Keller’s recently re-elected City Council members are looking forward to their first full terms, hoping to continue making progress in developing what’s best for the city.
Debbie Bryan, incumbent in Place 1, won the May 9 election with 52.4 percent of the vote. She said she expects local economic development – "probably the best it’s ever been" – to continue to improve.
"We have some great businesses coming down the pipeline that will add a lot of tax dollars to the city, and I’m real excited about that," Bryan said. "We have been aggressively seeking businesses, and we’ve been inviting and working with businesses to establish themselves here.”
Bryan expressed optimism about Keller’s future.
"I think there all kinds of great things happening here, and if we can keep Keller’s unique charm, we will be one of the most sought-out places in the area," she said.
Specifically, Bryan said she can’t wait to see the coming renovations to Old Town Keller-West.
"I’m anxious to see how it turns out," she said. "I know it will give it the shot in the arm it needs to get it going. I’m confident that by doing that, we’ll bring in even more high-quality businesses to that area, and it will be a nice amenity for the citizens."
Bryan said one of the challenges the city faces is working with owners of undeveloped land to get a "win-win" for the owners and the city.
"We want to make sure we get the best and highest uses out of the pieces of land, and I’m confident we will achieve that," she said.
Other challenges include updating the infrastructure around the city, and "hopefully developing more of our parkland." The city has more than 129 acres of yet-to-be-developed land designated for parks.
"I want to look at developing some of that so it can be used by our adult population also," Bryan said.
Bryan won a special election in 2013, so this will be her first full term on City Council.
Armin Mizani, incumbent in Place 2, won a tight race with 51.65 percent of the vote. He said during his campaign, he learned what issues are important to residents.
"There’s a hunger in the city of Keller to get more education, and we (Council) need to get that information to them," he said. "They want to see more transparency."
Mizani said he hopes "everyone can put politics aside now that election season has passed."
In the short-term, he and Mayor Pro Tem Rick Barnes will revamp the City Council Ethics Policy, a somewhat controversial and forgotten form Mayor Mark Mathews began pushing earlier this year. Some of the Council members have signed it, while others want it to be updated and accurate before they sign it.
"I don’t think it’s going to be an issue," Mizani said. "I think people want to sign the policy."
Economic development and park development also are important to Mizani, who said the emphasis is on quality. He also hopes to see more of a partnership between the city and Keller ISD.
Mizani ran in the November special election, which had no majority winner, but he won the subsequent runoff election. It’s been a "whirlwind" for him, he said, being in three elections in six months.
"I don’t recommend it to anybody," he said, jokingly.