My Views on The Issues

On 4-16-2015 I attended a City Council Forum hosted by the Lakeway Civic Corporation with my fellow candidates. Below are the top 5 questions asked and my views on how we should handle them. To watch the Forum via video you can click here: City Council Fourm

Question 1:  What do you feel are the most important issues for the City Council to focus on in the next three years?

Answer a): Since 2000 Lakeway’s population has increased by more than 30% so the very first thing we need to do is revamp the City Master Plan that was last updated in 2003. We must develop goals with a good dose of reality to address the continued growth and how it Is and Will affect traffic, water, safety, and the infrastructure that supports it. We need to look Not just to the next three years but the next 15-20 years and decide what we need to do Now in order to achieve those goals. By being proactive now we can avoid being reactive in the future.

Answer b): According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Small business drives the US economy, over 50% of businesses experiencing high growth had under 10 employees. Lakeway certainly falls into this category and because small business is driving our local economy it is important for us to look for the Best businesses to bring in, the ones that will assist us in the resources we need. At the same time, we must look at solutions to address the lack of staffing currently being experienced by our existing small businesses today.

Question 2: What are your basic ideas on how and where the City of Lakeway should grow and develop?

Answer a): It is so important to get our residents involved in change. I am not talking about that person who has an agenda or special interest they would like to see happen, I am talking about that person who wants to see the entire city benefit with the decisions being made. My proposal would be to form an Economic Development Advisory Board that would bring together a group of community representatives from local government, transportation, construction, retail, utilities, finance, schools, and planning to discuss and develop a plan that would carve out the best options for our city growth.

Answer b): I think we need to explore the benefits of becoming a cleaner, greener community and the incentives that offered for doing so. One idea would be to be to begin a business recycling program.

Answer c-1): I shared that businesses drive our economy and that right now, today there are many  businesses who cannot even open their doors due to the lack of staffing. A couple of options we should research are the possibility of adding a University or Community College satellite campus or trade school like Le Cordon Bleu. This can increase the supply of workers while they are going to college as well as producing college graduates who can potentially enter the local labor market. The advantage to having a campus in our community is so government and businesses can take advantage of cutting edge university knowledge and facilities to develop new products and technologies.

Answer c-2): Another option would be to bring an Uber transportation Hub which could provide alternative transportation options.

Question 3: What is the City Council’s role in resolving traffic issues in Lakeway?

Answer a): We must continue to involve our citizens in Big decisions like this that require their Voice but it must be a fair cross section of the community. Currently there is a 620 Corridor Committee that is involved in doing a study that will run from Hwy 183 all the way to Hwy 71. The study will take 12-15 months and includes a cross section of community members all along the corridor. I was asked to be on the committee but that is pending since I am serving as a Zoning and Planning Commissioner (not sure why that matters but we will see). I would be participating as a business owner whose business is off of one of the busiest parts of 620. We need to hold the committee accountable for keeping the community informed of what they find.

Answer b): We must consider taking action on things that can be done in the very near future. One would be to work with CapMetro to bring in a bus line. I’m not sure how it all works but will be researching it. I encourage You to do the same and keep me posted!

Answer b-1): Another option is to work with CAMPO to be a part of the Intelligent Transportation System which would include processes such as light timing to create better traffic flow.

Answer b-2): We must keep our residents informed of timelines, progress, and what is needed from them to keep these projects moving along.

Question 4: Do you support an Arts District? Why or Why not.

Answer a): I do like the idea of having an Arts and Cultural District that would support not just local arts and artists but also museums and local cultural history. However, it is going to be important to take our time when planning the project. I would like to see a district that is multi-use and that has a self-sustaining financial foundation.

Question 5: In the last nine years the Lakeway property tax rate has been lowered. Given our city’s rapid growth, what is your view of the future of our taxes?

Answer a): As cities grow, everything involved in running the city must increase too. From staffing, to safety, to government buildings that service the city. To maintain the lifestyle and safety we presently enjoy we need to take a good look at the reality that taxes most likely will increase. While no one likes that idea I believe it is the City Councils responsibility to scrutinize and prioritize projects. At the end of the day I would much rather see gradual increases over a period of some years rather than wait and have an immediate cost prohibitive rate increase because we waited too long.





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