Get to know the candidates running in the election
Cedar Parkmayor Incumbent Occupation: homeschool teacher CLAUDIA CHAVEZ
Occupation: attorney Relevant experience: current member of City Council, 12 years of Army leadership and 15 years as a business attorney negotiating complex transactions www.jpmforcedarpark.com JIM PENNIMANMORIN
Occupation: attorney Relevant experience: served two and a half years on the Cedar Park City Council, 20 years representing Texas municipalities
Relevant experience: Being an active community member in our local governments, I’m very fa- miliar with our local government and how it should function. www.claudiaforcitycouncil.com
Why are you the best candidate for this seat?
As a combat medic veteran of Operation Iraqi Free- dom, I was stationed at Camp Anaconda (aka Mortaritaville), which was constantly shelled for days on end. It was in the heat of battle that I learned that I’m at my best while working under pressure. I’m rmly grounded and can make dicult decisions under such pressure without wavering.
In addition to serving on the Cedar Park City Council, I have provided legal representation to Texas municipalities for over 20 years. I have attended hundreds of council meet- ings, drafted numerous ordinances, and advised mayors and councils on topics from litigation to economic development to strategic planning. I am a presenter at the Texas Land Use Conference representing Texas municipalities.
Each of my fellow council members encouraged me to run for mayor because they trust me to be a mayor fully dedicated to serving our city and all of its residents. They know that I am committed to following Corbin Van Arsdale’s success in leading our council in thoughtful and respectful meetings that produce exciting results to secure our city’s future.
What are the top issues the city is facing?
My greatest concern is keeping families from being taxed out of their homes. Cedar Park voters will vote on a $158.8 million bond package this May. Leander ISD is stacking on a $700 million bond package soon. Please do the math: That’s nearly a billion (with a ‘B’) dollars in new spending on top of our current economic woes.
Cedar Park has limited growth areas. It is imperative that we continue to support and grow our business community while limiting growth that will further stress our trac congestion and public services, maintaining our identity as Cedar Park. We need to be a destination for families, businesses, shoppers and diners.
Cedar Park is the best-run city in our region, but it faces all the challenges of rapid growth. To face those head on while not damaging the quality services we already have, our council must continue to support our rst responders, planners and engineers so they can keep our homes safe and our roads, parks and water running reliably.
What do you think sustainable growth looks like for Cedar Park?
Using our tax dollars to build more subsidized apartments is not the answer. This only strains our emergency and police services, and eventually costs property owners more. Allowing property owners more freedom and aordability is the answer.
We must focus on growth that alleviates the property tax burden on our residents by increasing both our sales tax revenue and business growth. Each new development should be a net positive for revenue brought into the city versus the impact on public infrastructure and public services. The city must also continue to provide excellent services to our citizens.
We must not become victims of our own success due to uncontrolled, sprawling growth. Our city must carefully plan infrastructure and creatively guide growth through forward-thinking projects like the Bell District, so that Cedar Park can always be a place where our residents and businesses can dream big with the sense of safety and connectedness of a small town.
Cedar Park City Council, Place 2
[I aman] incumbent inmy second termon council. I serve on the regional water board, CAPCOG and the economic development subcommittee. I served for 12 years on the community development and tourismboards. I was the president of the Forest Oaks HOA. I amcurrently a volunteer on the Reveal Food Pantry and the Twin Lakes YMCA boards. Why are you the best candidate for this seat?
What are the top issues the city is facing?
Our comprehensive plan, strategic goals and city charter provide the foundation for sustainable growth. Along with citizen input, we can accelerate the build-out of our primary roadways, trails, and hike and bike paths to accommodate trac and improve mobility. This will provide better access to our local job and commercial centers. There are standards for this and targets already established. But we need to be discerning between frivolous, wasteful targets and long- standing common-sense targets. What do you think sustainable growth looks like for Cedar Park?
Occupation: owner of Kirkland Consulting Relevant experience: 16 years providing landscape design, project management and installations www.melforcedarpark.com
Texas has been very aggressive in recruiting large employers to the Central Texas Region. People want to move here because of the quality of life, cost of living and environmen- tal conditions. The popularity of Central Tex- as has put additional pressures on housing, trac and access.
I believe that government is there to protect your individual rights and not micromanage your life.
We need to ensure our infrastructure is planned out to compensate for our massive population growth.
Occupation: independent contractor (construction)
Relevant experience: project manager for four years www.kleincampaign.com
Answers may have been edited for length, style and clarity. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com .
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