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Mayor-Elect Robyn Tannehill says Oxford’s future needs more planning and investment

Fast-growing Oxford has infrastructure needs and Mayor-Elect Robyn Tannehill plans to do something about it.

“The city has 20,000 taxpayers serving 40,000 people and the number is growing every year,” said Tannehill, unopposed in the upcoming municipal election and expected to take office as mayor this summer. “Oxford is at a critical time.”

Tannehill, speaking to the Oxford Rotary Club, said more planning and investing in the city’s future is needed so that Oxford remains a great place to live.

“Oxford isn’t a small town anymore,” she said. “We have gotten so big, so fast. Some people don’t know their neighbors anymore.”

Tannehill said the city’s water and sewer infrastructure needs work, roads and highways need work, and the transportation system will continue to need investment. She plans to work to find dollars, even if that means finding federal funds.

“A city this size cannot afford the infrastructure that is needed for its growth,” Tannehill said. “We are going to look at every available option (for funds) because we don’t have any choice.”

Tannehill said the list of Oxford’s needs is long, including a new, larger police department and more affordable housing options. The growth and changing dynamics of the city are here to stay, she said, so good effective planning and implementation is mandatory.

“It is about protecting our sense of community,” Tannehill said.

The municipal primary election is May 2 and the general election is June 6 in Oxford.

Tannehill, currently the Ward 2 Alderman, is a graduate of the University of Mississippi where she met her husband, attorney Rhea Tannehill. She’s served as assistant director of the Oxford and Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation and as executive director of tourism, where she spearheaded the first Double Decker Arts Festival in 1995.