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Planning & zoning chair to seek council seat

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Michelle Schwolert, chair of Highland Village’s planning and zoning board, has announced her intent to run for a seat on city council in the upcoming election.

Schwolert is looking to occupy Place 2, which will be vacated by Councilman Bill Irwin upon his filing as a Mayoral candidate this month. 

Now in her fifth year on the P & Z Commission, Schwolert said that she considers Highland Village to be much more than simply a place to live. 

“Aside from being a seven year resident of Highland Village, I have enjoyed so many other experiences of Highland Village life.  My children attend Highland Village schools, we own a business in Highland Village and are members of the HVBA, have coached and played for HVABSA, and are blessed to have four other households in Highland Village occupied by family members,” Schwolert said. 

“And of course we shop, eat and play in Highland Village.  I am certainly a big cheerleader for our City.” 

Schwolert was also employed by the city from1999-2001 as Administrative Assistant to Finance Director, Ken Heerman, who is now Assistant City Manager.  

“I am very appreciative of that experience, as I developed a great admiration for the City staff, an understanding of the budget process and a higher knowledge of municipal procedures,” said Schwolert.

“Michelle has a long history of selfless service to our city, experience with city staff and processes, and a thorough knowledge of ongoing city issues.  She has served well on our Planning and Zoning Commission and will be a fine addition to the City Council,” said Highland Village Mayor Scott McDearmont.

“Michelle has my full support and endorsement for her candidacy for Highland Village City Council.”

Schwolert began her service on the Planning & Zoning Commission in 2007, and said that her goal is to serve the city in a larger role.

“My true intention is to make each decision based on the best interest of the city and all that it encompasses – residents, businesses, city staff, emergency services, and parks to name just a few” said Schwolert.

“It is unrealistic to think that we will have a dais of seven people who will always agree on issues at hand, and quite frankly, it would likely be unproductive.  But if we have seven people who truly have the best intentions for the city and provide input and cast votes based on those, we will continue to grow gracefully and maintain the integrity, quality and desirability of our city.”

Schwolert said she also feels that a key to representing the city effectively is having trust and faith in those who run the daily operations. 

“Although we are almost at build out, we will continue to be presented with opportunities and challenges.  The expansion of I-35E and its relation to city property, the development of Double Tree Ranch and the potential for additional park land development are just a few items expected to be addressed in the near future.

“With that being said, to make informed decisions, it is necessary to have the knowledge, experience, research and input of city staff.  While it is responsible for any organization or municipality to have a system of checks and balances, our city staff has proven to be diligent, thorough and highly ethical when preparing Boards and Commissions for the decision-making process.”

Schwolert has a background in Public Relations and Marketing, and now runs the daily operations of her family-owned landscaping business she shares with her husband. 

Her husband is also a teacher in LISD and they have two boys, ages 5 and 12. 

She holds a leadership role at her church and said she is passionate about leading the youth in the community in a positive direction. 

“Pardon the cliché, but our youth are the future of our community.  Unfortunately, they are facing many challenges, obstacles and influences from which even our quality community cannot shield them. It is naïve to think we can make all of the issues disappear, but we can teach our children to make good choices when confronted with those difficult decisions and situations.  As many parents, teachers, officers, church and community leaders know, it takes a team effort.” 

Schwolert said she has attended almost all Planning & Zoning meetings while serving on the commission, and is aware of and prepared for the time and effort required to serve on council. 

“I know firsthand that serving the community requires time, effort, dedication, passion and humble assertiveness, and I am prepared to provide all of those to the best of my ability.  I look forward to continuing to serve Highland Village and truly appreciate the opportunity.”

The filing deadline is March 5th and the general election will be held on Saturday, May 12.

 

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