The sudden death of Keith Mixon on Saturday not only left a hole in his loving family but also left a void for the City of Live Oak.

Elected to the city council in 2012 and becoming the council president in 2015, Mixon was the clear leader of the board.

He was a leader with a vision.

Mixon was the driving force behind the effort to try to make Live Oak a stop for Amtrak’s restored service between New Orleans and Jacksonville.

He was a huge proponent of the Jazz, Arts & Blues Festival known as JAB Fest and was working to bring entertainment and live music events to downtown Live Oak on a monthly basis.

Mixon firmly pushed the Community Redevelopment Agency to develop north of the railroad tracks.

They were all part of his goal, his vision to breathe life back into Live Oak’s downtown.

But while moving Live Oak into the future, Mixon also had a desire to hold on to the city’s past. He wanted to preserve Live Oak’s traditions.

He was a leader who was fair and willing to work with others. He had just pushed for workshops, including joint workshops with county officials, to help solve some of the community’s issues.

He was a leader who wasn’t afraid to work with the press. Regardless of the topic, Mixon was ready and available with his thoughts and opinions.

He was a leader that may not have always been universally liked, but he was, without a doubt, respected.

Now, though, that leader is gone.

While Live Oak will find someone to fill his council seat, it is imperative that the city also finds someone to fill the big leadership shoes he has left behind.

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