Northeast Tarrant

A new mayor in Bedford is coming on board, promising change

Former council member Michael Boyter will be sworn in as Bedford’s new mayor on Nov. 12.
Former council member Michael Boyter will be sworn in as Bedford’s new mayor on Nov. 12. Courtesy City of Bedford

When Michael Boyter was growing up in nearby Hurst, he recalled that Bedford was the place to live with the best houses and many restaurants along Airport Freeway.

Boyter, 52, who will be sworn in on Nov. 12, said other cities like Hurst and Euless are outpacing Bedford in terms of development and thinking outside of the box.

He wants to bring similar changes to Bedford.

“Euless is on the fast track. Hurst is changing. Then, you see Bedford and there hasn’t been progress…”

“I am encouraged because I think we have a diverse council with respect to ideas. We’ve got to identify problems and find solutions,” he said.

Boyter, who began serving on the city council in 2012, was unopposed in his bid for mayor after Jim Griffin resigned in September to run for the District 92 Texas House seat. The council voted to cancel the Nov. 5 election since Boyter was the only candidate who filed to run for mayor.

Boyter also stepped down from his council seat to run for mayor. Tom Burnett was appointed to fill Boyter’ s council seat, and he will also take office Nov. 12.

Boyter is the chief financial officer for Qualtex Industries, a company owned by his friend and fellow council member, Roger Fisher. The two became friends when Fisher asked Boyter to help with his campaign for the District 92 Texas House seat.

When asked about the dynamics of working for his friend and how that will affect the mayor’s office, Boyter said, “I tell people to look at how many times we’ve voted against each other in council decisions. It’s about putting egos aside”

He also said the charter prohibits council members from any personal gains because of their elected office. He and Fisher haven’t taken part in discussions or voted on items where they knew people who wanted to do business with the city, he said.

Meanwhile, Boyter said he is working to bring changes to the city, saying Bedford needs to think outside of the box when it comes to economic development and revitalizing the city which has a population of almost 50,000.

“We are a mature community. We don’t have developers sitting on our doorstep. It’s about being a part of the conversation for change,” he said.

Boyter said one of his top priorities is looking at ways to develop Bedford Commons.

“This is our last piece of vacant land; we’ve got to get it right,” he said.

The city is 98 percent built out, and there was a proposal to build luxury apartments in Bedford Commons, a tract of land zoned for mixed use near City Hall. There was stiff opposition to building the apartments.

Government moves slowly, Boyter said, and he wants to see projects such as the Boys Ranch Park and street repairs move forward at a faster pace.

Boyter said listening to residents is key for moving Bedford forward, and he said many say they don’t know what is going on in their community.

“We can’t fall in to the trap regarding the angst in our country; we’ve got to bring people together and have discussions. People have direct contact with politicians on the local level,” he said.

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With my guide dog Barbara, I keep tabs on growth, economic development and other issues in Northeast Tarrant cities and other communities near Fort Worth. I’ve been a reporter at the Star-Telegram for 34 years.