The town of Westlake will have a special election for a council spot that was vacated by Victor Sansone III.

City Council had the option of filling the vacancy that happened on Dec. 8, 2023, or wait until the May election and allow the community to decide, according to Westlake's Director of Communications Jon Sasser.

Two residents filed for the open position that will run until the end of Sansone's term in May 2025.

Candidates were asked to answer the questions provided in 50 words or less and avoid attacking opponents. Answers may have been edited or cut to adhere to those guidelines, or for style and clarity.

David Ricci

Experience: Leadership, decision making, strategic planning and mediation skills, appreciation of community

Occupation: Entrepreneur, business strategist and investor

Contact Information: 214-636-6331

Why are you running for office?

I am running for the same reason I put my name in for and sit on the Planning and Zoning Commission. I firmly believe that one can complain but unless they get involved their voice will not be heard. I feel that my background and skills will help position the ...

What are the biggest challenges facing the city?

I believe the number one issue facing the town is that the current council is not working together.  They seem to not want to collaborate on issues. That leads to the other issues facing to the town. None of them are so big that they cannot be resolved.

How do you plan to address these issues?

The first thing I will do is be present and visible for the community. I will look for the communities insights. I will be public servant for the community, making decisions for the town, not just me. My experience as an entrepreneur and as a business strategist provide the skill ...

What would your top priorities be if you are elected?

Community: Our identity as a Hallmark small town, distinctive by design, needs preservation. Let's ensure we hold on to our unique charm amidst larger cities. / Westlake Academy: Establishing the right leadership and structure to develop a long-term strategy is crucial. The board should oversee, not micromanage, school operations. / Comprehensive Strategic ...

Mike Asselta

Experience: Former health care president & COO, revenues >$10B; Business owner; land development, construction, ecommerce, manufacturing, cattle

Occupation: Private investor

Contact Information: [email protected]

 Why are you running for office?

This is a remarkable opportunity for collaborative leaders to serve our town and lend team building, financial and strategic planning skills. Westlake is at a tipping point, with an urgent need to represent all residents, guide significant projects and our school, while updating plans to keep Westlake distinct.

What are the biggest challenges facing the city?

Approved residential projects will increase our population by 25% by 2026, and languishing commercial development needs to be energized.  Our budgets are pressured by infrastructure and public safety needs, and investments required to keep Westlake exceptional. At Westlake Academy, navigating leadership decisions and school choice legislation are pressing issues.

How do you plan to address these issues?

Westlake’s growth demands immediate planning and execution to restore collaboration among town council members, advance relationships with landowners and developers, create clear direction for town management and Westlake Academy administrators, and guide new home communities and commercial development, while strategically investing in our town’s infrastructure and assets.

What would your top priorities be if you are elected?

Generate new sales and property tax revenue through smart development along 114 and 170 highways, while preserving our pastoral core. Affirm Westlake Academy's mission to deliver world class education while achieving financial sustainability. Update strategic plans and budgets to enhance our assets and address infrastructure.