By: Malcolm Mayhew
Wearing many hats, including those of Westlake town manager and superintendent of Westlake Academy, means every day is different for Tom Brymer. “The variety of my responsibilities is one of the things that makes my job both challenging and fun. Some days I’m dealing with development issues or projects related to the growth Westlake is experiencing, and other days it could be budget planning for the academy or strategic planning for the school. Sometimes it’s planning the town’s capital improvement programs or following up on a citizen or parent question or concern … ,” Brymer says.
In 2011, under Brymer’s watch, Westlake was named the most affluent neighborhood in the country by Forbes magazine. It’s a town occupied by approximately 1,250 residents in its 6.6 square miles. Brymer believes Westlake’s greatest strengths are its people and its location. “We have a very well-educated and bright population. We are right on the 114 corridor. Our location is very near the DFW Airport, and we have a lot of land that is available for development,” Brymer says.
The town manager of Westlake since 2008, Brymer brings more than 40 years of experience in the public sector and public administration in local government, specifically city management. At just 25 years old, he began his life in the public sector by taking the role as city manager of Gilmer, a small East Texas town. Repairing the town’s economy by shifting it from in the red to in the black, Brymer was able to help Gilmer invest in infrastructure projects. He went on to offer his public service to Lockhart, College Station and Olathe, Kansas. Brymer was in part attracted to Westlake because of its academic facility – Westlake Academy – the only municipally owned, open-enrollment charter school in the state of Texas.
“Our open enrollment means we are a public school, and the only prerequisite for a student to attend the academy is the geographic location of the student’s primary residence,” Brymer says. In his role as superintendent, Brymer coordinates the efforts of the academy principals and administrative staff to provide a unique and highly sought-after International Baccalaureate education.
He believes that education plays an incredibly important role as the “crucible where a child begins to not only learn, but also to experience new things and develop a sense of inquiry and interest in various topics and subjects.”
Growing up, there was no question about whether or not Brymer would attend college; it was expected. “My father and mother were the first in their families to graduate from college. Education was viewed as essential for becoming a complete person and for attaining success in whatever field we decided to pursue after college,” Brymer says.
As a true Renaissance man, Brymer has many diverse talents and interests. “I don’t have as much spare time outside of work as I’d like to, but I enjoy gardening and landscaping.” He immerses himself in the humanities by reading about history and playing guitar, bass guitar and the drums. Brymer also dabbles in acrylic painting.
While his children are grown and living elsewhere, he and his wife of nearly 40 years have benefited from the positive impact of the Westlake community and vice versa. “My position with the Town of Westlake has afforded us a rare opportunity to be a part of building something special, a unique and beautiful premier knowledge-based community … Public service has always been attractive to me, in the sense of wanting to contribute and, hopefully, leave things a little better than I found them,” Brymer says.
By: Malcolm Mayhew