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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Reflections from former Mayor John Clark

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Reflections on Service and Pride in Kennedale

Notes from former Mayor John Clark

As I look back over my past fifteen years as a Councilmember and Mayor, I am filled with great pride and thankfulness for the opportunities given to me by my fellow residents. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to see changes in a city. I have been fortunate to see many wonderful changes in Kennedale in a much shorter time. What has been accomplished could not have occurred without the help of great partners on the City Council and city staff who have supported the Council’s vision and implemented the plans. It has been my pleasure to work with them. {{more}}

I want to express my thanks to our Board and Commission members who volunteer their time and do the heavy lifting of planning and executing projects. Your work has not gone unnoticed and your handprints are on all of the improvements that can be seen across the city. The support of residents is essential to see projects through to completion and I want to thank each one of you for your support and service to the community.

The legacy that I wish to leave is my belief that each person who serves this city can truly make a difference and improve the lives of those around them. I am lucky to have been part of a legacy of quality improvements throughout the City. These improvements can been seen not only in the physical changes that we drive past every day but also in less obvious ways, such as improved behind-the-scenes processes. Some of the improvements that I am proud to have helped achieve during my time on the Council include: building the new city hall complex and library, rebuilding and landscaping Kennedale Parkway, renovating and expanding Sonora Park, creating the new Rogers Farm Park and TownCenter Park, completing road improvements on Little School Road, Sublett Road, and Bowman Springs Road, building the 9-11 Memorial, developing the Kennedale TownCenter, redeveloping the Oak Crest area, beginning the Art in the Park festival, and the establishing the Youth Advisory Council.

While less visible, process improvements and collaboration are just as important to our legacy and require the cooperation of both residents and staff. Our collaborative efforts have helped to make Kennedale a vital regional partner in the DFW region. These efforts have resulted in several awards and an increased level of intergovernmental partnerships. Kennedale is now a Keep Texas Beautiful affiliate, a Texas Scenic City, a Tree City USA, a Train City USA, a partner in the Southeast Tarrant County Partnership, a partner with the City of Mansfield in joint dispatch and jail operations, a partner with UTA for many studies and projects which have provided critical information to the city at little or no cost, and the recipient of several awards for management, innovation, financial accounting and other city functions.

I want to thank my fellow Councilmembers over the years and Bob Hart, our City Manager, whose vision, leadership, and creativity have made many of Council’s dreams a reality. I want to thank all city department heads and staff who give above and beyond their required responsibilities to improve the lives of our residents and make Kennedale a better place to live.

I would be remiss if I did not thank my wife, Rebecca, and our children, Chris and Samantha for allowing me to spend so much time as a part of city government. Chris and Sam were eleven and eight years old when I started on the City Council. They are now college graduates and in the work force and they grew up while I was serving the city. My wife Rebecca has been my strongest supporter. She worried with me when city issues created conflict and has always been my best advisor. My family sacrificed so much for me and I appreciate them more than I can express.

It has been a privilege to be a small part of the history of Kennedale and I see so much more for our town. I love my city and the people who live and work here. God bless Kennedale and each and every one of you for making our community a great place to call home.

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