Dillon Meek pounded the North Waco pavement at a fever pace to get elected last month. Now that he has taken his seat as District 4 Waco city councilman, he has barely slowed down.
Meek, 30, has spent the last few weeks meeting with city, school, nonprofit and church leaders, as well as his rival in the election, Ashley Bean Thornton.
“My goal is to get out there as much as possible,” said Meek, who was sworn in May 18. “I’ve had just about every breakfast and lunch filled up. . . . I have ideas of how I can use this platform and role on the city council to help our community, but I think the first step is to hear people’s goals for Waco.”
Meek won 54 percent of the vote in the May 9 election that drew a record 843 District 4 voters to the polls. He raised $10,000 in campaign contributions and personally walked miles of the North Waco district to ask residents for their votes.
He said he has slowed down a bit so he can pay attention to his job as an attorney at Rydell Capital Holdings. But he said he enjoys meeting with people for the same reason he enjoyed campaigning.
“I love to build relationships with people,” said Meek in his downtown office, which affords a sweeping view of McLane Stadium, Magnolia Market and the Waco Hippodrome. “I think the community is excited about the direction we’re headed, whether people voted for me or not. I met with a lot of people I know were supporting Ashley, and I was warmly received.”
Meek met with Thornton herself Thursday at World Cup Cafe, the nonprofit restaurant at 15th Street and Colcord Avenue, and both said they look forward to working together.
“We had a good lunch,” said Thornton, a well-known community activist and Baylor University administrator. “I really hadn’t gotten to know him that well before then. I didn’t know whether he was married or not married. I think he’ll be very transparent and willing to talk about controversial things. One of the main things we talked about is how important to both of us it is when you’re talking with someone to be honest with them, to be able to agree and disagree.”
Thornton said she already has set up another time to talk with Meek in the near future to continue the discussions.
“I certainly feel like I can call him anytime,” she said.
Meek said he was glad to get to know Thornton outside of the pressure of a campaign.
“She’s an incredible lady, and I’m hoping to be more than partners in the community but also good friends,” he said.
Megan Henderson, executive director of the Business Resource Center and Downtown Development Corp., met with Meek last week and discussed economic development as it relates to community-building.
“Dillon strikes me as someone who is optimistic and has a can-do spirit,” she said. “One thing that he said was, ‘I really want to hear from a lot of different perspectives because I don’t know everything.’ I really appreciate that.”
Mayor Malcolm Duncan Jr. said Meek already has attended council committee meetings and met with a variety of city officials to learn more about the job of councilman. Duncan said he encouraged Meek to study the background materials before the meetings and not be afraid to ask questions.
“It takes a year or two before you realize the scope and complexity of the challenges the city faces, but he’s committed to learning,” Duncan said. “He shows every sign of being a willing and eager public servant.”