Meet Two of Your HP Town Council Candidates

Two candidates are running for mayor and six are running for Town Council seats in Highland Park’s May 4 election.

Each candidate was given the opportunity to fill out a People Newspapers questionnaire about their candidacy.

We received responses from Will C. Beecherl (incumbent mayoral candidate) and Lydia Novakov (incumbent Town Council candidate). Mayoral candidate Sam Tamborello declined to fill out the questionnaire but said he is “available for a live public debate, otherwise my campaign information can be found on Facebook under Sam Tamborello.”

We didn’t hear from Town Council candidates Marc Myers, Don Snell, Leland White, Alan Friedman, or Bob Tabesh.

See responses from Beecherl and Novakov below.

Mayoral Candidate: Incumbent Will C. Beecherl

Please provide a brief “elevator pitch” for your campaign in 100 words or fewer.

I grew up in Highland Park and never took for granted the excellence in service provided by the town staff and public safety. After serving one term as mayor, I am honored to be endorsed by the Highland Park Community League for mayor and the chance to serve a second term. This last year has been a year of transition whereas we hired a new town administrator and new public safety chief, both of whom will exceed the expectations of our citizens.

Please give a quick bio about yourself.

I graduated HPHS, then UT at Austin with a B.S. in petroleum engineering. I have worked in the energy business my whole life as well as managed our family ranches the last 20 years. After a few years in Oklahoma City and west Texas, I moved my family back to HP in 1994. My wife, Kay, and I raised four children who are all married and cumulatively have our seven grandchildren. We are most proud of our children and grandchildren.

What do you think is the main issue facing Highland Park residents right now? And what do you plan to do about it?

The main issues involving HP residents are parking in and around shopping venues, SMU Ford Stadium and Knox Street. Love Field flight noise is another issue we are addressing with Love Field. Burglary of motor vehicles (BMV) is one of our most frequent public safety issues. I would be remiss if I did not implore upon our citizens to remove your keys and valuables and lock your car doors.

How do you plan to tackle issues in the community?

We are hiring a city planning firm to study and propose traffic, parking, land use, etc. This will most likely take more than a year to complete. Love Field noise abatement is a challenge; however we believe our concerns will be heard by the FAA, but they may require some encouragement.

What does Highland Park do well? 

The adage, people move to HP for the schools and stay for the public safety still rings true today. Our public safety is outstanding; nowhere else in Texas can you dial 911 and have an officer at your door within two minutes who is trained as a police officer, fireman, and paramedic. They are a truly remarkable and capable agency. Our parks are a source of pride, and it will be nice to have Lakeside reopened this spring.

If elected, what are your goals?

My goals will be to implement a traffic/parking plan that is sustainable for the next 10-20 years. This may entail roadway/intersection redesigns. We are fortunate to have a smart and dedicated staff at HP. As a council, it is our job to provide feedback and direction to assist them in continuing to make improvements and maintain this community to the highest standards for the benefit for all our residents.

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I am the best candidate for this position because I have served this community for many years, to list a few: served as a Town Council member, Armstrong Dad’s Club president, the HP Education Foundation ending as president, the PCYMCA board and later as co-chair of the Moody YMCA capital campaign. On a more regional level, I have served in various capacities for the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, served as president of the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, served as chairman of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, as well as various other philanthropic organizations. I would like to build on the momentum created in my first term and continue with the council to contribute to the town’s bright future.

Town Council Candidate: Incumbent Lydia Novakov

Please provide a brief “elevator pitch” for your campaign in 100 words or fewer.

Civic responsibility is paramount to the present and future of our town, and when asked to serve, it is an honor to answer the call.

Please give a quick bio about yourself.

Lived in Highland Park for 29 years, native Dallasite.

Ursuline Academy ’68; Saint Mary’s College ’72 B.A.; University of Notre Dame ’76 M.A.

Highland Park Town Council Member, elected 2020.

Served on various civic and charitable organizations, including Hoblitzelle Foundation, UT Southwestern President’s Advisory Council, Southwestern Medical Foundation, Highland Park Quality of Life Foundation, The Senior Source, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Catholic Foundation, Junior League of Dallas, Crystal Charity Ball, and Charter 100.

What do you think is the main issue facing Highland Park residents right now? And what do you plan to do about it?

Aging infrastructure; parking and traffic.

How do you plan to tackle issues in the community?

Communication with our residents and other interested parties is key to finding solutions to the issues facing our community; willingness to work together; and proactive rather than reactive urban planning is essential. 

What does Highland Park do well? 

Keeps a keen eye to the future, especially with capital Improvements; remains financially diligent and fiscally responsible.

Works well with other local municipalities.

Our public safety officers are some of the best trained and professional public servants in the country; triple trained as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics with response time at the top of the industry.

Town is beautifully maintained.

Dedicated and responsive Town staff that engages with residents.

If elected what are your goals?

Maintain and enhance the “neighborhood feel;” work to find appropriate solutions to issues; and preserve the town’s stellar financial standing.

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

It’s been an honor to serve on the Town Council the last four years and to be endorsed for re-election by the Highland Park Community League.

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