BOERNE, San Antonio – Boerne, feeling the squeeze of encroachment from San Antonio and elsewhere, will get a new leader in May who will need to address that historic growth head on. Its current mayor, Tim Handren, has informed his City Council colleagues that he won’t seek reelection.
The timing of that decision is intriguing, given the challenges Boerne faces, but it’s a move, Handren said, that will allow him to focus more attention on his other day job as CEO of Santikos Enterprises and a growth strategy for the San Antonio-based movie theater operator.
Handren was elected in May 2019, prior to the pandemic. He’s serving out the final year of his second two-year term.
“I feel really good about what has happened over the last four years,” Handren said. “There were some top priorities for me, and I feel like we’ve made some great strides to move this community forward.”
Those priorities have included long-range infrastructure issues, including water and transportation. Boerne has also addressed governance changes and other needs on Handren’s watch.
“One of the very first things I did was update our city charter. It hadn’t been updated since the city was formed,” he said, noting that Boerne has also enacted a long-range planning process that can address the growth that’s headed its way.
Boerne has also updated its unified development code. And late last year, voters approved a nearly $40 million municipal bond package that will, in part, address roadway improvements.
Interestingly, Handren led a push for Boerne to enact term limits that would restrict mayors to no more than three terms and nine years in office. That plan was nixed by voters.
Meanwhile, Handren has worked with Kendall County officials to create a transportation planning committee that could expand talks with the Texas Department of Transportation. And, he’s maintained a dialogue with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, given the impact the Alamo City’s outward growth will have on Boerne.
That work has run parallel to Handren’s increasing responsibilities at Santikos, including an expanding role with the National Association of Theatre Owners, as well as his push to find a better work-life balance.
“That’s all played into this decision,” he said.
Asked if there are any concerns about a change in leadership now, with so much on the line for the historic city, Handren said, “I’m not really a particularly political guy. I’ve been focused on getting things done, and we’ve made great progress on a lot of fronts. I’m happy with that.”
Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.