Municipal and Academic Services
The Westlake community is very unique in that we provide service delivery through two distinct areas – municipal and academic operations. All total there are 12 distinct areas of department-level service delivery for our Town. The more commonly known roles for local government are categorized under the umbrella of our municipal service delivery side of the organization. They include the following service departments:
- Fire/EMS Services
- Public Works (Water, sewer, roadways, solid waste, and recycling)
- Planning & Development (Development standards and zoning applications)
- Municipal Court (Class C Misdemeanor cases)
- Parks, Cemetery, & Recreation (for the Town-owned park and our extensive trail system)
- Communications (Web-based, print media, social media, and video publications)
- Facilities & Maintenance (Physical assets of the Town)
- Finance (Revenue & expenditure oversight, budget preparation, auditing)
- Information Technology (Internal & external technology, data integrity, and security)
- Westlake Academy (Municipally-managed and operated, open-enrollment charter school)
- Human Resources
- Administration (Town Secretary and Town Manager Services)
Most of these services are provided through direct service delivery – meaning, Town staff are hired to oversee and carry out those functions. We also utilize interlocal agreements, outside contractors, and public/private partnerships to deliver the high-quality services our community enjoys. For example, the Town has entered into an inter-local agreement and contracts with the City of Keller to provide police services for Westlake. Thus, we gain access to a state and nationally accredited police department without bearing the full cost of departmental operations. We also utilize a public/private partnership for solid waste and recycling services. These are two unique instances of many, where both our elected officials and our Town staff work together to keep costs down and provide a broad range of services.
On the academic side of our organization, the Town manages and operates Westlake Academy as an open-enrollment charter school. The Town of Westlake (not Westlake Academy) is the charter holder and thus, is responsible to the Texas Education Agency for the oversight of the operations of the campus, educational progress of the students, and the finances of the school.
A brief history of how the Academy was created
The Town Council directed the Town Manager to seek a charter through the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in order to create a community-based school within our town boundaries. The Resolution (00-54) approved on December 11, 2000, stated,
“a local school is recognized as a necessary, unifying and defining element of any community, and the Town of Westlake is without this most important community component”.
It further clarified that the
“Town of Westlake intends to create an open-enrollment charter school in the Town of Westlake that represents an alternative style and type of public education intended to complement and supplement the three local ISDs”.
On February 15, 2001, the Town Manager officially submitted the application for an open-enrollment charter school to TEA. The application was granted interim approval in July of 2001 and then Staff set about responding to all the inquiries and directions provided by TEA and the construction of the school campus. We actually petitioned the State Legislature to change the education laws so that the Town of Westlake could operate and manage a school. The contract was fully negotiated and signed in the fall of 2003.
Westlake is fortunate to have three high-performing independent school district (ISD) options for our residents – Northwest, Keller, and Carroll ISD. However, none of those districts had a school campus (or planned to build a campus) that was located within our community. As you can see, the Town Council went to great lengths to create not only a local school campus for Westlake but also offer an educational option that would enhance the school choices in the area.