May was quite a month for Wes Boyer. On Day 1, he was elected as the sixth member of the Northlake Town Council after a special election to move the community to home rule charter was approved. Later that month, he and wife, Jessica, opened Northlake ATA Martial Arts on top of being parents to five children – two biological and three adopted.
“It was pretty crazy,” the 42-year-old said. “It’s been a whirlwind the past couple of months because of making the decision to represent the citizens of the town. I was part of the Home Rule Charter Commission that prepared the amendment as Northlake went from a general ruled town.
“I hope to represent the citizens and their vision. We’re in such a growth phase right now because there’s such a large amount of land that’s just pastureland and has a lot of growth potential.”
Until a year ago, Boyer didn’t know what home rule meant. The commission was his first involvement with a government entity. He’d also never run for public office.
He and Jessica started their neighborhood Facebook page, and after Mayor David Rettig joined the group and learned of Boyer’s abilities, he asked him to join the commission late in 2020.
“When a municipality is first formed, it is a general law town that looks to state law on everything to figure out what it can do. A home rule town looks to state law to learn what they can’t do,” Boyer said. “Home rule towns have more control over those things. If it’s not addressed, you can control it.”
Boyer said home rule gives citizens more power on decisions, including whether to allow zoning, recalling officials or laws, submitting laws to be considered at the ballot box, town council term limits, and whether the mayor has a vote.
The biggest thing Boyer has learned so far is it is difficult to make everybody happy. He also has realized how little power town governments have including what is built on private land outside of zoning restrictions.
“The most effective thing the town can control at this point is we have a somewhat limited sewer system so if we don’t put in a sewer system in a neighborhood they can’t develop something that doesn’t have a septic system,” he said. “A septic system will limit you to about a minimum of an acre.”
On a personal level, Boyer initially trained in taekwondo in 1990 at mother Katy Wheaton’s schools at Tarrant County Community College, Colleyville, and North Richland Hills. Since then, he has worked his way to seventh-degree black belt and Senior Master Instructor.
He began teaching the sport part-time after graduating from Richland High School while selling cellphones, managing a restaurant, and serving two years in the United States Army before being medically discharged. Soon after returning home in 2011, he bought Southlake ATA Martial Arts, where he previously worked.
Their Southlake business has moved twice because of increasing demand, growing from 40 students to the current 240. The Northlake location already has 115 red, orange, or yellow belt students. Overall, the Boyers teach students as young as 5 and as old as 60 — with five winning titles at the world championships that ended in early August.
“It was our most successful single year,” he said. “My wife even won a category (combat sticks sparing).”
They have lived in Northlake for nearly three years after five years in two homes in Justin. In 2017, they adopted Zeke, now 14; Jeffrey, 10; and Kinsley, 9. They joined biological children, Boston 13, and Bailey, 12.
‘Our first house in Justin wasn’t big enough, so we built another in Justin — which turned out not to be big enough when we took home not one but three because it didn’t have enough sinks or bedrooms,” he said. “We could have made it work, but it would have meant a lot of bathroom and bedroom sharing. So we sold that and built a custom six-bedroom house on a five-acre lot here in Northlake.”
The Boyers wanted a second school nearby to take advantage of the area’s growth. They actually signed a lease before the COVID-19 pandemic and opened more than a year later than planned. But after the initial challenges the pandemic posed, everything is back to normal.
“It’s been pretty fun so far here,” he said. “There really wasn’t this type of opportunity here before. There’s something intrinsic about what we offer, as it provides kids with discipline. We can take some of the self-discipline things they learn at school to the next level.”
photos courtesy of Wesley Boyer