The Mayor provides strong leadership and presides over Stafford City Council meetings. In his role as head of the City government, the Mayor oversees the pursuit and enforcement of ordinances, regulations, and resolutions; signs all official documents; guides the preparation and administration of the annual budget; and delivers the “State of the City” message each January.
Mayor Leonard Scarcella was first elected as Mayor of the City of Stafford in 1969. He is the longest, continuous serving mayor in the U.S. For 45 years, he has led this City on one of the most successful – – and storied – – journeys of any city in Texas. His leadership and vision have been the springboard to numerous and notable achievements, including:
- The six-year battle to create and implement the Stafford Municipal School District, the only breakaway school district in the nation to gain the approval of the federal courts and the only municipal school district in the state;
- The elimination of the city property tax in 1995 for all taxpayers – -commercial and residential – – through a sound and disciplined fiscal approach, making Stafford the largest city in Texas to abolish city property taxes and gaining national acclaim for the achievement;
- The planning and development of the Stafford Centre, a unique entertainment and cultural complex with a 1,100 seat performing arts theatre, 25,000 square feet of convention center space and four festival fields on 43 acres of property in the heart of the City, opened in 2004;
- The obtaining of innovative legislation, then financing and constructing a state-of-the-art, science and technology center for the Houston Community College on the Stafford Campus as the first such authorized city/college educational facility in the state and funded under a lease/payback arrangement;
- The development of one of the strongest and most diverse economies per capita in Texas;
- The implementation of zoning in 1997;
- The $110 million enhancement of the U.S. 90A corridor, in conjunction with the Texas Department of Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad, including installing two underpasses at FM 1092 and Stafford Road/Staffordshire Road and one overpass at Dulles Avenue, widening of North and South Main Streets the length of the city, moving the railroad tracks 100 feet northerly for safety and mobility purposes and revitalizing the infrastructure of the old business district; and
- The initiation of the Stafford Municipal/ Educational Television Station to bring vital, current and informative programming about City to the citizens and businesses via cable and Internet video streaming.
- The active promotion of a commuter rail project in the US 90A Corridor with four neighboring cities to tie into Houston’s light rail network.
Mayor Scarcella is a life-long resident of Stafford and has practiced law in the City for 45 years.
*Attended grade school in old Missouri City School District and was graduated from Missouri City High School, 1958
*Graduated from Texas A&M University with B.B.A. in Accounting, 1962
*Attended University of Houston Law School; admitted to the State Bar of Texas, 1967
*Served in the Texas Air National Guard with active duty in the United States Air Force, 1963 – 1969; attained the rank of Sergeant
*First elected as Mayor of the City of Stafford in 1969
*Elected to and served on Fort Bend County W.C.&I.D. #2 Board of Directors, 1963 – 1969; President of Board, 1966 – 1969
*Elected and served as first President of Board of Directors – Fort Bend County Industrial Development Corporation (Composed of 13 Mayors, County Commissioners and County Judge of Fort Bend County), 1981 – 1985
*Houston Community College System Board of Trustees named Scarcella Science and Technology Center on Stafford Campus in his honor in 1998
*President of the Stafford Economic Development Corporation, 1999 – Current
*Chairman of the Home Rule Charter Commission, 2003 – 2004
*Appointed by Mayors of Fort Bend County to position of Director of Gulf Coast Freight Rail District, 2007; reappointed and continues to serve.
*Lifelong member of Holy Family Catholic Church – Missouri City, Texas