Mayor Hervey laid foundation for growing community
James B. “Dick” Hervey completed his term as College Station’s sixth mayor some 40 years ago, but the impact he made on our rapidly expanding community shouldn’t be underestimated. Mr. Hervey, who died Wednesday at the age of 93, had been the city’s oldest surviving mayor.
A 1942 graduate of Texas A&M, the Greenville native won a special election in 1971 and was the first College Station mayor to have business affiliations. He played a key role in the city’s growth and development, not only as mayor but through his association with Community Savings and Loan.
In 2010, Mr. Hervey recalled his 1971 election as part of an oral history project by the city:
As mayor, Mr. Hervey oversaw the start of a development boom that forever altered the city’s landscape. No decade in the city’s history saw more changes than the 1970s, when the population more than doubled. The 1970 Census counted 17,676 resident and by 1980, more than 37,000 people called College Station home. Some of Mr. Hervey’s main goals as mayor were to encourage orderly growth while attracting business and light industry to town. In February 1974, he announced he wouldn’t seek reelection.
“He really loved College Station,” his son, Bob Hervey, said Thursday. “He tried to put College Station on a path to solid growth and did all he could to serve the community. He was a doer, and he loved College Station, Texas A&M and his family.”
Here are just a few of the city’s major accomplishments during Mr. Hervey’s term as mayor:
- Adopted a hotel/motel tax in 1973.
- Commissioned the city’s first comprehensive plan in 1972.
- Established College Station’s first aquatic facility, later named Adamson Municipal Pool, in 1974.
- Completed a 2 million gallon waste disposal plant.
- Approved property tax breaks for residents over the age of 65.
- Installed traffic signals along Texas Avenue at University, Jersey and Walton.
- Began using ballots with punch holes.
Mr. Hervey served as the third executive director of Texas A&M’s Association of Former Students from 1947 to 1964, and became president of University National Bank in 1966. He also served on the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce and the A&M Consolidated School Board. Mr. Hervey received Texas A&M’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988.
Mr. Hervey is survived by two sons, Bob and Dick. His wife, Nedra, passed away in 1987 and his oldest son, Scott, died in 2004.