Christopher Archer will jump from the Carroll school board to the Southlake City Council after winning a special election Saturday night.
The 53-year-old business owner will resign his post as school board president on Sept. 11 and expects to be sworn in to Place 6 on the City Council Sept. 19.
Archer trounced his opponents by getting 61 percent of the 1,911 votes cast in the special election. He defeated Shauna Newman, who got 36 percent and Stephen Luhrs, who garnered 3 percent.
Southlake called the election to fill the space vacated by Gary Fawks, who stepped down in May because of work commitments. The unexpired term ends in May 2020.
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Archer moved to Southlake in 1998 and said he will bring a different perspective to the Council because of his time on the school board.
"I’m hoping to bring some of that knowledge and experience to City Council to enhance ways for the two to work together even closer than we already are," Archer said.
One of the top priorities will be finding ways to improve traffic and mobility in Southlake, both for residents and commuters passing through. Congestion was the biggest complaint among Southlake residents in a recent survey. He said he wants to find ways to improve intersections.
He also supports a free trolley system that visits all of Southlake’s major destinations. It would be funded by the city’s hotel occupancy tax to promote tourism.
He also said he wants to be smart about development.
"We’re about 90 percent built out so the remaining pieces of land and development, we just need to be smart," Archer said.
One of the biggest projects is the mixed-use Village at Carillon Parc project at the northeast corner of White Chapel Boulevard and Texas 114.
The 42-acre proposal is planned as a walkable development with retail, restaurants, hotels, $1 million lofts, and parks and open space.
The developers, led by former mayor John Terrell, presented the project earlier this year and could take it before Planning and Zoning and City Council later this year.
"I’m anxious to get in and see a lot more of it," Archer said. "Everything I’ve seen on the initial presentation and plans, I think it’s going to be a terrific development."
The lofts likely will raise concerns for some Southlake residents who oppose anything resembling apartments, but Archer said these owner-occupied units are appropriate in the right location.
"There is obviously a difference between looking at some type of apartment or condominium building versus something that’s an alternative to longtime Southlake residents that are empty nesters but don’t want and can’t maintain acres of land. Obviously, that’s not something that should be widespread."
Carroll ISD voters approved a $208 million bond election in May that Archer said will address growth for the next decade.
"We have no concerns about overcrowding or any of that in the school district," Archer said. "In all reality, if you’re looking at million-dollar lofts, that’s not going to generate many students for Carroll ISD."
With Archer stepping down, Carroll trustees will have the option of appointing a replacement who would occupy the seat until the May election or having a special election to fill the seat this fall.