To my fellow citizens of Highland Park:
On May 17, 2022, I served my last day on our Town Council as a member, the previous two as mayor pro tem. I have reached the quite appropriate term limit of six years.
It has been a privilege to be part of our governing body in this remarkable community. I have had the distinct pleasure of serving two dedicated mayors: during 2016-18, Joel Williams, and during 2018-2022, Margo Goodwin. From 2008 through 2016, I also served on the Zoning Commission.
Every mayor works long hours with the experienced and skilled town staff, led admirably by Bill Lindley, and each mayor develops a good understanding of the town’s operations and issues. The five council members, on the other hand, are tasked with asking the right questions of our staff and probing (politely) the mayor’s approach to each issue in order to guide decisions and policy. I hope I asked the right questions over the years and that our collective, constructive dialogue helped steer the governmental ship through calm waters. My votes on issues were guided by thoughtful analysis and with an ear to all of you who live here, many of whom contacted me over the years.
My affection for Highland Park is deep-seated. A young boy at Bradfield cannot understand how his environment shapes him until years after the fact, and then appreciation swells, especially as he recalls that defining question posed by his education-minded parents when moving from St. Louis in 1953: What is the best public school system in Dallas? A home on Belclaire was duly purchased. Years later, when attending HPHS, a traditional rite of passage also involved Highland Park – my first job. During the mayoral tenure of Bill Seay Sr., conveniently our next-door neighbor, I was hired at 17 in the summer of 1965 to water our beautiful parks (pre-automatic sprinklers). Forty-four hours a week for $1.10 per hour, good suntan included! With this history, you can understand my pleasure during my time in office with being involved in the restoration and upgrades of both Fairfax Park and Douglas Park. Enjoy these wonderful places. Lastly, I must smile upon the irony of driving to the “dump” while a teenage employee of HP to empty trash to the present era when the town sold this property located in the industrial district for many millions of dollars to a respected real estate developer while I was on the council. An unexpected but fitting denouement!
Respectfully, David Dowler