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Photo courtesy of the City of Allen

Meet Stephen Terrell, Mayor of Allen since 1997. As a civic leader in Allen for more than 15 years and a resident since 1980, Terrell is passionate about helping the city of Allen reach its full potential.

The mayor resides in Allen with his wife and two children. He is a co-owner of Terrell's Drycleaning in Allen and has been deeply involved with various committees and initiatives within the city. Terrell served on the Allen City Council for six years before taking the helm as mayor. 

We wanted to get to know Mayor Terrell a bit better, and he was nice enough to answer some questions for us:

AW: Allen is a growing, lively community. There is much to do and thousands of people to help make decisions for. What do you do to wind down?

ST: I enjoy going out for dinner with my wife and our friends, especially now that Allen has so many great restaurants. I also like to catch all of the action at Allen Event Center from our professional sports teams. We are home to hockey, soccer and football, so there is almost always a great game to go see.

AW: What is it that, in your opinion, makes Allen stand out among surrounding communities?

ST: I see Allen as sort of a modern day Mayberry. The size and nature of our community is just right and offers a genuine hometown feel, while keeping all of the attractions you usually only find in bigger cities, like great parks and recreation facilities, entertainment, shopping and dining. We’ve had consistent vision and leadership to carefully mold our city down to even the smallest details such as the layout of our streets, use of set-backs and landscaping, and the quality of our residential and commercial developments. Most importantly, we have great citizens—actively engaged in all aspects of making the community the best it can be.

AW: What do you hope will be the legacy of your time in office?

ST: I see myself as a listener, and I hope that is how people will remember me. I listened to what our residents had to say and wanted in our community, and took that to help fulfill the vision of Allen you see today. Allen has always been a great city, and I hope people will approve of and enjoy what our city has become under my leadership.

AW: What are your top three goals for the City in 2014?

ST: First, I want to continue to reduce the tax rate for the 22nd consecutive year. As a government body, we can and have demonstrated that taxpayers can expect high quality services at the best value possible. We are also wrapping up the updates to our Comprehensive Plan, which will lead us to begin the process toward a future capital improvement program. As always, we will stay focused on attracting the types of development that will best fit our community long-term as we complete build-out.

AW: Who do you ask for advice?

ST: It depends upon the subject, but, mostly, I talk things over with my wife, Sally. She is the best sounding board for my ideas.

AW: What are you most proud of?

ST: There have been several economic development projects that I am proud to have been a part of, such as Allen Premium Outlets, Cabela’s and Andrews Distributing. These have really put Allen on the map, and I think they benefited from my involvement in the recruitment process.

AW: What is the best thing an Allen resident can do to help make the city better overall?

ST:I think I already answered that, but it’s worth repeating—active involvement is so important. Whether it’s serving as a volunteer in an organization, staying informed about the city, or helping a neighbor—it’s this type of involvement that makes the difference between a good city and a great one. And, VOTE!

AW: Now for the serious stuff. Where’s your favorite place to grab a burger in town? Favorite place to shop? 

ST: I like any of the restaurants in Allen, and since we are "empty nesters," we eat out quite a bit! So, we make the rounds to keep from getting in a rut of going to just one place. I really like Lowe’s and Home Depot for shopping. I can spend hours in those stores.

AW: What’s the last book you read?

ST: The last book I read was "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10"—an incredible book. However, getting to read “Feliciana Feydra LeRoux” to a class of second graders at Bolin Elementary as part of our annual ALLen Reads program organized by Friends of the Allen Public Library has become one of my most treasured memories.

AW: Favorite song?

ST: "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin—truly one of the greatest rock-n-roll bands ever.  

To learn more about Mayor Terrell, click here.