Lake Dallas Mayor Excited for Next Term

Lake Dallas Mayor Excited for Next Term

Lake Dallas Mayor Excited for Next Term
Following Reelection

by Steve Gamel

Michael Barnhart didn’t have a shred of experience in politics before becoming the Mayor of Lake Dallas in 2016. Three years later, he’s arguably one of the most revered, fair, and trusted elected officials this quiet lake community has had.

But don’t take our word for it. Just ask the citizens of Lake Dallas, who were elated to see the man they affectionately dubbed “the street-walking Mayor” reelected for a second term in May. After earning just more than 50% of the votes three years ago to beat out two candidates with far more experience and name recognition, Barnhart went unopposed in 2019.

“I’ve had people tell me, ‘Of course you went unopposed – you’ve done so much for this city,’” Barnhart said sheepishly. Deep down, he’s the quiet type who refrains from talking about himself. “I’m beyond excited to be able to keep doing this.”

He added, “The fact that the citizens wanted me back feels really good.”

Barnhart has done plenty from a political and elected official standpoint to improve the look and feel of the city, attract new businesses, improve relations between Lake Dallas and the rest of the Lake Cities communities, and make decisions that are in the best interests of every resident. But in many ways, even he admits he’s still learning as he goes. The real secret to his popularity lies in how citizen-oriented he and wife, Suzanne, have been since
taking office.

There aren’t many days where residents don’t see him driving up and down Main Street. And if they don’t see the car, they see him walking and visiting neighboring businesses (hence the nickname, the street-walking Mayor). The rest of his workdays are spent meeting with concerned residents, welcoming kids to school as part of the Lake Dallas ISD Watchdog program, showing up to networking events and charitable causes, running two non-profits in There Has To Be More Ministries and The Lake Cities Spirit of Christmas, and doing all he can to promote and represent the community.

Residents feel like they have a real connection with their Mayor, something that wasn’t always the case.

“In the past, there was so much hostility at City Hall, to the point where many citizens wouldn’t go near it,” Barnhart said. “I remember telling Suzanne that I was going to run for Mayor because I could either try to run and make a difference or sit and do nothing. Now, people want to go talk to their elected officials, and I feel like I have connections with people.”

Just like everyone else, Barnhart isn’t sure how the future will go. But judging by his short track record, things are bound to turn out just fine for the city of Lake Dallas.

“It’s been a great trip, and now that the first three years are behind us,” he said. “I’m excited to see how the next three will go.”

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