- Published: Wednesday, 16 October 2013 12:10
All six candidates that filed to run for Buda City Council were given the following questionnaire in an effort to help readers decide who will best lead our city council. Angela Kennedy and Wiley Hopkins were the only candidates who responded.
Q1: Full name and preferred nickname and Council Place for which you are running
A: Angela Kennedy, Place 1
Q2: Ever held public office before and when/where?
Q3: List five characteristics you bring to the table that you believe will serve constituents well
A: Knowledgeable – 18 years of water resources engineering experience
Inquisitive – the best decision are well informed decisions.
Resourceful – balancing career and family, I’ve learned to be an effective and imaginative problem solver.
Analytical – governing is in the details
Compassionate - I care deeply about the community’s concerns.
Q4: What was the spark for deciding to run for Buda City Council?
A: Two pieces of information drove my decision to run for City Council. First, Hays County is one of the fastest growing counties in Texas. Second, Texas is currently experiencing the second-worst drought on record. I have spent the last 5 years contributing to the development of the 2012 State Water Plan at the Texas Water Development Board and feel that my experience in water resources planning would be an asset to the Buda City Council as we plan for the future of our community.
Q5: Some folks say Buda is growing too fast and losing that small town charm. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
A: We moved to Buda to raise our family because of the excellent schools, low cost of living and historic downtown. As Buda continues to grow, the solution to maintaining that small town charm that we all love includes fostering our parks system and a walkable downtown district where we come together as a community. These are the smart growth principles I have been promoting during my campaign and that reflect the citizens’ vision of Buda that was outlined in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan.
Q6: PC or Mac? (which do you use/prefer)
A: I use a PC all day at work but prefer the Mac we have at home.
Q7: What’s most important to you, controlling growth, keeping taxes low or meeting the city’s water needs for the next several decades?
A: The Buda economic strategic plan focused on economic diversification and attracting retail businesses and tourism that will not only improve our quality of life but also provide the sales tax revenue that will help us to keep property taxes low. Buda needs to be able to provide adequate long term water supplies to attract these businesses. I have the experience to help solve the challenges Buda faces in acquiring new water sources that we’ll need to keep the economy growing.
Q8: Based on your answer to #7 above, what specific ideas or solutions would you try to bring to the council to address that issue?
A: I fully support making the best use of our current supplies through water conservation and reuse (e.g. Buda’s reclaimed water program). With the recent passage of Senate Bill 198, HOAs can no longer restrict Buda homeowners from installing xeriscaped or more water efficient yards and landscapes. The City should play a role in educating homeowners on xeriscaping and planting native species as a water conservation initiative.
Q9: Is there an issue you find even more pressing than growth, taxes and water – and if so, what is that issue and how will you address it?
A: Increasing traffic congestion is a major issue that has a daily impact on Buda residents. We should address traffic concerns by focusing on building roadways that make room for pedestrians and cyclists, and maintain the character of Buda with context sensitive design elements. Also, the City should continue communicating our transportation priorities with Hays County, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT).
Q10: Are you opposed to raising taxes? If yes, in any situation or circumstance?
A: I think that homeowners and businesses are pushed to the brink with property taxes as it is. At the end of this last fiscal year we saw a double digit increase in sales tax revenue. Buda has a quarter of the population of Kyle, yet we collected more in sales tax revenue than they did. In order to meet our future infrastructure needs, we need to focus on attracting new businesses to increase the tax base rather than asking homeowners and other property owners like small businesses to pay more.
Q11: Tell us about your history, including hometown, education, previous employment, current employment and skill set.
A: I was born in San Antonio, spent my elementary years in Austin and completed my middle and high school years attending school in Johnson City. I earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry, and Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering from Texas A&M University. I also earned a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University.
I began my engineering career as a consultant planning and designing water and wastewater systems for municipalities and water districts. I’ve worked as a water resource engineer for the Lower Colorado River Authority and most recently spent 5 years with the Texas Water Development Board as a regional water planner where I managed the water planning process for the Lubbock, Corpus Christi and Dallas/Fort Worth areas. As a part of this process I also helped draft the 2012 State Water Plan.
I currently work at the Texas Department of State Health Services as an engineer in the Environmental, Epidemiology and Toxicology Unit. I am also serving as a planning and zoning commissioner, where I’ve been working on the front lines to make sure that we promote economic development in Buda that reflects our values and priorities as a city.
Q12: If you could only listen to the music of one musician or band for the rest of your life, who or which one would it be?
A: If I were to choose one band to listen to, it would also need to be one that everyone in my family can agree upon. y husband, children and I all love the Beatles.
|Q1: Wiley Hopkins, Buda City Council - Place 2
Q2: Incumbent, Buda City Council, Place 2, elected March 2013
Q3: Strength of Character, High Integrity, Dependable, Competent, and Persistent.
Q4: Being the incumbent Council Member, I have a clear vision of the direction the citizens want the leadership of the City to proceed and what is required to accomplish the tasks of keeping the City of Buda a viable, robust, desirable place to live.
Q5: I disagree that the City of Buda is growing too fast and losing that small town charm.
Just look at the improvements along Main Street, there are unique store front improvements adding to the attractiveness of Old Town. New street lighting added contributing the area's charm and safety. The Parks Department continues to provide open spaces, trails and family focused surroundings to our parks facilities.
The leadership of the City has taken very proactive action to address the inevitable growth of the City. They have established The Five Year Capital Improvement Plan, the Economic Development Strategic Plan and the Long Range Transportation Plan to address the future growth.
Q6: PC or Mac, - PC!
Q7: All three of these issues are very important to me. However meeting the City's water needs in the future is of a paramount importance.
Q8: With the projected growth pattern to our region and the ongoing drought forecast, it is incumbent that we continue to be proactive and focus on multiple resources to meet the City's future water needs. I applaud the County for it's initiative to acquire water reserves for Hays County and for the private initiatives exploring and establishing saltation as a viable water resource. The City of Buda continues to project the water needs of the City, and has taken the appropriate action to meet current and future needs by providing funding for additional water well resources.
Q9: All of these issues, growth, taxes, and water will continue to be in the fore front, as pressing issues for the City; however with the proper forecasting, planning and implementation the management of the City will maintain one of the lowest taxes rates in the region for the City and continue to maintain reasonably planned growth and continue to provide all the services citizens expect.
Q10: No, I am not opposed to raising taxes. There are circumstances in which the citizens expect their elected official to take appropriate action, that is reasonable and necessary to continue services or address pressing matters in the community.
Q11: I have lived in the Buda area for 37 years. Born in and lived in a community in Southern Illinois. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Master of Science degree in Business Management from LaSalle University.
I am retired, last employed with the Travis County Housing Authority as the Executive Director /CEO and Executive Vice President/COO for the Strategic Housing Finance Corporation of Travis County.
Q12: Raul Malo