By Rebecca Rose
Harker Heights Herald
Harker Heights has a new mayor after six years.
Mike Aycock, 58, was born in Temple and spent most of his life in or near Bell County. His family has strong ties to the area, dating back to the post-Civil War era.
Aycock holds a degree in engineering and owns Aycock Construction. He and his wife, Lou, have three children: Brian, 34, Brad, 32, and Brandy, 30.
"They're all married," he said. "The oldest has two kids, a boy and a girl. The middle one has two boys and one girl. My daughter just had a little boy."
Aycock's grandfather was on the Bell County Commission for 23 years. When he died, his grandmother took over for him. His second cousin is State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock. But despite his family's ties to politics, Aycock said he was never drawn to it.
"It was the furthest thing from my mind," he said.
Aycock said he ran for office because he wanted to get involved and help his community. "Friends approached me to run for City Council," he said.
Starting in 2004, he served six years on the City Council, and took a year off because of term limits. This year, he ran unopposed for mayor, succeeding Ed Mullen.
"My main role is to represent the city and the citizens of Harker Heights," he said, when describing his new duties.
"We don't make money at this in city politics. You're there just to do things for the city. I'm not there to make a living as a politician."
Aycock said Harker Heights has "done well," and credited the success to the hiring of departmental staff.
"(The city) hired a really good city manager. He's hired good staff. They like working in Harker Heights. They don't want to work anywhere else," Aycock said.
"When you have those kinds of people working for you it makes things easy."
His favorite parts of Harker Heights are a blend of the best of the natural and manmade aspects.
"I like the parks. That's probably one of the centerpieces. I really like the lake. I want it to be part of the city," he said.
He said Market Heights was also a favorite place of his, noting it as a symbol of economic prosperity.
"I want the city of Harker Heights to be a place where people want to live. I want the city to be one of the premier places for people to live, raise a family. I want there to be a good quality of life and good city services," he said.
"And for the citizens to be proud to live in the city."
Contact Rebecca Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7548. Follow her on Twitter at KDHheights.