Tate, who was born and raised within the city, has over 45 years of experience in public service. He first served as city attorney for Grapevine from 1969-72. He was elected as a City Council member in 1972 and mayor in 1973, according to the city's website. He served as mayor until 1985, when he lost re-election. He was elected again in 1988 and has retained that title ever since.
Considered one of the longest-serving mayors in Texas and the nation, Tate has shown his commitment to the city by winning another three-year term May 1.
“I didn’t want to see my life’s work suddenly start unwinding at this point in my career,” Tate said. “[The council and I] talked about it and decided that this wasn’t a good time to change.”
Decades of public service have allowed Tate to check many projects off his list. He oversaw Grapevine's development from a rural farming community into what he calls an “international hospitality community.”
“I think we've created a blueprint for future cities in America here,” he said.
Projects have ranged from the Grapevine Mills mall to the newly completed Grapevine Main Station as well as the revamping of historic Main Street into the tourist destination it is today.
“I've been pretty committed to the city for a long, long time, and [so has] my family," he said. "I don't really have a bucket list. I [have] pretty well done everything that I wanted to do."
Tate said he still has a few projects to accomplish in the next three years. He said he hopes he can bring a grocery store to the northern side of town and work on rebuilding the city’s restaurant district. He said he also wants to oversee the study of the Grapevine Fire Department to address staffing issues. Other major projects include the redevelopment of Dallas Road and the completion of the Silver Lake Marina expansion.
“You don’t have a lot of control over economic development because we don’t build the businesses,” Tate said. “There has to be a market for them and a need for them. You have to create that environment for them to come.”
Tate said he will continue to address the Grapevine ordinance allowing small apartments to be built in the historic district. Tate said the ordinance, passed when the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport was being constructed decades ago, was not good planning.
“The experts were all wrong,” he said. “It always bothers me because they shouldn’t have ever been there. ... We caught them in time that they were minimized, but the relics are still there.”
Tate said he is not slowing down. In addition to his mayoral duties, he continues to run his own law practice on Main Street.
“I still enjoy practicing law," he said. "It keeps you healthy, keeps you active, keeps your mind good.”
He said he is also working to publish a book on his days growing up in Grapevine.
“I want to get all of my other history writings in some kind of form where they can be left [behind], and people can enjoy them,” he said.