The Highland Village city charter defines the role of the City Council role as “…the legislative and governing body of the City. In accordance with City Charter, the Council enacts legislation, adopts the annual operating budget and is responsible for setting policy. The City Council consists of a mayor and six members. The council is elected at large and serves two-year terms. In even-numbered years, places 1 (mayor), 2, 4, and 6 are elected, and in odd-numbered years places 3, 5, and 7 are elected to office.”
This year we cancelled our election as all places up for election had unopposed candidates. That means the majority of us will continue in our current role on the council, except for Place 4 which has been held by Councilmember Louis Robichaux since 2006. Louis has reached his term limit, as defined by our charter, and is stepping down. Known as the “budget hawk,” Louis brought a strong financial background to the council as he is a financial analyst. Since my time as Mayor, when we develop the city budget I looked to Louis for his guidance and insight. Over the years, Louis has focused on the sustainability of our city funding; looking not only at the immediate year but also closely looking at our five-year projections. In fact, the word “sustainability” is attributed to Louis and will be his legacy as we move forward. I appreciate the time and energy he has given to ensure Highland Village operates and plans for the future in a financially efficient manner. I will miss the perspective Louis provided on the council and wish him well.
Stepping onto Council in Place 4 is Patrick Coon. Patrick is no stranger to Highland Village, having previously served on Council. I look forward to working with him when he is sworn in at our meeting on May 13. Council members Michelle Schwolert, Charlotte Wilcox, Fred Busche, John McGee and Bill Meek will continue serving the city.
It is good that we can continue with the leadership we currently have in place as we can focus our energies on the projects underway and our future planning. We are very close to being built out which means we must look at sustaining our current service level, bringing in new businesses to our developments while retaining the current businesses and promoting our community to potential homeowners and shoppers. I’m blessed to serve our city with a diverse group who, despite their individual differences, have the same goal in mind; that is, the betterment of Highland Village.
We are moving into the summer season and, as always, we’ll be kicking off our celebration of summer on Saturday, June 7. Celebrate Highland Village will feature the 5K run, the fish out and the celebration of Arbor Day in the morning at Unity Park. That evening we’ll head over to Pilot Knoll Park for live music from Prophets and Outlaws, Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros and cap off the evening with the fireworks extravaganza. This is our second year to hold this event at Pilot Knoll Park and we’ve made some improvements. There is no onsite parking at Pilot Knoll Park so the two ways to get in and out of the event are to park just outside of the Park and shuttle in, or walk along the designated walking path or park at Marcus High School and shuttle to the event. We will have a kids area and food and drink vendors at Pilot Knoll Park. Bring your chairs or blankets and come enjoy an evening of music, food and fireworks. This event is free.
Also at Pilot Knoll Park, the summer Movies in the Park series will take place Friday evenings in May. This is a fun event for families to attend. We’ll be showing the sing along version of Frozen on May 16 and Despicable Me 2 on May 30. Grab some dinner to go at one of our many Highland Village eateries, bring a blanket and chairs and enjoy a family evening under the stars.
The construction on the 35Express Project is progressing, specifically we are going to see crews working on the lake as they build the new bridge. City staff is coordinating communication on the timing, process and safety precaution for boaters on the lake and will be sharing that information. The best way for you to stay up to date on the project is to sign up for the email and text alerts at www.35express.org. And if you have specific questions about the project, visit the public information office in Lewisville off FM 3040 next to Toys R Us. Public information staff is on hand at the location to provide information about the project and share project maps and plans.
I can’t complete this article without reminding everyone to exercise your democratic right and go vote. We cancelled our election here in Highland Village as all four seats up for election are uncontested, but we are still a polling location for the LISD election. I would like to welcome Patrick Coon and congratulate my fellow council members, Michelle Schwolert, Fred Busche and John McGee who will be sworn into their next terms at our first meeting in May. Also at that meeting we will be recognizing council member Louis Robichaux for his years of service with the city.
I am honored to serve as Mayor in such a wonderful city. I know each of you love this community as much as my wife, Martha, and I do. I look forward to seeing you around and hope you’ll all join us on Saturday, June 7, at Pilot Knoll Park as we Celebrate Highland Village.