Keller City Council extended its disaster declaration on March 17 for another 90 days.
Mayor Pat McGrail will not seek re-election after serving four terms as mayor and nearly three decades on City Council. When McGrail first began serving in local government, the city of Keller had a population just north of 11,000 people. That number is now well over 40,000, he said.
“Citizens need to look at each and every person, their record and make a decision for themselves,” McGrail said about the candidates. “We’re sitting here in the middle of one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States. You can’t stop growth, but you can try and control it.”
Instrumental in a number of major projects completed by the city of Keller in the past 30 years, McGrail oversaw the completion of multiple fire and police stations, master-planned communities, recreation centers, city parks and a new Keller Town Hall.
The city of Keller has become a place people want to live and raise a family, with top-of-the-line city services, police and fire, parks and schools, McGrail said.
“People don’t realize how many businesses we have in this town and how big we are,” McGrail said. “It’s really what I always envisioned it to be. We’re known for our quality of life.”
Keller voters will select the next mayor from among three candidates: Tag Green, Mark Mathews and Armin Mizani. They will also choose City Council members for Places 5 and 6 in the May election.
The most high-profile local election in the area, the race for Keller mayor, includes a current council member, a former council member and a former mayor. Keller residents have expressed concerns around a number of issues, such as transportation and infrastructure and high-density housing.
Candidate Tag Green was elected to City Council Place 6 in 2017 and has lived in Keller for almost 15 years. Green has more than four decades of experience in business finance, consulting and management. He has served on Keller City Council as a member of the finance committee, as chairman of the future-land-use-plan task force and as a board member of the Keller Development Corp.
“Keller has grown to a city of almost 45,000 people, and depending on how you categorize parcels and population limits, [it is] 70%-90% built out,” Green said. “At this level of maturity, all issues become more interconnected and complex.”
Green also noted his belief in the importance of building Keller as a family-centered community and in the value local residents place in quality schools, community engagement and local parks.
“We need leaders who lead by example,” Green said. “Leaders reflect the values of Keller’s people because people matter.”
Mark Mathews, who served as mayor of Keller from 2014-2017, is also running for the city’s top office.
Mathews is a former City Council member and has also served on the Zoning Board of Adjustments, he said. He has additional organizational experience as a board member for nonprofit organizations, he said.
“Keller is a great place to live, raise a family, work and play,” Mathews said. “I believe that, and [I] want to work to protect how great Keller is.”
Mathews noted he has experience working in local government and addressing issues, such as the city’s road infrastructure.
Among Mathews’ concerns for the city are unity and the development of multigenerational housing, or housing that is available for multiple generations of the same family, he said.
“We need to provide solutions for all of these generational needs,” Mathews said. “It’s not about what you say; it’s about what you do.”
Place 2 Council Member Armin Mizani, the third candidate for mayor, said he envisions Keller being recognized as “Texas’ Most Family-Friendly City.”
Mizani was first elected to City Council in a special election in December 2014; he was elected to a full three-year term in May 2015. He was also appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2016 to serve on the Texas Vehicle Burglary Prevention Authority.
“As a husband and father to two young kids, I could not be more committed to making sure that Keller is prepared for a prosperous future,” Mizani said. “The vision I share for Keller is an ambitious one.”
Mizani noted the unique family and residential demographics that comprise Keller and commended its 26 miles of hiking and walking trails, which he hopes to maintain.
His ultimate goals will be transparency and long-term planning, he said.
“It means doing all we can to include our residents as part of the decision-making process,” Mizani •said.