by Kim Hilsenbeck
Buda residents have the opportunity to vote in a special election this Saturday for a candidate to replace Todd Ruge, who gave up his Place 2 seat when he was elected mayor in December. Ruge was voted into office in a special election after former Mayor Sandra Mangham resigned from the position due to health reasons.
The three candidates vying for the open council spot are Amy Proctor, a 30-year Buda resident, Wiley Hopkins, currently the vice chairman of Buda’s Zoning Board of Adjustments, and Cathy Chilcote, Community Director at The Lynd Company, a property management firm. Chilcote is also a former Buda council member who lost the seat in November to George Haehn.Each of the candidates was given an opportunity to answer a questionnaire from the Hays Free Press. On the next page are Cathy Chilcote’s verbatim responses. The other candidates did not provide a response.
Election day is Saturday, Jan. 26 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. All voting is at Buda City Hall.
Buda City Council candidate, Pl. 2
Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?
I am currently the only candidate who has council experience. I understand you need taxes to drive the budget. I have acted conservatively in raising taxes, and in my spending practices on the council. I have voted to place items on triggers, so that spending does not occur unless there are assocated revenues to apy for the items. We currently have less than 7% debt in Buda, yet we are able to support a police force and pay for roads and other improvements.
What is the No. 1 issue affecting our community, and what will you do to address it?
Managing the growth which will come no matter what and attracting the right businesses to Buda that will support and contribute to our revenues seem to be the most urgent items right now. We have crops that will turn to roof tops. Land will be developed right in the heart of our town. We have codes and a comprehensive plan that will dictate what is built, how it is built and where it will be built. We need to continue with our CIPs to address roads, water and sewer capacity. Water will be somethng that everyone wants more of and needs but will cost a lot more money. Sewage needs to go under IH 35 to the east side, with an agreement done with GBRA. Infrastructure will be key in the enxt year or so.
How can you help bring jobs to Buda?
Employers need a workforce. I have listened to many employers talk about the quality of life needed in a community to retain their workforce. Buda is a terrific town with lots to do, plenty of open spaces to recreate, and lots of shopping and services. In addition to quality of life, employers need an educated workforce. The HAYS CISD Career and Technology Program has worked diligently for many years recruiting ACC and other educational institutions in which to enroll students wherein certificates are earned, and students are placed in their field of interest. With ACC coming soon, and Texas State in San Marcos, UT and St Edwards, so closely located to Buda, we are an ideal fit to promote what we have here and attract larger clean industry that hires many workers. The Buda EDC has brought together the city manager, the Chamber President, and is promoting and recruiting strong businesses to locate to our area. This has been a great beginning for Buda.
What is the last book you read?
I read ‘No Easy Day’, the story behind the movie “Zero Dark Thrirty”.
What adjective would a close friend use to describe you?
Something readers might be surprised to learn about you?
I am the only candidate in the race that has addressed a City of Buda budget, attended more council meetings than any sitting council member, and I was directly responsible for bringing jobs to Buda.
Current job and prior public service:
After retiring from the Hays CISD, I attended ACC and received a certificate in property management. Since retirement, I have been working for housing properties in the Austin area. My public service extends to being a girl scout leader, a boy scout leader, a Head Start volunteer in the migrant fields in Calif; a leader for CYA (catholic youth advisor); co-sponsor for the Leo Club at Hays High School for 4 years; a founding board member of the North Hays County Optimist Club; a member of the Buda Lions Club since 1993 and secretary for 2 years; a school board member for Santa Cruz Catholic School; board member for the LGC; board member for the Buda Economic Development Corp; founding member for the HAYS CISD Education Foundation; past City of Buda Volunteer of the Year; member of the Friends of the Library; past co-chair of Red, White and Buda; Founder of the Trail of Lights for the City of Buda; creator of the Senior Advisory Board; Founder of Keep Buda Beautiful; member of the YMCA CAPS program in Calif; etc. I have always been a big believer in building better communities thru active volunteerism, and have taught my children to first and foremost give back to their community.
Attended West Valley junior College, Cupertino Junior College, College of Notre Dame. Attended ACC here in Austin in the 1990’s for my certificate in property management. Worked as a social worker–my field of interest originally in college. Moved to Austin and to Buda with Lockheed Corporation in the 1980’s, then back to San Diego to work on the Space Shuttle project, then back to Buda where I have lived for the last 20 some years. I have roughly 100 Continuing Education Units in government classes associated with my position as councilmember, taken over the last 12 years.
- Chilcote returns: Former Buda council member plans comeback 12/19/2012
- Buda Council Member Schaeffer resigns 08/14/2012
- Buda Council Member Schaeffer set to resign 08/10/2012