Nasty is over: New guard to take over West U city hall

May 17, 2017

In what can only be viewed as a changing of the guard, the West University City Council Elections are official – They were finalized by a vote of the City Council on Tuesday evening.

Susan Sample

Current Mayor Susan Sample was re-elected, with 1,939 votes.  Opponent Sonny Brandtner, backed by the current Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Kelly and Councilmember Brennan Reilly, received 269 votes. Another candidate, Greg Micek, received 132 votes.

Kelly and Reilly opted not to run for re-election but instead championed an unsuccessful campaign to elect Brandtner and unseat the current mayor.

Sample, the incumbent mayor, received 83% of the vote.

Elected to the West University Place City Council:

Wayne Franklin

The top vote-getter was Wayne Franklin, who has been a resident of West U since 2009, The seven-year resident is married to journalist Rachel McNeill, an anchor-reporter with KPRC-2 TV and has sons, 5 and 8, who attend West U ES. A board certified cardiologist, he’s on the faculty at the Baylor College of Medicine, where he serves as a faculty senator. Franklin lives on Dartmouth Street and received 1,519 votes.

Kelly Burke

Kellye Burke is a 10-year resident of West U and a stay-at-home mom. Her husband, Brad, works at Rice University and they have two sons. She is a founding member of Moms Demand Action, a national gun safety advocacy group founded in 2012 after 20 first graders were murdered in Newtown, CT. Burke lives on Case Street. Burke received 1,265 votes.

Bob Higley

Bob Higley is a 45-year resident of West University Place. He has served three terms on the Zoning and Planning Commission and was a member of the Charter Review Committee. His wife, Laura, who served as West U mayor from 1989-1991, has been justice on the First Court of Appeals since 2002. Higley is a financial advisor with Wells Fargo and lives on Belmont Street. Higley garnered 1,147 votes.

The only returning councilmember is Mardi Turner. Turner has been a mainstay

Mardi Turner

of West University Place civic participation for more than two decades, with prior service on the Recycling and Solid Waste Board and the Park Board. Turner lives on Mercer Street. Turner received 1,065 votes.

The West University Place Mayor and City Council for the 2017-2019 term will be administered the oath of office on June 1.

George Boehme

George Boehme is the publisher of and West University Essentials magazine.

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