Champion of UP Parks Hits Her Term Limit

Mayor Pro Tem Liz Farley leaves City Council after six years of service

“I wouldn’t want to be on the council I don’t think, anywhere else,” outgoing University Park council member Liz Farley said. “People respond, people are engaged. They love their parks. They love their city. It’s just a really sweet place to be.”

Farley, who completed her third term on the City Council in May, has lived in University Park for 27 years. She began her service to the community when her children were very young and she noticed that friends were planning playdates at nicer parks outside the city. 

Farley approached the City Council about raising funds for new playgrounds. Thanks to the support of the council and the “amazing community” in University Park, within months Farley and her co-chair had raised enough for playgrounds at Caruth, Coffee, and Burleson parks.

Farley served on the parks advisory committee for eight years and planning and zoning commission for another eight before being asked to run for the City Council. 

When Farley spoke with her husband, Lane, about the idea, “he, without hesitation, said, ‘You should do it; you’d be great,’” Farley recalled.

“I say that because it was a powerful endorsement,” Farley continued, “and just to encourage us all to be that person for someone, to speak up if you think someone would be good at something.”

Six years later, Farley has served the maximum number of consecutive terms allowed under University Park’s charter. New member Melissa Rieman replaced her on the City Council at the beginning of May.

Farley said that she has been proud to serve with University Park’s outstanding staff and citizen committees, praising the “excellence and expertise and availability,” of everyone from the city manager to sanitation workers.

“They care about our community, and that makes all the difference,” she said. “They stay up at night, and they go out in the cold, and they just get it done for us.”

In her time on the council, Farley has made preserving the city’s parkland a priority. “This is all the parkland we have,” she said, “and it goes away inch by inch, not park by park.”

Farley said she was excited about the beginning of construction in Snider Plaza and purchase of University Park’s new police training facility on Fondren Drive, which will help the city recruit and retain officers.

She was also pleased that the city has completed the first phase its storm mitigation project. The project included the creation of a 3.5-million-gallon detention tank, “a parking garage for water,” under Caruth Park, which water can enter quickly before being slowly released downstream.

But it’s the people Farley has met while on the council and the feeling that she’s helped create a sense of community for residents that have meant the most to her.

“It gives people a sense of home when you’re able to provide those paths to cross and ways to connect without having to plan it. I think our neighborhood does that uniquely well,” she said. “I think it’s hard to be lonely in University Park.”

Farley and her husband just welcomed their first grandchild and will be empty nesters this fall for the first time in 27 years. 

“I’m just so thankful that I got to serve in this way,” she said. “I’m going to miss it and I just appreciate (residents’) support and trust in me to serve on the council.”

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