Mayor Bruce Archer honored former Mesquite Mayor George Venner on July 14 during the George A. Venner, Sr. Municipal Center dedication ceremony.
Venner was presented with a replica of the plaque that now is displayed in the lobby of the building. In April, the City Council renamed the Municipal Center at 1515 N. Galloway Avenue in honor of Venner who served as Mayor from 1987 through 1991.
“Big things were happening in the city when Mayor Venner became mayor, a great transition was taking place” Archer said during the presentation. “And Mesquite needed not just a mayor but a strong leader who could make tough calls and who could steer the town toward a new era… So today, it gives me great pleasure to officially dedicate this building to future public service, to be named here and after the George Venner Sr. Municipal Center.”
In 1988, Venner addressed the growth of the city and its employees. With the city renting space in a dozen locations for its staff, he approached the owner of the 50,000 square-foot medical office building located at 1515 North Galloway Avenue. He convinced them to donate the land and the city bought the building, saving taxpayers more than $7 million in today’s dollar. The George A. Venner, Sr. Municipal Center is now home to most of the city’s administrative operations.
In 1987, Venner led the search for a new performing arts center. Today, the Mesquite Arts Center is home to the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra, Mesquite Community Band, Mesquite Arts Theatre and Texas Area Artists. In 1988, he organized Keep Mesquite Beautiful, Inc. It earned the Governor’s Community Achievement Award in 1990. Other notable programs that Venner helped guide included community events like Christmas in the Park, the Community Public Health Clinic, the Rutherford Recreation Center and Senior Center, and the Mesquite Police Department’s first K-9 Program. In 1988, he was honored with the “Citizen of the Year” award.
Since his term of Mayor, Venner has remained active in the community, serving on various boards and committees, including the Mesquite Arts Council Board of Directors and being a “Mustanger” ambassador for the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce.