Friday, May 27, 2022

New and familiar faces ready to work together on Highland Village City Council

The Highland Village City Council will experience a good deal of change, while also bringing back several familiar faces, when several new terms begin later this month.

In Saturday’s election, current Place 7 Councilman Dan Jaworski easily defeated another current council member, Barbara Fleming, in the race for mayor. The incumbents in Place 2 and 6 — Jon Kixmiller and Robert Fiester, respectively — were unopposed in their reelection bids. Brian Fiorenza, a former councilman, was the only candidate to file for the unexpired Place 7 seat to replace Jaworski. And in Place 4, Shawn Nelson defeated Kevin Cox and Ray David with nearly 60% of the vote.

Shawn Nelson

Nelson said Wednesday he believes that he and the other City Council members are on the same page.

“I have great respect for the current and past city leaders,” Nelson said. “I think we’re all aligned on where we want our city to be in the future. I think we’re going to have excellent representation.”

Nelson said he ran for the seat because he wants to “give back to the city that’s given me so much.” His top priorities include “attracting and retaining quality retail and restaurants that align with the Highland Village way of life,” as well as improving traffic and pedestrian safety.

Jaworski echoed those thoughts as he begins his first term as mayor.

“One big thing I heard a lot from residents is the need to address speeding in neighborhoods, so I will address that as quickly as possible with the police department,” Jaworski said. “This community means a lot to me. I ran to make sure we maintain the community that Highland Village has always been, a strong, vibrant, family-oriented community.”

Jaworski said he was “stunned” when he saw Saturday’s election results, in which he defeated Fleming by 27 points, but he thinks his door-knocking campaign is likely the biggest reason for the difference in votes. He’s excited to get to work as mayor.

“I think we have a bright future and the next two years will be really busy, consequential years,” Jaworski said. “We’re going to start the budget process soon, and this one will be interesting with rising inflation and (the) housing market.”

During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, outgoing Mayor Charlotte Wilcox was recognized for her years of service to the city. She was appointed to the Planning & Zoning Commission in 2006, elected to City Council in 2009 and began serving as mayor in 2014.

“Mayor Wilcox has played a major role in the progress of Highland Village,” said City Manager Paul Stevens. “She is known for approaching every situation with the question, ‘How will this benefit our residents?’ Mayor Wilcox has been a champion for our residents, always available and always looking for resolution to issues.”

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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