University Park’s Mayor For The Day Enjoys Short Term

Mayor Dick Davis, Mayor for the Day Tate Brand, Detective Robert Keenan, and Police Chief Gary Adams pose for a picture during the University Park City Council meeting on March 5. (Staff photo: Dan Koller)

Tate Brand had one big item on his agenda as University Park’s Mayor for the Day: get the city to build a skate park. Unfortunately for the third-grader and his skating brethren, he was so busy during his short time in office that he forgot to mention it.

Tate got a whirlwind tour of City Hall on March 5. The Fire Department let him flash the lights on an engine and pose for a photo wielding an ax. The Police Department let him tour a holding cell, where Tate was amused by the toilet’s lack of a seat. And Mayor Dick Davis let him bang the gavel to start the City Council meeting.

“Tate attended an information session that started about an hour ago,” Davis said, “and he told me the best thing about that meeting was the chocolate cake.”

Tate was the Mayor for the Day because his parents, Jeffrey and Sheila, placed the winning bid at the Bradfield Elementary School fundraising auction.

“This was perfect for him, because he’s so into this stuff,” Sheila said. “At the Police Department, he was telling them, ‘Me and my sister watch CSI all the time. My sister wants to be a detective.’ ”

Tate got to meet a real detective on Tuesday. Robert Keenan was one of four city staffers recognized as Employees of the Year during the City Council meeting. Each one received a certificate from Davis or Mayor Pro Tem Bob Clark before Tate handed over something more treasured.

“Here’s a check,” he told each of them, eliciting laughter every time.

Attendance at Tues-day’s meeting was sparse. Tate was one of only five people in the room who were not city employees, members of the City Council, or Tate’s parents. Consequently, it didn’t take much time for the council to breeze through the agenda:

The stretch of Airline Road/Dublin Street between Mockingbird Lane and SMU Boulevard was renamed Bush Avenue. The Council For Life was granted permission to conduct a 5K benefit run east of the SMU campus on April 6. And the fiscal 2013 capital budget was amended.

By the time Tate realized that he’d neglected to introduce the skate-park concept, the meeting had adjourned.

But Tate shouldn’t give up hope. With all of the connections he made at City Hall, maybe he can get his former colleagues to consider a skate park at their next meeting.

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