Remembering Mayor Tawana Canada

Photo from Facebook

DODGE CITY, Ala. – The Town of Dodge City lost a pillar of the community Tuesday with the passing of Alice Tawana Canada, serving her fourth term as mayor of the town. As her family and community mourn, long-time councilman Anthony Todd shared a few words in honor of their  time together.

“Tawana was a great friend. I’ve known her for years,” Todd said. “In the council, she was a great woman–she loved her community, her town. She’d do anything for anybody, and her shoes will be hard to fill.”

Todd was elected in 1994 to Place 3 on the first Dodge City town council after incorporation, and Canada joined the council the following term in 1996 as Place 2. The two served together in every subsequent council term, with Todd serving as mayor pro-tem during her terms.

Canada was appointed mayor pro-tem in 2000, a role which brought her to mayorship after the passing of Mayor Perry Ray in 2009. She was re-elected in 2012, 2016 and 2020 for a total of two full terms and two partial.

During her re-election campaigns in 2016 and 2020, Canada was passionate about working to put a traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 69 and County Road 216, saying that it was one of the most requested projects she’d received and one that was desperately needed. While the project is still undergoing traffic studies with the State, Canada’s leadership still saw many goals and projects achieved, including the Town becoming debt-free.

In 2020, Canada’s keen eye noticed that the computer system at the local Jack’s had not been calculating taxes correctly. The resulting check the Town received for three years of back taxes allowed the Town to pay off the remaining balance on the five-year loan it took out in 2019 for the CR 216 Bridge Culvert Replacement Project.

In February 2021, Canada recommended transferring $50,000 from the General Budget Fund to bring the balance on the Town’s USDA loan – taken out in 2007 for sewer system improvements

– down to $127,000. Five months later, the council was able to use reserve funds to pay off that remaining balance 21 years early, leaving the Town with no outstanding debts.

Todd finished his comments by saying, “She was very dedicated and just a great person. I’ve enjoyed knowing her, and we’ll miss her very deeply.”

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Heather Mann