Former West University Place Mayor Bob Fry was elected unanimously Wednesday by mayors of the 14 so-called “multi-cities” to represent their interests on the powerful METRO board.
He will be sworn in at the board’s next meeting on June 27.
“I have worked with most of these 14 mayors,” said Fry. “It will be hard work, but I am looking forward to it.”
“He will do an excellent job,” said current West U Mayor Bob Higley.
Fry, 74, is the second West U mayor to find a place on the board — Burt Ballanfant served from 2007-15 — and he succeeds former Bellaire Mayor Cindy Siegel, who resigned the seat in April to run for the Republican nomination in Texas’ 7th Congressional District.
A 33-year resident of West U, he is the president and CEO of Marinus Management Corp., providing management consulting services to the marine industry.
Fry was a councilman and mayor pro tem before serving as mayor from 2011-15, when he became term-limited. He’s no stranger to working with elected officials and agencies. While on council, he became president of the Harris County Mayors’ and Councils’ Association and was a representative to the Houston-Galveston Area Council.
A graduate of Houston ISD’s Milby HS and the University of Texas, he served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. After his return from duty, he started his own barge company.
He has been active in virtually every community activity in the West U area — from parks, the Weekley YMCA, Tri-Sports Association to the West University ES PTO and West U Rotary Club.
He joins the METRO board as one of two multi-cities representatives at a crucial time. The board is trying to gain community support for a massive plan to re-imagine public transit in the Houston region and anticipates putting a $3 billion bond up for a vote in November.
For the 14 multi-cities — the cities in METRO’s region and not part of the city of Houston — the use of general mobility funds has been essential to their buy-in to the agency’s planning. The funds return a portion of the cities’ sales tax contribution to METRO in the form of project grants to fund everything from street repairs to installation of sidewalks.