From cockpit to council: Prosper mayor discusses journey


Photo courtesy of Mayor David Bristol.

In the town council meeting room, Mayor David Bristol stands with his family. “My three kids and one granddaughter are by far the greatest achievements in my life,” Bristol said. “We can do all these things and be recognized for achievements, and if you don’t have your family, that changes everything.” This photo highlights the following members of his family: Mayor Bristol’s son Drew Bristol, daughter-in-law Alex Bristol, granddaughter Harper Buster, Mayor Bristol, daughter Makenzie Buster, and daughter Julia Bristol.

After flying fighter jets across European seas, Prosper Mayor David Bristol said he now has his sight set on improving Prosper and building community through a series of events called “Discover Downtown.”

Bristol plans to add another event to the town’s new “Discover Downtown” series, with the “Moonlight Movie,” an offering where citizens can watch the movie “Encanto” and meet characters from the movie. They also can participate in other activities happening Sept. 24. The mayor said this event and others provide a way for people to explore businesses in the area.

“We have the Discover Downtown series, where we try and bring people downtown so that we can build a sense of community – where we get out we meet our neighbors,” Bristol said. “(We hold) all kinds of events here downtown just so that we can build a sense of community.”

When talking about his 30-year career in the air force, Bristol recounted participating in notable operations such as Desert Shield during The Gulf War from 1990-1991.

“I got to fly for 20 years plus, and go all over the world,” he said. “I feel like I’m the poster child of why to join the Air Force. I have a unique career because I flew in England. From there I went to Desert Shield (and) participated in all of those events.”

Bristol said his experience in the military gives him the opportunity to share with students about the possibilities service could offer their futures.

“The military, I think, is a great opportunity for young adults,” Bristol said. “You can choose to become something that’s not ordinary. You can choose pathways and build for your entire future.”

While deployed and living overseas in England, Bristol’s father-in-law had a heart attack, causing him and his family to come back stateside.

“We didn’t think he was going to make it, so we got off of active duty after one year there,” Bristol said. “The idea was to be able to come back, be with my wife’s family, and really take part in their family business.”

Once back in Texas, Bristol continued to fly. This time with the Texas Air National Guard – a position he stayed in until he got a job as an instructor pilot in Wichita Falls, where he taught people from NATO allied countries how to fly.

I think Mayor Bristol is doing an awesome job so far. He promised to work on roads, and he just opened the bridge on Frontier! He seems to be also keeping his promise of working closer with Prosper ISD. I hope that he continues to use his skills he obtained from the Air Force toward this new role.

— sophomore Christina Krasnova

“The most rewarding (job) was teaching kids how to fly in Wichita Falls, ” Bristol said, “I taught kids from Denmark, Germany, Italy and America. Every NATO country sent their fighter pilots to Wichita Falls to get trained.”

After 30 years in the Air Force, Bristol received an honorable discharge. He then began to set his sights on helping the town his kids grew up in during their high school years.

“My family and I have lived in Prosper for over 20 years,” Bristol said. “All three of my kids graduated from Prosper High School.”

Bristol served on the town council from 2004-2008. He then served on the Prosper Economic Development Corporation, starting in 2016, before becoming mayor earlier this year.

“Our previous mayor, Ray Smith, was term-limited,” Bristol said, “He’s helped with the previous councils – built all the reasons why people move to Prosper in the first place.”

Being an Air Force Academy graduate, Bristol felt compelled to serve the government in some capacity.

“People spent a lot of money to train me and teach me, and I wasn’t going to sit by when Mayor Smith was term-limited, and not step into the gap there,” Bristol said. “I felt very called to that because of the training I had at the Air Force Academy.”

Before stepping into his current position, Bristol looked to Mayor Smith as a mentor figure.

“Mayor Smith has been a great mentor and a friend for many years,” Bristol said. His contact list is huge with people here in North Texas who will help continue to develop Prosper.”

Stepping into a new position brought changes to Bristol’s daily schedule.

“I have a regular job that I go to, but now on every Tuesday and Thursday, I dedicate all day long to doing stuff for the town,” Bristol said. “We have two meetings a month that can go from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.”

Now that he is in office, Bristol said he dedicated himself to five “centers of excellence” to work on improving the town: technology, healthcare, education, wellness and community. When it comes to students, he thinks that technology and healthcare will impact them the most.

“One of the things I would personally like to bring to town is a 5G network here right in the downtown area, so all the downtown businesses have good affordable access. Now when we bring events down here to downtown, that becomes something that citizens can use,” Bristol said, “We can see how the school district can benefit by perhaps doing internship programs with Children’s Health and Cook Children’s Hospital mutual programs of training. I spoke to some other folks, and there may be some associate degrees that can be through Collin College and may be available by just the proximity of having those facilities here.”

Along with the centers of excellence, Bristol also wants to impact students by improving the quality of the roads in town, as well as a continued partnership with the school district.

“I want our roads to be safer for students,” Bristol said. “It’s an ongoing strategic plan to continue to build our roads where students can get back and forth to school safely. That’s a big thing. I believe that we are working very hard together to build those relationships so that when the district has a need for something that the town can help with, it works both ways.”

In order to keep track of his busy schedule, Mayor Bristol has town secretary Michelle Lewis Sirianni, who has been involved with local government for 16 years and joined Prosper’s town government a year ago.

“So, currently for my work for the mayor, I usually help him with his calendar, help keep his meetings and keep him on task with those,” Sirianni said. “For the council as a whole, (I do) their council packet preparation. If they are involved in any community events as a whole, I can help coordinate those.”

After Bristol was elected in May, Sirianni said she appreciated him joining the office.

“I guess he’s hard to describe,” Sirianni said. “He’s very punctual. I know with his military background. He’s very clear. He’s very cordial and welcoming to everyone that he encounters. So, I think he’s got a great personality and characteristics to serve as a mayor.”

Outside of his professional life, Bristol likes to spend time with his family, which includes his wife, three kids, and one granddaughter.

“My three kids and one granddaughter are by far the greatest achievements in my life,” Bristol said. “I picked a really good wife and mother. And, so I take that as my number one priority in my life. We can do all these things and be recognized for achievements, and if you don’t have your family, that changes everything.”