Two-term mayor led Ge­orge­town amid sig­nif­i­cant projects

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Claire Os­born cos­born@states­

For­mer Ge­orge­town Mayor Ge­orge Garver died July 27 at home in Kansas, city of­fi­cials an­nounced Tues­day. He was 85.

Garver was elected mayor in 2008 and served a sec­ond term af­ter be­ing re-elected in 2011. He did not seek a third term in 2014.

In the six years that Garver served as mayor, the city com­pleted a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant projects, in­clud­ing widen­ing Wil­liams Drive, build­ing the Pub­lic Safety Op­er­a­tions and Train­ing Cen­ter and Fire Sta­tion 5, and con­struct­ing the new Lake­way Drive bridge over In­ter­state 35.

“Mayor Garver gave of his time and en­ergy to serve the city he loved,” Mayor Dale Ross, who suc­ceeded Garver, said in a state­ment. “He con­trib­uted to our com­mu­nity in so many ways as an ed­u­ca­tor and a leader, and we ap­pre­ci­ate his ser­vice.”

For­mer Coun­cil Mem­ber Gabe Sans­ing said Wed­nes­day he was very sad to hear Garver had died.

“He­wasverylevel­headedand open-minded, and he would al­ways weigh things be­fore he made a de­ci­sion for the best pos­si­ble out­come,” Sans­ing said. “He was a well-ed­u­cated man, and he lis­tened be­fore he spoke­and­had­great­man­ners.”

The Garver fam­ily will host a pub­lic cel­e­bra­tion of his life from 3 to 5 p.m. Aug. 10 in the City Coun­cil cham­bers at 101 E. Sev­enth St.

Garver was 76 when he de­feated Doug Smith in the 2008 mayor’s race with 62 per­cent of the vote. He had been in­terim su­per­in­ten­dent of Ge­orge­town schools dur­ing the fall se­mes­ter of 2007 af­ter Su­per­in­ten­dent Joe Dan Lee re­signed to join the Texas As­so­ci­a­tion of School Boards. He also was the dean of the col­lege of ed­u­ca­tion at Ari­zona State Univer­sity West and su­per­in­ten­dent of the Hous­ton school dis­trict.

Garver won his re-elec­tion bid in 2011, earn­ing 71 per­cent of the vote to de­feat John Mar­ler.

Dur­ing that cam­paign, Garver said he had done what he promised when first elected: im­prove the re­la­tion­ship between Ge­orge­town and Sun City, which was strained when the City Coun­cil ap­proved build­ing more roads into Sun City in 2006. Res­i­dents op­posed the roads be­cause of con­cerns about traf­fic, said Garver, who lived in Sun City.

Be­fore mov­ing to Ge­orge­town, Garver was su­per­in­ten­dent of the Hous­ton school dis­trict from 1970 to 1974 and later be­came su­per­in­ten­dent in a sub­ur­ban school dis­trict near Detroit be­fore end­ing his ed­u­ca­tion ca­reer as dean of the Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion at Ari­zona State Univer­sity-West in Phoenix.

He also served on the Sun City Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion Board and the Sun City Ad­vi­sory Board.

Ge­orge Garver was 76 when he won the 2008 mayor’s race.

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