I recently made a social media post that “a new normal” has begun in our house. Yes, it was on Mother’s Day and I was honoring my wife Gretchen and the fact that without her support I would not be writing my first article as Mayor of Highland Village. Actually, it is rather surreal. I know while growing up in Highland Village and attending Marcus High School I did not see myself one day serving as mayor. When Gretchen and I got married and we began thinking of where we wanted to live and raise our family, Highland Village was the place we wanted to be. Since moving back, we have had the privilege of raising our family here and making so many friends. It is because of the support, confidence and hard work of these friends and so many other Highland Village residents that I am afforded the privilege to serve as Mayor of Highland Village for the next two years. I am humbled, grateful, and honored. I have so much excitement moving into this new journey and I promise to work tirelessly every day to live up to the trust that has been invested in me.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from one of the best, Mayor Charlotte Wilcox. Charlotte has been a champion for our City and has set an example of integrity and service. Thank you, Mayor Wilcox, for your years of service to Highland Village and your desire to mentor those of us who served on Council with you. We all have benefited from your leadership.
I would also like to recognize and thank Barbara Fleming for her service on Council and to this City. While she and I were opponents for the office of Mayor, she is a woman I respect and admire for her love of Highland Village. Barbara is an example of someone who works to make our community the best place to be. Thank you, Barbara, for your service to our city.
I was not the only candidate on the ballot and I would like to introduce you to the Councilmen that were re-elected or elected for the first time to serve a two-year term. Jon Kixmiller has served on City Council since 2018. Like me, Jon raised his family here in Highland Village until his work required him to move away. Upon their retirement, Jon and his wife Deborah returned to Highland Village and their adult children followed them. Jon loves Highland Village and all the amenities and services we offer.
Shawn Nelson is new to City Council but he is certainly not new to Highland Village. Shawn grew up in the area and like me, attended Marcus High School, and has chosen to raise his family here as well. I know our City’s values are important to him and he will work hard to ensure every voice is heard and we continue to make Highland Village the place to be to raise a family.
Robert Fiester was re-elected to Council and has served since 2018. Robert has lived in North Texas since 2000 and he and his wife are raising their two sons here as well. Robert served first on the Planning & Zoning Commission, which was a great fit for him as he manages a civil engineering office and is a registered landscape architect. Robert also served in the United States Marine Corps from 2003 to 2008.
Brian Fiorenza was elected to fill the one-year term I vacated when I chose to run for mayor. Brian is also not new to Council as he previously served in the early 2000’s. He and his wife have raised their children here in Highland Village and maintaining the quality of life found in Highland Village is important to him as well.
We also have Mike Lombardo and Tom Heslep currently serving on Council. I look forward to working together with all of Council to ensure Highland Village continues to improve and be the best we can be.
It is an exciting time in Highland Village. Even though we are nearly built out, we are looking at ways to enhance, and even preserve, the attributes that make Highland Village the community we love. Our residents and businesses all chose to make Highland Village their home; whether just starting out, raising a family, established empty nesters, or retiring here. We all have our own ideas of what we would like to see for the future in Highland Village. Many of you participated in Our Village, Our Vision community engagement meetings or online. We have received the feedback from those meetings and you can view it at www.SpeakUpHV.com. This feedback, along with input from Council, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, property owners and businesses along FM 407, will be used in the creation of our long-term planning documents. Over the years living in Highland Village and serving our City, I have seen the passion ignited in our residents to create the best version of our City. This love of our city is what makes Highland Village the wonderful place we all call home.
The City is now taking applications for residents interested in serving on boards and commissions. I began my service to the City by serving on the Zoning Board of Adjustment and then on the Planning & Zoning Commission; I learned so much about the City during that time. I would highly recommend checking out the different boards and commissions available and see what interests you. We need the ideas and energy of our residents on these boards and commissions. Residents can find all the information and complete the applications at the Help Center on the City website under “Apply.” The City Secretary will receive applications until July 22 for consideration and appointment by Council in September.
We have some great events happening over the next few weeks. Celebrate Highland Village will take place this year on June 11 at Copperas Branch Park. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with music, food and drinks (available for purchase) and ends with a spectacular fireworks display. Parking at Copperas Park is limited and a pass is required. There will be remote parking at Doubletree Ranch Park and parking and shuttle service at the Municipal Complex and Village Church on Highland Village Road. Also on the morning of June 11 is the Celebrate Highland Village Run hosted by the Marcus Cross Country and Track Booster Club, which will be at Doubletree Ranch Park along with the Highland Village Lions Club’s Fishing Derby. You can find more information on all these events at hvparks.com/celebrate.
Once again, I am honored to serve as your mayor. I am grateful for your support and confidence in me. Now is the time to come together and get to work. If you have ideas, questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to me. You can email me at [email protected] or call me at 469-794-9430.