On this month’s challenge of this journal, you will see a abstract of the expansion our metropolis has realized below the management of Mayor Jeff Williams whose time period in workplace has concluded with the passing of the gavel to our new mayor Jim Ross.
To assist put all that in perspective, let’s take a look at just a little historical past of the setting the place these successes have unfolded.
It has been a privilege to work with Jeff for greater than 30 years in his capability as knowledgeable civil engineer engaged on a number of the metropolis’s main developments, starting from the River Legacy Dwelling Science Middle to the Ballpark in Arlington after which AT&T Stadium.
Alongside the way in which to these high-profile initiatives, he helped with town’s complete planning efforts and superior the work of public schooling by his chairmanship of citizen commissions on behalf of the Arlington Impartial College District.
In his management function with the First Baptist Church, he helped type the three-way partnership with the church, town, and the College of Texas at Arlington to develop the expansive Faculty Park Middle Area and surrounding facilities.
There was by no means a time when he turned down any request to take part and coordinate the work of non-profit and neighborhood service organizations. He was, certainly, the quintessential go-to man when any endeavor wanted a robust chief to realize desired outcomes for the advantage of his fellow residents.
All these outcomes occurred earlier than Jeff turned Arlington’s mayor. I anticipated the time would come when he would emerge into an elective workplace and share his management abilities to boost Arlington’s accomplishments to an excellent larger stage.
Throughout his marketing campaign, I shared the truth that no earlier candidate for mayor had been extra certified to tackle the challenges that workplace at all times locations on its principal elected official. Along with his spouse Karen at all times by his facet, he gained that race in a landslide because the mantle of public belief was positioned on his shoulders. It match him completely.
Six years in the past, our metropolis stood at a kind of turning factors that might form its future. Arlington’s prominence as a significant league metropolis was unsure, the lengthy hoped-for improvement within the leisure district, town’s largest economic system, had not materialized and there was speak of our status because the can-do metropolis having had run its course.
In his marketing campaign, Jeff defined how a vibrant customer and tourism enterprise would make it potential to strengthen Arlington’s neighborhoods and for all its residents to realize a better high quality of life in all of the methods native authorities works to help them day in and day trip.
A yr later, for the fourth time in our historical past, voters overwhelmingly accepted the development of knowledgeable sporting edifice that set into movement all that has adopted, together with expansive improvement within the leisure district that may embrace the Nationwide Medal of Honor Museum.
I’ve typically mirrored on one thing Tom Vandergriff mentioned when he stepped down 44 years in the past after greater than twenty years within the workplace he made well-known. In his humble persona that characterised his reward of public service, he concluded with the chorus, “Maybe now we have simply set the desk.”
There’s a message in that assertion that goes past these phrases that offered a problem for mayors in years to return. He was saying there are extra mountains to climb for a metropolis, on the time, of lower than 150,000 individuals, and future leaders ought to chart the course for ever extra achievements.
That desk has been enlarged repeatedly – the most recent extension so ably constructed by Jeff’s management and now large enough to seat 400,000 residents of broadly various backgrounds.
Whereas Jeff not occupies the mayor’s workplace at metropolis corridor, we will be assured that his and Karen’s love for our metropolis will at all times lead to a continued function of serving to to guarantee that our metropolis’s finest days are those that lie forward.