UPDATED: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 11:07pm
BRYAN, Tx (KYLE) — Former Bryan Mayor Lonnie Stabler passed away this morning following a brief illness. Mayor Stabler served as the City of Bryan's Mayor from May 1995 until May 2001, completing two three-year terms as Mayor, following service as a Bryan City Councilmember from May 1991 until May 1995.
The City of Bryan made great progress under Mayor Stabler's leadership and vision. During his tenure as Mayor, the LaSalle Hotel was purchased and renovated to serve as an anchor and catalyst to downtown redevelopment. Mayor Stabler had the original vision to later sell the hotel after it had served its purpose of helping to jump start downtown redevelopment. During his leadership, the City partnered with private developers to bring the Traditions development to Bryan. Other major accomplishments during his tenure with the City were the Carnegie Library rehabilitation project, the adoption of the Downtown Master Plan, the launch of the downtown façade grant program, the donation of the old city hall building to the Children's Museum, the Neal Recreation Center project, the Austin's Colony residential development, and numerous other projects that have benefited the citizens and businesses of the community. While Stabler served on the City Council, the City also underwent an extensive Charter review process, resulting in the current election plan where five Councilmembers are elected from single member districts.
Prior to, during and after his service on the City Council, Stabler served on the City's Board of Sign Control and Appeals, the Texas Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors, the BTU Board of Directors, the Brazos Animal Shelter Board, the Brazos County Public Health Board, the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency Board, the Metropolitan Planning Organization Board, and the Blinn College Advisory Board. He also held numerous leadership positions in various professional trade associations, such as the Texas Sign Association, Southwest Sign Council and the International Sign Association.
Mayor Jason Bienksi said, "The City of Bryan and the entire community have lost a true public servant. Mayor Stabler always put the betterment of the City before his own needs. He brought tremendous business acumen to the City Council and was hugely instrumental in bringing about a renewed business interest in downtown Bryan, in particular. He will be sorely missed. I ask that all citizens join me in extending our sincere sympathy and thanks for his service to his family."
Funeral services for Mayor Stabler will be held Thursday, December 5, at 11:00 a.m. at Central Baptist Church, 1991 FM 158, College Station. Interment will follow at the Bryan City Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, December 4, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Hillier Funeral Home, 2301 East 29th Street, Bryan.