Elected in May of 2015 and reelected in 2018, Laura Hill is Southlake's current and first female mayor. Her City of Southlake service stretches back to 2004, when she first took her place on the Southlake City Council. During her time on Council and now as mayor, she has made the Southlake community and Southlake's youth her priorities. Working with present and past Councils, she has helped keep property taxes low, ensure our children's safety in Carroll schools, and create many diverse groups, including the founding of the Mayor Alliance for Unity and Culture in 2018, and S.K.I.L., Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership in 2015.
Mayor Hill has a passion for students and young people. In 2007 she co-founded the first of several youth-focused organizations. S.P.A.R.K. (Students and Parents Against Risks to our Kids, SASO (Scholars and Athletes Serving Others), and S.K.I.L. (Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership) are all geared towards supporting students to be their best selves as they grow up. She also regularly invited children to Town Hall as part of the Mayor for the Day program.
The idea for the Mayor's Alliance for Unity and Culture got its start in 2018 after the Mayor had a tough and honest conversation with a group of Southlake High School Students about race and discrimination. This group, composed of both students and adults, acts in an advisory capacity to the Council about diversity, inclusion, and equality. That year Mayor Hill worked with Alliance students to make a public service announcement condemning racism and promoting meaningful change.
As a Texas small business co-owner since 1995, she is actively involved in the Southlake business community, as a Southlake Chamber of Commerce member and an Advisory Board Member of Frost Bank. Nationally she has provided leadership on the Board of Directors and former Chair of the National Association of Directory Publishers. “Meet the Mayor” events at local businesses have been hosted to directly connect Mayor Hill to business leaders and residents in an informal setting.
Mayor Hill has actively supported community groups of all types as a featured speaker at cultural events, business gatherings and by hosting community conversations. The popular “Coffee and Conversation” roundtables have been public forums so participants could come together to discuss some of the community’s most challenging and pressing issues. When COVID-19 limited public meetings, Mayor Hill continued the conversations virtually, focusing on supporting families through the pandemic's challenges.
Safety & Security
A safe and secure community is one of Mayor Hill’s top concerns. To that end, she has been a strong supporter of the Southlake Police and Fire Departments and has proactively supported initiatives to strengthen the City’s position to handle public safety challenges.
Mayor Hill formed a safety task force following multiple school shootings to ensure that the Police Department and local school officials have needed resources to ensure a comprehensive approach to school safety best practices. School safety initiatives also include the use of a School Resource Officer in every Carroll ISD school.
Strong partnerships are a strategic priority for the City, and Mayor Hill has concentrated on forming professional relationships with other local mayors and elected officials in the region and state and federal elected officials. As an active member of the Metroport Cities Partnership and through participation with the North Texas Commission, she has worked to ensure that Southlake collaborates with professional colleagues.
Mayor Hill’s commitment to communication and transparency has been a hallmark of her time in office. Active on social media, readily available for public appearances, and willing to share information through videos, she strongly believes in the public’s right-to-know and works tirelessly to share information.
High-Value Public Services
Mayor Hill, the Southlake City Council, and City staff are committed to providing excellent service, at a reasonable cost. Since 2009, the Southlake City Council has approved ten tax relief initiatives, including tax rate reductions and full implementation of a 20% homestead exemption. City debt has been reduced significantly so that today, the City’s debt as a percentage of assessed value is 0.21%.
Efforts to lower the tax burden have not prevented Mayor Hill and other Councilmembers from pursuing ideas to improve the quality of life for residents, however. Mayor Hill has brought considerable energy to carefully managing growth, providing outstanding recreational opportunities, and enhancing community aesthetics with public art.