There’s one incumbent (Catherine Lewis), one perennial candidate (Kevin Newman), and four others with a variety of civic and government engagement seeking the three open seats on Bellaire City Council. Nathan Wesely is giving up his seat to run for mayor, and the other incumbent up for re-election, Jim Hotze, declined to run again.
Here the candidates introduce themselves and explain their reason for seeking office. The appear in the order they do on the ballot, as determined in a drawing at City Hall.
Occupation: Retired Geophysicist
Education: BFA Studio Arts/Graphic Design, Univ. of AZ; BS Geology, Univ. of AZ; MS Geophysics, Stanford University; PhD Geophysics, Colorado School of Mines.
Government/community involvement: Community organizer solving problems since 1993, City Council Member, council liaison to Environmental Sustainability Board.
Years in Bellaire: 32.5 years
Family: Immigrants and international students from all over the world.
What is motivating you to run? I love the strong community spirit that residents have. I learned long ago that residents expect council to listen to their problems, desires, and opinions. I will listen and help, as I have in the past. Should the voters give me the chance, I look forward to reviewing the Comprehensive Plan that guides future development, and to making ongoing decisions that protect neighborhood integrity and security – and the small-town atmosphere that we love. I’m also motivated by the desire to restrain spending and control debt in order to keep our taxes down.
Occupation: After more than 30 years in the construction industry – from highways to hotels, flood control, hurricane recovery and sustainable real estate development – he sold the majority of his business interests. For the past 8 years he has enjoyed a successful career as a full-time writer.
Education: B.A. and MBA from Tulane University, with continuing education in Law (Ole Miss), Journalism (UT) and Game Theory (MIT).
Government/community involvement: Mike’s human roommates are active church members and regularly visit other denominational houses of worship throughout the year. Among all the animal welfare organizations (local, state. national and international) there’s still been time and energy for coaching in Bellaire’s youth athletic programs, volunteering time to the Houston Food Bank and mentoring at-risk kids.
Years in Bellaire: 24
Family: Wife Carolyn, son Tanner.
What is motivating you to run? With the few hundred neighbors who have encouraged me, we’ve decided to return some fresh air to Bellaire with transparency, trust and results. Most importantly, the key criterion is to hear from his constituency.
Occupation: Residential Home Builder/Licensed Real Estate Broker, Realtor®
Education: Texas State University, BA Mass Communication-PR, 2001
Government/community involvement: City of Bellaire Environmental Sustainability Board, 2020-22, Vice-Chair; City of Bellaire Building and Standards Commission, 2022-Present, Member (22-23) Vice-Chair (23-present)
Years in Bellaire: 7
Family: Married, three (awesome) children from a previous marriage
What is motivating you to run? After spending two years on the Environmental Sustainability Board and now the Building and Standards Commission, I have worked really hard on enhancing our tree ordinance and turning to other initiatives like flood hazard mitigation and code enforcement. From there my focus has gone to keeping insurance rates low, maintaining the character of the city and enhancing our amenities — parks, pools and centers — and our youth programs. I have the experience as a city commissioner and businessman to work with our city manager to accomplish these goals and leave Bellaire a better city than before my hopeful term in office.
Cindy Cohen Taylor
Occupation: Business Success Coach for Youth Athletes United
Education: BS from Emerson College
Government/community involvement: I have been an active contributor to the welfare of Bellaire and its residents since 2021, when I joined the Parks and Recreation Board. In 2022, I was elevated to vice chair of the Parks Board (a position I currently hold) and graduated from the Bellaire Citizen’s Academy. I was recently selected to serve as a voting board member of the Patrons for Bellaire Parks and a City of Bellaire Ambassador. I am a passionate advocate for accessibility and for protecting and enhancing our green spaces. I led the successful effort to make the Officer Lucy Dog Park accessible and helped to secure City Council approval of a plan for improving the accessibility of all Bellaire city parks. I recently served as chair of the Bellaire Planting Palooza and currently chair the committee for the Bellaire Trolley Run for 2024.
Years in Bellaire: 11
Family: Married, two daughters (21 and 25)
What is motivating you to run? I love Bellaire and am devoted to making sure it continues to be a wonderful community. After spending time at the Officer Lucy Dog Park, I really learned to listen to residents and how they feel about living in Bellaire. I had my own opinions, too, of course, and since I am not one to sit around complaining without acting, I got on the Parks and Recreation Board. I learned from my service there that good people working together through city government can protect and, where necessary, improve the things we love about our city, big and small.
Occupation: Chief operating officer, Maverick Wrecker Design
Education: Bellaire HS, class of 1990
Government/community involvement: Former Vice Chair of B.L.I.F.E. (city board for anyone 50 years or older. (Bellaire Living, Information, Fun, and Enrichment); former board member, Friends of the Bellaire Library; founder, Bellaire Small Business Association.
Years in Bellaire: 30
Family: Single, no children
What is motivating you to run? I am motivated to run by a sincere desire to serve my community. With no ego and no personal agenda, I genuinely care about what happens in our city. My motivation stems from a deep sense of civic pride and a genuine commitment to doing good for our community.
Website or social media: www.BKEV.com www.facebook.com/KevinNewmanForBellaire
Occupation: Accounting – senior director of business development, Shell Oil
Education: Bellaire HS, bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M
Government/community involvement: Advocate for Bellaire baseball fields; community discussion of noise and lighting regulations; volunteer with Houston Haven House in Bellaire, supporting cancer patients being treated at Texas Medical Center.
Years in Bellaire: 50-plus
Family: Husband, Mike; daughter 14, son 10.
What is motivating you to run? I feel like this city has given me so much. It is such a big part of who I am now. I want to give back what it has given to me. I want to make sure future generations are afforded the opportunities and experiences I have enjoyed being a Bellaire resident. Having a vision for the future and making sure the city of Bellaire is a great place to live and work is Jackie’s number one goal.
Website or social media: jackie77401.com