Douglas Athas was elected Mayor of Garland in May, 2013, in a four-way race. Today he represents the City of Garland extensively in Austin and Washington, DC, across the region and the nation. Mayor Athas is well known in the region and across the state for his experience on transportation, communication, urban planning, and neighborhood issues.
Doug previously served on the City Council for six years and the Plan Commission for eight years.
In 2006, Doug and others sued the city council because a majority of that council refused to call the mandated election that year. The Fifth District Court of Appeals sided with Doug and ordered a Special Election. Doug played the leading role getting that case to the court and a favorable decision for Garland citizens.
As Mayor, Doug successfully pushed for the adoption of a new Development Code that has attracted new business and residential developments, championed a new rebuild of the I-635 freeway that has made an initial start but he continues to work toward full funding, and challenged the water district's continual water increases and its management and rate structure that punishes conservation. His emphasis as mayor has been to attract development to all sectors of Garland.
Mayor Athas continually promotes the strengths that diversity brings to Garland, working with the Garland Community Multicultural Commission and various groups to promote opportunity and prosperity for everyone.
The mayor's three guiding principles are: Grow community, grow opportunity, and grow Garland.
His involvement in the community has ranged from his neighborhood association to Boy Scouts. He has also been involved, for example, with the statewide group of homeowner and neighborhood associations, the March of Dimes Relay for Life, and the area Plan Implementation Committees.
As a council member, Mr. Athas called for a charter review that resulted in the voters strengthening the City Charter and for redistricting because the apportionment across the districts had become progressively out of balance.
From his first days on the council, Doug noticed the startling trend of declining overall property values. He worked with staff, the council committees, and the council to start a process and dialogue to reverse the trend. A new comprehensive plan was approved and a new development code was approved after he became mayor.
His effort has always been to grow the tax base, not the tax rate, as the best way to lower and spread the cost of government to citizens. The official Garland Cost of Government that citizens pay has not risen in 11 years.
Mayor, City of Garland, 2013-now
- Garland City Council, 2006-2012,
Mayor Pro Tem 2007-8
Plan Commission, District 1
1996-2000, Citywide, 2002-2006
- US Conference of Mayors, 2013-now
- National League of Cities, 2006-2012, 2013-now, NLC First Tier Suburbs Council, Community and Economic Development Committee
- Texas Municipal League, 2006-2012, 2013-now, District President, 2016-now
- Community Leaders of America, Founding Member, 2013-now
- Metroplex Mayors Association, 2013-now
- Garland Economic Development Partnership, Steering Committee 2006-2011, 2013-now
- Dallas Regional Mobility Council 2006-2011, 2015-now
- Regional Transportation Council 2007, 2013-now
- Greater Dallas Planning Council, 2008-now, Board of Directors 2008-2012
- International Council of Shopping Centers 2008-2012
- Boy Scouts, Duck Creek District Committee 2012-now
- Boy Scouts, Troop 57, FUMC, Garland, Adult Leader 2009-2016
- Congress for the New Urbanism, North Texas chapter, Board member 2009-now
- Texas Neighborhoods Together, Board member 2000-now, President 2004-2008
- Garland Homeowners Coalition, Board member 2000-2008, President 2007
- The Greens Homeowners Association, Board member 1994-2006, President 2004-2005
- Garland High School Mighty Owl Band Booster and Volunteer 2012-2016
- Garland High School Parent, Teacher, and Student Association 2012-2016
- GarlandEyes.com website, the world's first citywide photo blog, Founder 2010-now; Garland Eyes Photo Club, Founder
- Speaker and presenter: National League of Cities, Texas Municipal League, American Planning Association, International Economic Development Council
- Experienced business leader, former Director of Site Development, Verizon Wireless (PrimeCo), and now a consultant to the industry