jobs,” he joked. “City council keeps me pretty busy. You are given a book of papers prior to each meeting and you really have to come prepared.”

Dixon resides in Destin with his wife Ellen and has two grown daughters, Emily and Amber. In his free time he enjoys fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I love to fish, I’m a big fisherman,” he said. “Cobia fishing is my number one passion but any kind of fishing I love.”

Mayor:

Jim Wood

Scott Fischer

Destin City Council:

Jim Bagby

Parker Destin

Tuffy Dixon (incumbent)

Teresa Hebert

Cyron Marler (incumbent)

Steven Menchel

Mark Meyer

Chatham Morgan

Skip Overdier

Vandy Vela-Schneidt

Tom Weidenhamer

Destin Candidates