Meet Pat McGrail, Mayor of Keller now in his third term. As a community leader in Keller, McGrail has worked to shape the agenda since he moved to the city more than 20 years ago. He is dedicated to helping the city reach its full growth and potential.
As a former airline executive who managed thousands of employees, McGrail is confident in a leadership role. He served on the Keller City Council before winning the post of mayor. McGrail lives in Keller with his wife, Pauline. They are the parents of three grown children.
We wanted to get to know Mayor McGrail a little better and he was gracious enough to answer a few questions.
Dawn Tongish: Keller is an established community that is always growing. What projects are on the horizon that will improve the quality of life for citizens?
Pat McGrail: One of the things I’m excited about this coming year is the major expansion and update of The Keller Pointe. That facility is unique as the only city-owned recreation facility in Texas whose operating expenses are self-supported by membership and program fees; it’s something the citizens enjoy and take pride in, and one of the many things that bring people to Keller. We’re actually dedicating a lot of money this year to the parks and trail system, into updating existing parks and building a new one near Shady Grove Elementary School. We’ll also be working on accessibility, expanding a couple of key intersections to make them safer and more efficient, and reconstructing several residential streets. On the economic development side, we’ll see the opening of a movie theater this year as well as a high-end childcare facility and more choices for shopping and dining.
DT: What makes Keller stand out among the surrounding communities?
PM: The quality of life — that’s what brought me to Keller and what brings most citizens to Keller. We have a small-town feel, but with all the big-city amenities as well as a wonderful school system, beautiful parks and recreation facilities, outstanding public safety and sound fiscal management. Our low tax rate and variety of quality housing that complement any lifestyle make Keller very appealing.
DT: Managing such a large city and thousands of people is a big job. What do you do to reset?
PM: The City of Keller is lucky to have a strong, effective leader in City Manager Steve Polasek. My role is largely to help provide direction to the city staff, develop consensus among the council members, strengthen relationships with other city, county and state leaders, and stay active around town as a city representative to several different business and nonprofit organizations. When I need to relax, I enjoy spending time with my family — my wife, our children and grandchildren — and taking the occasional weekend at the lake.
DT: What is the latest book you've read?
PM: I enjoy reading political biographies; the last one I read was about George W. Bush’s years in the White House.
DT: What are your top three goals for the city in 2014?
PM: To continue the momentum we’ve developed over the last several years in terms of quality commercial development that offers more shopping, dining and service choices to our citizens; to improve the overall attributes and amenities of the city, thereby improving our quality of life; and to do all of that while maintaining one of the lowest tax rates in the region.
DT: What one accomplishment are you most proud of in your tenure as mayor?