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Election day is right around the corner. Saturday, May 7th. Westlake residents will cast their votes for Mayor and Town Council. Raj Trivedi, who has been a member of our Council since 2020, has chosen not to seek re-election so we'll welcome at least one new council member this May.
During this election cycle, we have a race for Mayor, with two candidates filing, and a total of two seats available on the Town Council with three people seeking to fill those spots. This means that the top two candidates who receive the majority of the votes will fill the available Council seats. Anyone who runs for election as a Town Council member also serves on Westlake Academy’s Board of Trustees – thus, they serve as both a council member and a school board member. The elected officials meet at least two evenings per month, attend budget and planning meetings, serve on various committees around the Metroplex, and represent Westlake with both our neighboring community members and serve as a conduit of information for our residents.
Below are biographies of each candidate in the order in which they will appear on the ballot.
How long have you lived in Westlake? My husband and our family moved here in 2005.
Why do you want to run for Mayor? I am seeking re-election so that I may continue to play a vital role in Westlake’s growth and development as an oasis of natural beauty amidst an ever-expanding urban landscape. During my tenure as Mayor, I have overseen a mind-boggling number of changes that have combined to create the Westlake that we all know and love. To name a few: our population has more than doubled, as has the number of our premier residential neighborhoods; Deloitte University became a reality; dead-end FM1938 developed into a four-lane thoroughfare; we have added miles of walking and biking trails; Westlake Academy, the Town managed International Baccalaureate charter school, became nationally recognized and now routinely sends graduates to some of the nation’s highest-ranked colleges and universities; and Charles Schwab relocated its national headquarters here.
All that being said, the Town of Westlake is still approximately 50% undeveloped, with the majority of that land held by one owner. Proven, experienced leadership is essential to maintaining our trajectory of blending preservation with progress in the development of premier residential and corporate communities. To quote the CEO of one of our major corporate partners, “We need to keep the ball in the fairway.”
Why are you the best candidate? I am a proven, experienced, and effective leader of the Town of Westlake and am passionate about my service. Although a small Town, we are surprisingly complex. As such, we require leadership that grasps the complexities of a multi-faceted organization. My experience as a corporate securities lawyer at some of Dallas’ largest law firms has proven to be an invaluable asset in understanding and managing complicated Town and School issues as they arise.
Through my experience as Mayor, I have acquired a deep and broad understanding of how Westlake functions. I have strong working relationships with our highly sophisticated corporate partners with whom I routinely interface and negotiate. I am respected by, and work incredibly well with our dedicated, long-tenured, and talented Town staff. I have cultivated strong working relationships with every Town council member with whom I have served, with but one exception - which has not been for the lack of trying. I have a deep understanding of Westlake Academy, charter schools, and the International Baccalaureate program the Academy implements. I believe the experienced, effective, and engaged leadership I provide is critical to protecting and building upon the quality-of-life amenities and assets that are inspiring so many to seek out the Town of Westlake and Westlake Academy.
How long have you lived in Westlake? I have been a proud resident of Westlake for 8 years.
Why do you want to run for Mayor? I love Westlake and bought the closest house to the school so I could walk my children to and from school. I chose Westlake based on the stellar reputation of Westlake Academy and the town's natural beauty. As a resident, I want to be confident that our elected representatives are continuously striving to strike the right balance of preserving what we hold dear while making necessary investments to allow for inevitable growth. This, in my opinion, will allow Westlake to maintain its status as one of the most desirable places to live in North Texas. Further, I believe we need constant self-evaluation of our school, administration, town governance, and structure to make sure we have the appropriate talent and bandwidth to adequately manage both school and town priorities. I am running for Mayor because I believe we can do a better job of inclusion, evaluation, transparency, and execution across both school and town initiatives.
Why are you the best candidate? My background spans 20 years in both government and private sector roles, where operational structures, budgets, and processes were critical to success. As a West Point graduate and former Army intelligence officer, I have experience in evaluating complex problems, overseeing staffing needs, and driving results in a timely fashion. Westlake is approaching an inflection point in its rapid development, and I believe I am best fit to lead the town’s growth endeavors, placing emphasis toward thoroughly evaluating and efficiently executing the town’s priorities, and drive to execution. Our current governance structure, where the town has one “CEO” that oversees the school and the town, is obsolete. This design may have been appropriate for Westlake in 1960 when the population was a mere 112. But today, with a population of approximately 1,800 and a projected population of roughly 7,000 by 2040, our infrastructure is ill-prepared to sustain this growth. It is time to seriously consider a transition in leadership, one with relevant experience, new energy, and fresh perspectives. I believe the town council in its current form does not adequately represent the broad interests of residents. We currently have a few people with disproportionate ability to steer the town as they see fit. As Mayor, I want to separate the town manager and school superintendent roles. I think these roles require vastly different backgrounds and deserve singular attention. I also want to delegate power and bring more talented residents into the fold, something residents have demonstrated the willingness to do. Some of the impacts of our outdated structure include:
1) high teacher turnover with little evidence to suggest improvement
2) grossly outdated and dangerous facilities (portables and athletic facilities) with no update to a master plan for 10 years, and
3) languishing commercial projects that have no apparent oversight or sense of urgency to complete.
As a whole, the town needs a current long-term plan for Westlake Academy, which I would like to complete in a 120- day time frame. Furthermore, I would immediately pursue a comprehensive analysis to hold our development partners’ feet to the fire. Our town has experienced several mishaps such as the public improvement district delays/issues and the events that led up to the new fire station.
How long have you lived in Westlake? My family and I have lived in Westlake for over 11 years and feel fortunate to call this home. My wife, Quin, and I have two boys: Maguire 16, and Jack 14. Maguire attended Westlake Academy K-6 and is currently at EA Young in a gifted and talented program. Jack is in his 10th year at Westlake Academy, as a freshman and involved in football, basketball, and track teams.
I am originally from Dallas and attended New Mexico Military Institute for High School. I received my undergraduate degree in business from the University of North Texas and my MBA from the University of Notre Dame. I currently serve as Vice Chairman on the New Mexico Military Institute Foundation Board, which is responsible for an $80 million portfolio.
Professionally, I spent 35 years in financial services with JPMorgan Chase, Citi Bank, Nationstar Mortgage, and most recently Citizens Bank. Over my career, I have managed thousands of employees and have been responsible for billions in mortgage servicing portfolios and annual mortgage originations. I have a great understanding of managing people, budgets, processes, and technologies. I was always successful at optimizing my organizations. I retired in April 2021.
Why do you want to run for Town Council? We love Westlake and are so appreciative for what all our past and current elected officials and leaders have done to make Westlake what it is today. But I’m also excited about the opportunities I see in front of us, both for our town and school.
We started attending the Town Council meetings in November, specifically around Westlake Academy issues but became interested in the overall management of our town. Attending the meetings gave me a better understanding of our town’s challenges and opportunities. I have spent time with past and present teachers, principals, and coaches, which is important because as you may or may not be aware, our Town Council is also the School Board for Westlake Academy. You also may not know that Westlake is unique in being the only town in Texas that manages a school under the Council-Manager form of government.
Why are you the best candidate? I am running for Town Council because I feel I can use my background and experiences to optimize our town and school’s potential. I feel there is a real need in our community to manage and deliver future decisions in a timely and transparent manner, all while listening and communicating effectively to our residents and academic staff.
I feel the Town Council needs a new voice that represents fresh opinions and ideas. Many members have been in their seats for 8+ years. Based on what I have witnessed, it’s time for some renewed energy.
My promise if elected is to create a healthy relationship between residents and Town Council, where all concerns and feedback are actively encouraged and most importantly, where elected officials make themselves available to open dialogue with all residents and Westlake Academy staff.
How long have you lived in Westlake? 15 years
Why do you want to run for Town Council? My reasons for running for re-election are to continue to bring balance and continuity to our community while ensuring Westlake’s high standards for distinctive growth and development are maintained.
Why are you the best candidate? Last May we gained two new council members. It takes time to establish cohesive momentum in the midst of a vast learning curve. The wealth of experience and institutional knowledge I have gained over the past 8 years of serving our community in the roles of Trustee of Westlake Academy and Town Council is vital to us achieving equilibrium and not stalling our progress.
How long have you lived in Westlake? My family and I have been residents of Westlake for nine years.
Why do you want to run for Town Council? Five of our children attend Westlake Academy and our sixth is due to start Kindergarten in 2023. My wife, Emma, attends Westlake Academy on a near-daily basis where she supports teachers who require extra help in the classroom or may need a personal day. As our involvement within Westlake has grown, so too has our ability to listen and respond to the differing needs of our community. If I am elected to Town Council, my promise to each family, teacher, parent, resident, and staff member of Westlake is as follows:
1. I will protect Westlake Academy and its IB heritage and culture.
2. I will ensure Westlake adopts smart and sustainable growth.
3. I will always serve with integrity, honesty, and transparency.
Why are you the best candidate? I have been involved in international corporate finance for over 20 years. I hold an undergraduate degree in physics and three advanced degrees in the fields of finance, accounting, and taxation. I attended university in the United Kingdom, graduating from both Imperial College, London, and The London Business School. I sit on the Board of Directors of a US subsidiary of a publicly-traded European investment bank and oversee compliance with its US activities. I am regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which oversees activities in relation to securities sales, bond offerings, trading, and investment banking.
This role has required extensive federal and international background checks, ongoing regulatory oversight, client scrutiny, and rigorous corporate evaluation. In 2009, I founded a financial services firm that has worked with some of the largest energy, infrastructure, and real estate companies in Europe and the US. By way of example, my group helped to finance a €100 million student housing development in the center of Paris. We developed and financed three biomass-fired power plants in the outskirts of Milan, Italy. In my career, we have raised over $8.5 billion for client infrastructure projects, including a large mixed-use development in downtown Fort Worth.
I believe that my international background, education, and professional career will bring critical skills and experience to Town Council and will help navigate the complexities of town budgets, forecasts, tax rolls, bond offerings, public-private partnerships with corporate neighbors, and the design and execution of development agreements with respect to our ambitious commercial projects.
I am excited to undertake a role in public service and to bring positive change to Westlake through thoughtful, honest, and transparent governance. I feel honored, and very well positioned, to be an advocate for so many voices.