Bob Westbrook said he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work on the city's budget after voters elected him to represent District 5 on the Tyler City Council.
Westbrook defeated opponent Alan Lizarraga with 73.7 percent of the vote compared to Lizarraga’s 26.3 percent, according to complete but unofficial election results.
Westbrook received 621 votes, compared to Lizarraga’s 222 votes.
He will be sworn in at a specially called Tyler City Council meeting on May 17. He will replace Mark Whatley, who termed out and could not serve another term.
The retired CiCis Pizza franchise owner thanked his supporters.
“I had friends and neighbors making phone calls to ask their friends and neighbors to get out and vote,” he said. “The humbling thing is that they believed so much in me that they gave their personal time to get me elected.”
Now it’s time to get to work. Westbrook said he’s looking forward to working with the current mayor and council to find solutions.
Westbrook will come on council as the city discusses its budget for next year. The city has been in a budget crunch for a year and a half because sales tax revenue hasn’t met projections. That’s caused hiring freezes and cuts in service to make the current budget balance.
Preparing for next fiscal year won’t be easy, but Westbrook said he’s prepared.
“When we owned CiCi’s, we worked off 3.5 percent profit margin, and the last eight years we did it debt free,” he said. “We went through the rest of the 11 years learning how to make the last eight years work.”
The City Council will not be Westbrook’s first local leadership role.
He has held leadership roles for local and statewide organizations including: Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, the Tyler Economic Development Corp., Tyler Sunrise Rotary Club, the East Texas Food Bank, the Northeast Texas Public Health District, as well as the state and local chapters of the Texas Restaurant Association. He was recognized by the Rotary as a Paul Harris Fellow and honored with the Doc Ballard Award by the Northeast Texas Public Health District, among other honors.
Lizarraga thanked his supporters and team who helped him campaign.
“We ran a great grassroots campaign, and this won’t be the last time you’ll see my name out there,” he said.
BY THE NUMBERS
Bob Westbrook: 631 votes, 73.7%
Alan Lizarraga: 222 votes, 26.3%