Thursday, March 23, 2023

Mayor Laura Hill Wins Southlake Chamber Citizen of the Year Award

The Southlake Chamber of Commerce named Mayor Laura Hill the Chamber Citizen of the Year during the 2018 Chamber Awards Banquet “Bollywood Nights.”

According to the Chamber, the award is given annually to the Southlake citizen whose unparalleled efforts and service make the City of Southlake a better place for everyone.

“When you think about the definition of a Citizen of the Year, our very own Mayor Laura Hill is the perfect example,” said Cheryl Fairbanks, Chairperson of the Southlake Chamber Board of Directors. “Mayor Hill is business friendly and has opened new avenues for the business community.”

The Mayor called the evening “An amazing evening of friendship, celebrating the Southlake business community and its spirit of giving. While last night was an Awards Banquet, it was really more of a recognition of Southlake and the common goals we share. The Southlake business community is constantly called upon to make donations, offer free services and support with cash. Their generosity is vital to a healthy community.”

A Southlake resident since Southlake since 1997, Mayor Hill has a long history of passionately serving her community. Starting in 2004, she has been involved in City leadership and a strong supporter of future leaders. From the creation of SPARK (Students and Parents Against Risks to our Kids) and SASO (Scholars and Athletes Serving Others) to the creation of SKIL (Southlake Kids Interested In Leadership), the Mayor’s passion for students serving their community has offered many tremendous the opportunities for hundreds of Southlake children and teens.

The Mayor also hosts the popular “Meet the Mayor” events. The events are designed to introduce residents to different Southlake businesses that are often unique to the community.

Mayor Hill is the co-owner of Downey Publishing and Texas Ice Cream. She is the founder and executor for the Downey Art for Education Trust, Advisory Board & Past Board Chair for the Recovery Resource Council of Tarrant County and an Advisory Board Member, Texas State Dyslexia Licensing Committee.

SPARK Offers School Safety Community Conversation

For the City of Southlake, community conversations about school security have been going on since 2012 and on March 28, that dialog will continue with a special SPARK meeting at The Marq Southlake starting at 7:00 p.m.

“Since the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012, as a community, we have actively pursued through action and words better protection and security in our schools,” said Mayor Laura Hill. “This opportunity will further that conversation with parents about what they can do at home talking with their kids, and what we can do as a community.”

From its inception in 2007, SPARK has created a safe place for Southlake parents to have honest and sometimes tough conversations. Topics range from drugs and alcohol abuse to self-harm and suicide.

“Carroll ISD is proud to be a strong partner with SPARK and the City of Southlake Police Department,” said Carroll ISD Superintendent Dr. David Faltys. “I’m looking forward to taking part in this meeting so we can learn from each other and talk about ideas for the future.”

Mayor Hill will moderate the discussion with Police Chief James Brandon and Dr. Faltys serving as panelists. Also in attendance, the Southlake DPS School Resource Officers as well as the principals and counselors from many of the CISD schools.

“In this day and age having an open discussion about what school safety means for our kids is so important,” Hill added. “The City and CISD have dedicated a vast amount of time and resources to creating a safe environment. Combine that with actively involved parents, that’s a force that’s hard to beat.”

The parents-only panel discussion takes place March 28 at The Marq Southlake, 285 Shady Oaks, starting at 7:00 p.m.

Council members Present Proclamation to Celebrate Arbor Day

The City’s executive leadership team helped Council members Chad Patton and Christopher Archer celebrate Arbor Day in November by planting trees and flowers to help enrich the local environment.

The proclamation, issued by Mayor Laura Hill reads…

in 1872, J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting and nurturing of trees, and in 2017, we are celebrating the 145th anniversary of Arbor Day which is now observed throughout the nation and the world; and,

Whereas, this holiday, called Arbor Day, was first observed in Nebraska with the planting of more than a million trees, which can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce life-giving oxygen, and provide a habitat for wildlife; and,

Whereas, trees are a renewable resource giving us paper, wood for our homes, and fuel for our fires. They also beautify our community and are a source of spiritual renewal; now,

Therefore, I, Mayor Laura Hill, on behalf of the City Council, urge all residents to celebrate Arbor Day in November and to support efforts to plant trees, and to recognize all the ways trees enrich our lives and stabilize our environment.


National Police Week Proclamation

Mayor Laura Hill presented the proclamation for National Police Week proclamation on Monday, May 15, 2017.

There are more than 900,000 law enforcement officers serving in communities across the United States, including sixty six sworn members of the Southlake Police Department; and,

Whereas, some 60,000 assaults against law enforcement officers are reported each year, resulting in approximately 16,000 injuries; and,

Whereas, since the first recorded death in 1791, more than 21,000 law enforcement officers in the United States have made the ultimate sacrifice and been killed in the line of duty; and,

Whereas, the names of these dedicated public servants are engraved on the walls  of  the

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. with 143 new names being added to the Memorial this spring; and,

Whereas, May 15th is designated as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, with federal law (United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 §7) directing that all flags be flown at half-staff on that date in honor of fallen officers and their families; and,

Whereas, the safety of our citizenry greatly depends on the services of the Southlake Police

Officers, as well as the many local, state and federal agencies that make up the law enforcement community in Tarrant County; now,

Therefore, I, Mayor Laura Hill, on behalf of the City Council, do hereby proclaim the week of May 15-21, 2017, as National Police Week and Monday, May 15, 2017, as National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, and urge Southlake residents and civic organizations to salute our dedicated law enforcement professionals.

Panel to Discuss How Aviation Changed Southlake

On August 15, as part of the “Taking Flight: How aviation changed North Texas and Southlake” exhibit displayed currently in Town Hall, a panel of key figures of Southlake and its history will be exploring the economic impact that aviation has had on the City of Southlake.

The discussion will mainly be over the effects of D/FW International Airport on the city of Southlake, its businesses and residents. Panelists are set to include, Mayor Laura Hill, Former Mayor and current Tarrant County Commissioner, Gary Fickes, former Southlake Economic Development Director, Greg Last, President of Cooper and Stebbins, Frank Bliss, Longtime area residential realtor, Lou Hillman, and D/FW International Airport VP of Commercial Development, John Terrell. The event will take place from 6:30 PM to 8 PM, Monday, Aug. 15, in the City Council chambers, also in Southlake Town Hall.

The panel is free and open to the public.
The exhibit in the lobby of Town Hall and the Southlake Library is open to the public 10 AM – 8 PM,
Monday through Thursday and 10 AM – 6 PM Friday and Saturday. The library is closed on Sunday.

For more information go to or call Connie Cooley at 817-223-9606.

Exhibit Looks at How Aviation Changed Southlake

For more than 100 years aviation has played a significant role in shaping North Texas. From the 1950s, 12 or more landing strips, most of them grass, allowed pilots young and old to take to the skies over then-rural Southlake.

In the 1960s, Ted and Eleanor Kasper built the Lazy K Acres airfield on their 50 acres. Today, Carrol High School sits on the site.

Since 1964 when the U.S. Civil Aeronautical Board ordered Dallas and Fort Worth city leaders to come up with an agreed upon location for a joint airport, Dallas Fort Worth Regional Airport (today’s D/FW International Airport) has had an impact on the city of Southlake, its businesses and residents.

Those topics will be explored August 15 in a panel discussion that’s part of the exhibit “Taking Flight: How aviation changed North Texas and Southlake” on display in Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main Street, through Aug. 20.

The exhibit features colorful panels on loan from the Tarrant County Archives that chronicle area-wide aviation events from 1911 into the 21st century. Other panels tell the story of Southlake families and their grass airstrips, popular from 1950s through the 1990s.

Honorary co-chairs are Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes, Southlake Mayor Laura Hill, former Southlake Mayor John Terrell, and longtime Southlake resident and private pilot Zena Rucker.

The Main exhibit is in the lobby of Town hall. Photographs, maps and aviator memorabilia from the Tarrant County Archives are being displayed with the main exhibit as well as in the Southlake Library, on the first floor of Town Hall.

An opening reception and a paper airplane event for children have been held.

A panel discussion on Aug. 1 will focus on the grass airstrips in Southlake and feature stories about a time when it was commonplace to see small airplanes flying around the area. Panelists will include Zena Rucker and her son Dooley Rucker; Kathy Kasper Frank, whose parents owned the Lazy K airstrip where Carroll High School is now; and commercial airline pilots Steve White and David “Rusty” Rhodes, who began flying as teenagers. It will take place from 6:30-8 p.m., in the Southlake Town Hall City Council chamber.


This sign, circa 1968, was erected on the Grapevine Prairie as the then-DFW Regional Airport was under construction. Photo courtesy of Dallas-Fort Worth

A second panel discussion, Monday, Aug. 15, explores the impact of D/FW International Airport on the city of Southlake, its businesses and residents. John Terrell, VP of Commercial Developement DFW International Airport and former Southlake mayor will moderate. Panelists will include Southlake Mayor Laura Hill, former Southlake mayor and now Tarrant County Commisioner Gary Fickes, Cooper and Stebbins (developers of Town Square) president Frank Bliss, Greg Last, former Southlake economic development director and longtime Realtor Lou Hillman. It will take place from 6:30-8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 15, City Council chamber, also in Southlake Town Hall.

All events are free and open to the public. The exhibit in the lobby of Town Hall and the Southlake Library will be open to the public 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The library is closed on Sunday.

Watch for any new information. Questions? Contact Connie Cooley at 817-223-9606.

(The photo featured at the top of the article shows Ted Kasper posing with his son Gary next to their antique Waco UPF-7 airplane. The Kasper family built two grass airstrips on their property in Southlake in the 1960s.)

Sister Cities Delegation arrives from Tome

On Wednesday, March 23 a Sister Cities delegation of students from Tome, Japan will arrive in North Texas. As part of their trip delegates will tour Southlake, meet Mayor Laura Hill, visit Johnson Elementary School, and also tour DPS North.

After their visit to the DFW area, Southlake Sister Cities will be hosting a Sayonara Potluck Party for the departing Tome students. The party will be Saturday, March 26 at 6:00 PM in Southlake Town Hall on the 3rd floor. The event is open to the public, please bring your family and friends.

For more information on this and other programs and events, please contact Southlake Parks and Recreation at (817) 748-8019 or visit
SSC will provide meat and drinks. Arigato in advance!!

Filing for General Election Closes

vote_ballot_boxThe filing period is over for Southlake’s May 9th general election.  A total of four candidates have filed for two offices.

Carolyn Morris and Laura Hill have both filed as Mayoral candidates.  Morris is currently is the Place 2 Council member.  She has reached the two term limit per the City’s charter.  Hill is currently the Mayor Pro Tem.

For Place 2, Sean McCaskill and Pamela A. Muller have filed their candidacy.  McCaskill recently stepped down from the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission.  Muller is a former City Council member.

Two special elections will also be held on May 9th.  One will concern a special sales tax election that would ask voters to consider a reduction of the Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD) rate from 1/2 cent to 1/8 cent.  It would then create a new Type A Economic Development Corporation to fund the construction and operations of The Marq Southlake and to allow for the promotion of economic development.

The second special election will fill a vacancy due to the resignation of Laura Hill, Place 5.  The term expires May 2016.  The filing period for this special election began February 18, 2015 and will conclude at 5:00 p.m. on March 9, 2015.

For more information on filing for Place 5 please visit the City’s election information webpage.

Important Voting Deadlines

  • April 9, 2015, Last day to register to vote in the May 9, 2015 General Election
  • April 27, 2015, First day of early voting
  • May 5, 2015, Last day of early voting
  • May 9, 2015, Saturday Election Day

Additional election information can be found on the City’s website If you have questions about the election process please call the City Secretary’s office at (817) 748-8016.


Filing Is Open for May 2015 General Election


Candidate filing is open for the May 2015 General Election

Filing began Wednesday, January 28th, for the May 9, 2015 General Election for Mayor and City Council, Place 2.  Those who are interested in filing for office can do so now in the City Secretary’s Office during regular business hours through 5:00 p.m. on February 27, 2015.

Important Candidate Filing Dates

  • January 28, 2015, First day to file for general election candidacy
  • February 27, 2015, Last day to file for general election candidacy

The City of Southlake is situated in two counties–Denton and Tarrant.  Please click on appropriate link to determine if you are registered to vote.  In order to vote in the May 9, 2015 General Election, a citizen must be registered to vote no later than April 9, 2015.  Voters are required to present an approved form of photo identification in order to vote in all Texas elections.  Click here for acceptable forms of identification.

Important Voting Deadlines

  • April 9, 2015, Last day to register to vote in the May 9, 2015 General Election
  • April 27, 2015, First day of early voting
  • May 5, 2015, Last day of early voting
  • May 9, 2015, Saturday Election Day

Additional election information can be found on the City’s website  If you have questions about the election process please call the City Secretary’s office at (817) 748-8016.