July 6, 2023

Happy July, everyone. I hope you all enjoyed a fun holiday with friends and family. The fireworks in both Vaquero and Entrada were huge hits. I want to thank all of you who came out and enjoyed the festivities. June was a busy month for me as Mayor. I attended a ribbon cutting for a business called Inspira, a cyber security

company whose North American headquarters are now in Westlake. Before that, the Texas Association of Real Estate Brokers had its 66th annual conference here in Westlake. I was honored to speak with more than 200 realtors from across Texas about what makes our Town so special and why Westlake is such a hotbed for real estate. With two new neighborhoods in the works, the Villagio at the corner of Pearson and Dove and Solana Hills located at Sam School Road and Highway 114, the future continues to be bright for our real estate market

High Honors for the Town and Westlake Academy

Westlake and Westlake Academy both made national headlines recently. Our Town was ranked the Wealthiest City in Texas by Suburbs 101, with an average home value of $4,000,0000. And Westlake Academy continued to expand its stellar reputation by being ranked the 37th-best high school in the country by the Jay Mathews Challenge Index, a rating system used by publications like the Washington Post and Newsweek.  The Academy jumped five spots from the previous year and was given an Equity and Excellence score of 97, which is the percentage of graduates who passed at least one AP or IB exam during high school.  These are truly exciting times for both our Town and the Academy.

New Modular Buildings Arrive

Speaking of Westlake Academy, you might have noticed we had to block off Ottinger Road for the new modular buildings that were put into place on campus. One of our Town partners, Hillwood, graciously allowed us to use their land to access Westlake Academy

from the south. Brodie Modular, the manufacturer of the new buildings, has also been a great partner. They have gone out of their way to ensure the buildings will be ready for the start of the school year. We all knew the old portables needed to be replaced, especially given their age, but in replacing the portables, we found things were even worse than we knew.  

First, we discovered 10 inches of standing water underneath them. Additionally, the electrical wiring was not up to code and was potentially dangerous. Our contractor was stumped as to why we could flush the toilets because the sewer line was too small. We also had to work on installing new fiber lines for the modular buildings because the old ones were inadequate for our needs. Combine all those factors with the fact that the old portables didn’t have a sprinkler system, and it’s easy to see why they needed to be replaced. 

Westlake Academy Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

There’s more exciting news on campus. This coming school year will be the 20th Anniversary at Westlake Academy. We’ll have various events over the next few months to commemorate the milestone, as the school has truly given our entire Town something to celebrate over the years. With graduates who have gone on to some of the most prestigious schools around the world, Westlake Academy has cemented itself as one of the premier institutions for learning.

Overextended Offers

On a side note, we did have an issue regarding Westlake Academy enrollment recently. Too many offer letters were sent out for too few seats for the coming year. As Mayor, I am currently serving as the acting Head of School until a replacement is found. I was tasked to sign the rescission letters on the overextended offers and notify the families after the Superintendent resigned. The Texas Education Agency requires an authorized signatory and all decisions are being made in consultation with Council and senior management team at the school. 

The overextended offers would have increased the classroom sizes to 25 students. While it wasn’t ideal, the decision to rescind was the right call to make, considering the increased class sizes that would have been in place next year if we didn’t make this adjustment. This was truly the best decision for our students and staff. Additionally, Council discovered that unauthorized contracts had been executed without requisite approval. Now, systems are being put in place to prevent this from happening in the future. 

Entrada Latest

On the Town side, we have had some successes and setbacks with Entrada. You may have recently noticed that the crane constructing the repository building was taken down. The developer and crane operator had a contract dispute, and the

building is on hold until further notice. If no actionable plan is set in place, the developer may be required to demo his incomplete project. Council intends to put forth a more coordinated effort to improve Entrada’s overall project pace but we are limited due to the private nature of the development. Our upcoming July 31st council meeting will include an executive session where members of the Public Improvement Districts administration, attorneys, Council, and Mayor will meet to discuss future steps. Council is somewhat hamstrung, but we assure you we’re staying within the legal processes and holding the developer accountable to fulfill his promises.  

Budget Update

The Town recently completed two workshops regarding the Municipal and Academy budgets. Formal budget approval will occur in August when Council sets the tax rate.  From both workshops, the goal is

to have a balanced budget.  Last year we started the year with a $5 million projected deficit and are now looking at a small surplus. It took a total team effort to accomplish this turnaround, with Council and Town staff working tirelessly over the last few months to make this happen.  

My job as Mayor is to keep you informed. Sometimes the news is positive, and sometimes it’s not.  Either way, it’s important to be transparent so that you’re always in the loop.  I want to thank you for being a part of our community, and I am proud to serve this Town and our school. If you'd like to contact me, please don't hesitate to email me at [email protected].


Sean Kilbride

Mayor of Westlake

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1500 Solana Blvd., Bldg. 7, Suite 7200 | Westlake, TX 76262