Hollywood Park City Council unanimously voted May 23 to appoint engineer Chester Drash to fill the Place 1 council seat.

Drash replaces former Council Member Sean Moore, who was elected mayor in the May 7 election. Drash was chosen to fill Moore’s Place 1 term, which expires in May 2023.

Drash was one of four residents who applied with the city for the Place 1 post before the May 10 deadline.

Drash, Del Gallivan, Laura Heard and Dale Randol all appeared at the special May 23 council meeting to introduce themselves and answer questions posed by elected city leaders.

Drash said he has been a Hollywood Park resident since last summer, when he and his wife, Jill, moved into their new home on a property they originally acquired in 2014.

City officials said Drash sought to run for mayor in the May 7 election, but at the February filing deadline, Drash had not yet met residency criteria.

Drash earned two civil engineering degrees from The University of Houston in the 1970s and has created and merged two engineering businesses with two consulting ventures. He is the president and board chair of Alabama-based firm TTL, which has a North San Antonio office.

Addressing Council Member Todd Kounse’s question about how the community is changing, good or bad, Drash said Hollywood Park being landlocked can be a negative because there is little chance to significantly grow the city’s revenue stream to maintain the quality of life that residents have come to expect.

“To do all that and live in a community, we have to make sure we’re fiscally sound, and we need to, I think, have a good strategic plan for the future, for other councils to come in and look at a road map,” Drash said.

Drash also said, with strong leadership and adequate financial resources, residents and merchants will want to stay in Hollywood Park for years. He also said his civil engineering experience will help to address basic, vital city matters, such as road and drainage maintenance.

Resident and Drash supporter Mark Walker was the lone May 23 meeting attendee to voice backing for any of the Place 1 applicants, saying he has known Drash for years and thinks fondly of him personally and professionally.

“[Drash] is a man who isn’t afraid to work. He’s shown his ability to succeed in business. He’s honest, ethical, truthful and transparent in his business dealings. He’s friendly and compassionate to his friends,” Walker said.

Moore complimented all candidates, saying they all reflect a wealth of talent possessed by Hollywood Park residents, and he urged the other three applicants to volunteer with the city in some capacity.

“We appreciate your willingness to serve,” Moore told the applicants.

Following the interviews, three councilors said they preferred Drash, although Council Member Glenna Pearce initially said she felt it was a race of sorts between Drash and Randol.

Council Member Wendy Gonzalez also said Randol was her preference, but in the end, the council unanimously chose Drash.