Here is a look at the two candidates seeking the Place 1 seat on the Willow Park City Council. Incumbent Brian Thornburg is being challenged in the May 11 election by Chawn Gilliland. The candidates were asked several questions, with a 300-word limit for each response. Early voting began Monday and continues through May 7.
Name: Chawn Gilliland
Occupation: chief of police, Aledo ISD Police Department (11 years).
Family: wife, Sharena Gilliland, local attorney who is currently the elected Parker County District Clerk; children, Ryan and Reagan.
How long resided in city: Eight years
Community involvement: board of directors, Freedom House of Parker County; board of directors, Parker County Crime Stoppers; Moslah Shrine (patrol unit) – primary objective to raise money for the Shriners hospitals; Master Mason; Sigma Chi Alumni Association – objective to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.
What do you see as the biggest challenge the city is facing? How do you plan to address that?
Our great city needs to focus on building an infrastructure that will allow us to grow with the projected population boom we see on our horizon. This includes, but is not limited to, water, waste water and city streets. Also we need to plan for business growth and expansion of our current local businesses while making Willow Park the premier residential hot spot in Parker County. We need to work closely with surrounding cities and county entities to help pave the path for future growth.
If elected, what are your top three priorities?
• Water expansion and repairs.
• City infrastructure for expansion and growth.
• Expansion of emergency services for our city.
Why do you believe you are the best candidate?
Experience in city government and budget.
What separates you from your opponent?
A proven track record.
Name: Brian R. Thornburg
Occupation: TSG staff engineer for Jamak Fabrication in Weatherford.
Family: I have been married to my best friend, Erika, for nearly 18 years, and we are the proud parents of four wonderful children: Joshua (14), Jacob (11), Jasmine (8) and Jillian (7). God has blessed me beyond measure with my family!
How long resided in city: We have called Willow Park our home for nearly three years. Quite frankly, this is the best community in which we have ever lived.
Community involvement: I currently serve my community on the Willow Park City Council in Place 1. Before that I was the vice chairperson for the Planning and Zoning Committee. I am also currently a community group leader at my church in Willow Park. In the past, I have served in many volunteer roles in church including youth pastor, treasurer, board member, young adult ministry director, sound team leader and usher. In Royal Rangers, I served as deputy sectional commander for the Greater Akron Section as well as senior commander for my local outpost. I also served in many leadership roles in high school and college such as chaplain of National Honor Society, captain of the swim team, squad leader in marching band, and vice president, treasurer and historian for Key Club. I have always been a leader with a servant’s heart.