Job descriptionPresiding officer of the City Council, the city’s governing body. Term is three years.
DutiesRepresents city at official functions
Enacts city laws and ordinances
Determines city policies
Adopts city budget
Appoints city manager to administer city government
Annual salaryUnpaid; reimbursed for official city expenses.
MeetingsCouncil meetings twice monthly; special meetings called as needed.
City contact informationMichael Wells, City Secretary
michael.wells@bedfordtx.gov
817-952-2104

Who’s Running?

Kyle McDonaldEmail: kylemcdonaldtx@gmail.com
Michael Boyter (incumbent)Website: http://www.boyterforbedford.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bedfordtxmayor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mayor_mike.boyter/

Candidate Q&A

1. WHY ARE YOU THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE?
Kyle McDonald
I grew up in Bedford, I have seen this city function as a community and home. I will be a voice for the residents who feel left out from council meetings because they are working professionals and parents. I know that for one person to best represent a city they must get the best picture of the concerns of the citizens. I will conduct surveys to reach out to residents who may feel that they do not have a voice. I will be a voice for the residents of Bedford.
Michael Boyter
I am born and raised in HEB. This provides me with a unique perspective on the history of Bedford and have first-hand witnessed the successes and failures of the prior City administrations. I served 7 years on multiple city boards and commissions. I was first elected to City Council in 2012 and have been Mayor since Nov 2019. I have unique corporate and small business experience that has proven to be invaluable with regards to City operations and budgeting.
My experiences while I served as a City Councilman gave me unique insights into how the City of Bedford operated and the trials and tribulations of how the City managed its obligations to serve the needs of the residents.
As Mayor, I worked with the City Council and City Manager to guide the City through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and an unforeseen natural disaster that affected City business like never before. The City of Bedford came through these challenges stronger and more financially secure.
The combination of my career experiences, prior service to the community and the City, tenure as a City Councilman, and my hands-on approach since becoming Mayor has collectively given me qualifications to be Mayor that very few others have had to perform this role.
2. WHAT ARE THE CURRENT NEEDS OF YOUR DISTRICT/AREA AND WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES FOR ADDRESSING THEM?
Kyle McDonald
Bedford has grown as a quiet neighborhood community which may have been good for a time but in order to find our identity and what we provide the region. We need to be seeking out opportunities for economic development. I believe that spending millions of dollars on a potentially underused recreation center is wasteful instead We need to put money into attracting businesses to have a development code that entices projects similar to glade parks. By inviting more businesses we can lower property taxes.
Michael Boyter
The City of Bedford is at a crossroad. As a result of missed opportunities and poor decisions, Bedford has stood still while surrounding communities have made tremendous progress in improving their economic standing. Due to our lack of progress, this has resulted in poor street conditions, empty shopping centers, and lack of new businesses coming to town. One of our priorities to create a new economic development model so that we can take control of our revenue future. This means being proactive in seeking unique business opportunities to come to Bedford. In doing so, we can make Bedford a destination for people to come eat and shop. We have already begun this process and will soon be making announcements to show the fruits of our labor.
Second, we have already begun the work of changing the way that the City of Bedford organization conducts business. This means changing the culture at City Hall and focus on creating an Organization of Excellence focused on the singular goal of doing a better job of responding to the needs of our residents. This means becoming a organization centered on first class customer service. We have already begun this by making changes at the top of our organization and bringing in more experienced people from outside our organization with different experiences.
Third, we must find a new way to finance and repair our aging streets. The old way of addressing streets isn't working and we must be more creative with our funding mechanisms to get more for our money. Again we are working through this problem and I am excited to report that soon we will be announcing a new Street Improvement Strategic Plan that will allow us the repair all our streets within an accelerated time frame.
3. THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS AFFECTED THE CITY’S BUDGET AND SERVICES, AS WELL AS THE LIVES OF RESIDENTS. HOW WOULD YOU GRADE YOUR CITY’S RESPONSE AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
Kyle McDonald
The city has been in crisis mode as many others have. Our budget has been dramatically reduced and in this time the city has cut many jobs, even for those who have been working for the city for a long time. The employees have fear in wondering if their job is safe. We need to have a methodical approach to keeping our city running as it should. If we pull together our city departments we can figure out ways to cut costs and keep the city running.
Michael Boyter
The City of Bedford has done a tremendous job during the pandemic to maneuver through the unique economic stress and shuttered businesses and sheltered residents. We accomplished this being looking for opportunities to reduce spending and suspend budgeted items that were not related to essential services. This meant making hard choices and we made them.
The City also looked for creative ways to support businesses as they gradually opened and this meant assisting them with supplies, resources, information, and even newly created marketing programs to help promote their businesses.
The City took advantage of Cares Act money to assist with additional expenses that resulted from this unique health environment. This money was used in accordance with federal guidelines and was particularly useful with our increased labor expenses and increased emergency service costs.
Because of our proactive approach to finding savings opportunities in our budget and resisting funding non essential operations, the City of Bedford came through the pandemic with very little adverse economic impact to our bottom line.
I would give the City of Bedford an "A" for it's response to the pandemic.
4. HOW SHOULD THE CITY ADDRESS THE AVAILABILITY OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING? WHAT ROLE SHOULD CITY GOVERNMENT PLAY IN RESPONDING TO PANDEMIC-RELATED EVICTIONS?
Kyle McDonald
Affordable housing is an issue affecting almost every city. There are many different solutions but we must find the one that fits Bedford the best. As a resident that grew up in Bedford I the impact of rising housing prices on my ability to purchase a home in the city where I grew up. The rising home prices are good for the homeowners but can be a limitation for those wanting to live in the city where they grew up. A solution that is beneficial to both groups is accessory dwelling units (ADU), commonly known as garage apartments or detached mother-in-law suites. ADUs are typically smaller in size, around 500 square feet. The ADUs size perferent for singles or young couples wanting to stay in the city with affordable rent for this stage of life. These units raise the value of the property and when rented out generate income for the homeowner. Bedford's development code currently does not allow these types of units to be rented out by allowing this housing type with careful regulation could be a great option for affordable housing.
Bedford should do what it can to keep people in their homes. In times of need, many people do not know where to go to find help. We should have a program that helps connect those in need with local and regional support services and non-profits that have the capacity to help. This program should fall under Bedford's emergency management department.
Michael Boyter
The residents of the City of Bedford take pride in the quality of life in our community. They have repeatedly shown that they expect high standards for the residents and the types of residences being proposed in our City. The residents have spoken to this subject and have time and time again expressed the belief that the City has an over abundance of multi family housing within the City. While there are already affordable housing opportunities in Bedford, we must do more to ensure that this does not result in deteriorating apartment communities that pose a risk to lowering property values. The City Council must remain responsive to the resident's wishes on this subject.
The City of Bedford has worked with Tarrant County in supporting and ensuring the direction of the County Judge regarding pandemic related evictions. The City has willingly provided informational assistance to residents regarding this concern.
5. HOW TO BEST ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY IS AN IMPORTANT TOPIC. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BALANCING THE FUNDING AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOTH POLICE AND COMMUNITY SERVICES?
Kyle McDonald
Public safety is an important issue and is a key component of a city. Bedford's police force has relatively low pay compared to surrounding cities and low pay is noted as one of the main reasons why officers are leaving. To ensure that our city is safe we must pay our quality officers what they are due.
A city must find a good balance of funding for police and community services. Police keep our neighborhood safe and our community services give us outreach events and services which the public interacts with the most. We must make sure that this balance serves the residents in the best way possible to see their tax dollars used wisely.
Michael Boyter
Balancing the funding and responsibilities for police and community services is a point of pride for myself, the City Council, and our Bedford organization. Over the past year, the City has taken steps to make changes at the top of our Police organization. While doing so, we invited the Texas Police Chief Association to assist us in conducting an audit of our organization and the way that it staffs all areas of the department. Through the recommendation of the TPCA, Bedford reduced top heavy positions in the department and found ways to re-organize other positions. As a result of these changes, we managed to create nearly $900,000.00 in savings in the department while putting more officers on the street. In a short period of time, this has already made an impact in reducing crime and the residents are already recognizing the improvement.
6. IN THE LAST TERM, WHAT DO YOU THINK WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT VOTE? WHY? HOW DID OR WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED ON THE ISSUE AND WHY?
Kyle McDonald
Michael Boyter
During my term as Mayor, the most important action taken by myself and the City Council is the hiring of our new City Manager back in September 2020. In hiring Jimmy Stathatos, we hired the most experienced City Manager that Bedford has ever had. We spent 8 months recruiting him and took every effort to ensure that he was the right person to take on the challenge of turning around our City. Mr. Stathatos has already proven his worth in finding nearly $3mm worth of budgetary savings within his first six months on the job. His positive and engaging style of managing has also injected a new energy into our organization and we are well on our way to building a first class organization.
7. DO YOU THINK IT IS EVER APPROPRIATE FOR STATE LAWS TO OVERRIDE LOCAL CONTROL OF ISSUES THAT AFFECT THE CITY? IF SO, PLEASE PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE.
Kyle McDonald
Michael Boyter
I do believe that there is a need for state laws to override local control of certain issues. I believe that these issues must be large in scope. Where I have voiced my concern in the past and where I disagree with the state lies in overreaches of authority. Over the years' the State has inserted itself into matters that where local authorities are better positioned to understand the needs of their communities. An example is, the State created a new regulation that impacts re-sizing manhole covers in water towers, this will result in an additional $1.5mm to refurbish it. Also, municipalities no longer can dictate and regulate drilling within the City. State laws now take precedent and the most affected residents have no say in the matter any longer. This overreach also applies to the State capturing more revenues for itself at the expense of municipalities and this specifically related to franchise taxes. In summary, I believe that the State has repeatedly overstepped taken action to eliminate local control over a number of issues. Finally, these actions have increased Bedford's operational expenses and thereby increased taxes to the residents.
8. THE RECENT “BIG FREEZE” CAUSED MANY RESIDENTS TO GO WITHOUT POWER OR WATER FOR HOURS OR EVEN DAYS. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CITY’S RESPONSE? HOW WOULD YOU WORK TO IMPROVE ELECTRIC/GAS/WATER INFRASTRUCTURE SO THIS NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN?
Kyle McDonald
I think that Bedford's response was late and this cost them valuable time in providing the best options to its residents. I do acknowledge that this type of storm is rare but north texas usually experiences freezes of varying degrees so we must be prepared with an inclement weather action plan. I think that by sending out information a few days prior to an incoming storm on what to do to prepare as well as contacts emergency services and shelter, as well as what to do in case of flooding. We need stronger codes and upkeeping when it comes to our city's infrastructure.
Michael Boyter
The recent "big freeze" was unprecedented and the City of Bedford was forced to be creative in its responsiveness to the situation and to the residents. The City immediately took steps to survey city assets and resources impacted by the freeze and subsequent power outages. We then began to recognize the human impact and worked with our neighboring cities to set up warming centers and shelters to help residents. We also worked with non profits, Bedford residents, and Bedford businesses to get help to those in need. This ranged from helping people get prescriptions, to driving people over icy roads, to doing house checks on seniors. We stepped up our communications through all social media platforms to get helpful information out to everyone. We also stayed diligent in dealing with situations where multi family apartment complexes were not proactively looking to take care of their residents.
The situation exposed us to the reality that we can do more to prepare for such events in the future. We have taken action to incorporate changes to our the Multi Generational Rec Center called "The Centre" so that it can remain operational during future power outages. We have developed and remain committed to stepping up our efforts to reach more residents through our communication channels.
With respect to our infrastructure, we must remain diligent in addressing the aging pipes and sewer mains. We began this capital improvement program years ago and continuing to execute on this will help to eliminate any "emergencies" in the future should such a weather event arise.
9. ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
Kyle McDonald
Michael Boyter
Bedford is a great City and I am proud that the residents have allowed be to be Mayor during the past fifteen months. I never would have imagined having to deal with the catastrophes that we have encountered during this period, but it has only made us better and more focused on what we must do to Make Bedford Better.
I am committed to Moving Bedford Forward and wake up every day with the determination to make a difference. We have already made tremendous progress in changing the culture of City Hall, taking control of our economic development future, cleaning up our streets and neighborhoods, communicating better with our residents, and make hard decisions to move projects forward that previously stood still. We have a tremendous team at City Hall and I continue to believe that we can do great things together with our City Council to improve the quality of life for all residents. I'm excited for the future and I want to make everyone proud of how great Bedford is right now and that it will be even more so going forward. It has been my greatest honor to serve you.