John Willis, Mayor Pro Tem and District 5 Council Member, was elected in May 2008. Mr. Willis is a Garland native. In fact, he, his wife and daughter live in the same neighborhood where he grew up.
“After I earned my Economics degree from UT, I could have stayed in Austin, but I came back to my hometown because there is no better place to live, work, and raise a family than Garland, Texas,” says Mr. Willis.
Mr. Willis has worked with his father and older brother for many years building, remodeling and roofing houses. On his own, he has bought and renovated several older homes. He says he enjoys preserving the charm and character of Garland’s established neighborhoods.
Mr. Willis says he has a passion for the City’s neighborhoods and believes investment in those neighborhoods will result in an improved city for all. “Being involved in home renovations for as long as I can remember, it seems I’ve always been working on neighborhood vitality in Garland. I decided to run for City Council because I felt that with my economics training and experience revitalizing homes and neighborhoods, I could offer real, proactive solutions to the serious problems we face in District 5, and all of Garland.”
Before running for City Council, Mr. Willis served on the Garland Board of Adjustment. He is also an active member of the Chandler Heights Neighborhood Association and an active participant in the English Estates Neighborhood Vitality program area initiatives. In 2006-07, he worked with the City to develop an ordinance to regulate rental homes in a fair manner.
As District 5’s City Council representative, Mr. Willis wants to help bring new businesses and restaurants to his District, support and strengthen the City’s Strategy for Vital Neighborhoods, and increase efficiency of City operations. “Each of these actions will grow the tax base and tax revenues of the city, which can be used to pay for the initiatives and maintain city services,” says Mr. Willis.
When Mr. Willis is not serving his constituents, he enjoys reading (especially with his daughter Lauren), carpentry, working on his 1959 VW Beetle, and cooking. He says he tries new foods at ethnic restaurants and quirky festivals whenever he can.