THIS IS THE SECOND in a series of articles profiling Harker Heights public officials.
Texas politicians often carry reputations of being stern, firm and ignorant of others’ input, but some Heights residents do not use those words to describe Mayor Mike Aycock.
“The overall feeling you get from Mayor Aycock is kindness and pure understanding,” said 29-year Heights resident Abby Mae Adams. “Our mayors in the past have been wonderful, but nothing of the youthfulness inside like him.”
Voters elected not only a family man, but one of many generations of the well-known Aycock name, which has resounded through the Bell County area since after World War II.
Aycock started his first mayoral term in May 2011, but has been a city government staple for more than six years, also serving as a councilman.
Aycocks occupied governmental seats in Central Texas for a half century, starting with Aycock’s grandfather who was appointed and served as a county commissioner for more than 40 years. After he died, his wife became the first female Bell County commissioner. Mike Aycock’s father, Mapeland, served in the Army during World War II.
In 1975, a 25-year-old Mike Aycock, along with his father, entered the construction business together and opened shop in Harker Heights. Throughout the years, Aycock has seen his business and the city grow.
“I have seen Harker Heights implode with major chain businesses over the years starting after the Gulf War, when we finally got … a McDonald’s in our town,” he said. “Soon, many businesses started to ... follow suit. When they started seeing the soldiers over in Fort Hood, bringing not only their business but their families, Harker Heights began having a spirit of togetherness.”
That is the spirit that Aycock wants to continue today. He said Heights is “exploding with family spirit and overall continuance of new businesses.”
Recent growth comes from a “solid understanding of every person among the city government,” Aycock said.
“Outside of all of us being on the city council together, we are also good friends,” he said. “We do have our disagreements, but ... we all come to an understanding of what we want for our city and we continue to seek just that.”
When Aycock is not putting on his “city official” or “businessman” hat, he is quite the outdoorsman. For more than 20 years, Aycock has competed in water skiing across Texas and won many awards.
This year, Aycock and his wife, Lou, celebrated their 40th anniversary, with their three adult children, Brad, Brandy and Brian.
Where does the mayor see himself in 10 years? “I see myself alive, with my family, and in the outdoors with them.”
Monique Brand - Herald correspondent