Q&A: Get to know candidates for Lakeway City Council and mayor

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The city of Lakeway election involves three council members and the mayor, all of whom have terms expiring in May. Council members Ron Massa, Keith Trecker and Bridge Bertram will not be running for seats because they have reached their term limits.

Mayor Sandy Cox has filed an application for re-election and will be running against resident Tom Kilgore.

For City Council, seven people have filed applications for the three open spots.

Note: Candidates had the choice to include whatever contact and website information they wanted to.

Lakeway City Council

Lisa Butler

Current occupation: small-business owner (Realtor)

Experience: 40 years of business experience and community service, most recently as a mentor to high school kids

Phone number: 512-365-4755

Campaign website: https://www.lisaforlakeway.com

Why are you running for Lakeway City Council?
I love Lakeway. This is where I work, and this is where I will retire. As a native Texan, I appreciate Lakeway’s beauty, stellar schools and the kindness of our community. I am grateful to the volunteers who have made Lakeway the paradise it is today and want to continue their good work. I also want to help our teens provide service to our community so they understand the value of people working together.

What are the top issues facing the city of Lakeway?
Supporting small businesses: making it easier to hire qualified employees, simplifying compliance with city ordinances and setting business up to succeed.
Development: keeping Lakeway a low-density community in line with the current comprehensive plan; putting residents’ needs before developers.
Traffic: practical solutions to traffic problems on [RM] 620 and [Hwy.] 71 as well as stopping heavy construction trucks from using residential streets as “cut-throughs.”

Doug Howell

Current occupation: software sales

Experience: military leader, technology entrepreneur, Lakeway public safety volunteer

Phone number: 408-250-1475

Campaign website: www.dougforlakeway.com

Why are you running for Lakeway City Council?
The lack of civility in our civic dialogue lately is disturbing. Lakeway is evolving rapidly, faster than most residents find comfortable. That stress blocks the respectful dialogue that is required to arrive at the best solution for the majority of us. Our leaders have to lead and not litigate.

What are the top issues facing the city of Lakeway?
1. Commercial development philosophy and strategy
2. Development and green space balance philosophy and strategy
3. Wildlife management philosophy and strategy

Sanjeev Kumar

Current occupation: attorney, managing partner at Hunt Pennington Kumar & Dula PLLC

Experience: founder and COO of NASDAQ-listed technology startup, practicing attorney, served on Lakeway Ethics Board, Charter Review Committee, and Patriot Fund of Lakeway.

Phone number: 512-934-4613

Campaign website: www.kumar2019.com

Why are you running for Lakeway City Council? I am an engineer, entrepreneur, leader, and an attorney with a successful track record of bridge-building, negotiations, practical problem-solving and arriving at win-win outcomes. I strive for an even better Lakeway by applying those skills at this crucial time when the city faces decisions with long-lasting consequences.

What are the top issues facing the city of Lakeway? Managing development and growth, preservation of green spaces, traffic issues, providing the desired amenities for changing demographics, bringing trust and transparency to governance, encouraging traditions of the city’s volunteer history, listening to residents, bringing people together and preserving the character of the city and the lifestyle citizens enjoy.

Marvin Mead

Current occupation: retired crime analyst with Department of Public Safety

Experience: I consider my main experience to be that I have been a Lakeway resident for 25 years. Second is my 26 years in state government.

Phone number: N/A

Campaign email: marvin4lakeway@gmail.com

Why are you running for Lakeway City Council?
I see Lakeway as a small community that has grown out of control at times. I’m running in an effort to keep our city safe and to keep the quality of life the best it can possibly be. I wish to represent the citizens who have a similar viewpoint.

What are the top issues facing the city of Lakeway? Traffic is a huge issue, and continued growth at this rate will only make it worse. Growth is another major issue. We must have controlled and thoughtful growth. Every city has its limitations on growth and traffic, not only due to current infrastructure but also the amount of land. Low-density growth is the only answer.

Julie Reichert

Current occupation: art consultant

Experience: decades in business, sales, management and owning my own business; a lifetime of volunteering, caregiving and civic-minded awareness and participation.

Phone number: 512-657-1528

Facebook: Julie Reichert for Lakeway

Email: julieforlakeway@gmail.com

Why are you running for Lakeway City Council:
I want to serve the city that I have loved all my life. Lakeway residents are asking for transparency, communication, diverse representation and a fact-based city plan. I will always listen and consider what is best for current and future residents with the hope of giving future stewards something to preserve.

What are the top issues facing the city of Lakeway?
Our evolving city is addressing many issues critical to our future, including development balanced by infrastructure, traffic and accident issues, resource management (green spaces, wildlife care, water/aquifer protection) and the population growth’s demand on school, police and fire professionals. We need affordable housing for working families and seniors to remain in community.

Sean Sutton

Current occupation: owner of The Sutton Group LLC, Realtor

Experience: 15 years in accountable community volunteer service; 30 years of small-business experience, acumen, confidence and communication skills; four successful corporations

Phone number: 512-937-1088

Campaign website: www.suttonforcitycouncil.com

Why are you running for Lakeway City Council?
I am for all Lakeway folks and am committed to ditching all negatives. I want to lead our beautiful city by preserving its uniqueness with true critical thinking. My courage is contagious, and I am committed to keeping everyone safe, seen, heard and respected for their beliefs. Please vote for me.

What are the top issues facing the city of Lakeway?
We need to ascertain alternative inter-city routes to access local services to avoid RM 620 and Hwy. 71. We need to ameliorate community, commercial and residential growth, and we need to ease regulations and permits for small businesses, their construction, and development. This should generate a much-appreciated commercial tax revenue and the potential to help suppress future residential tax increases.

Gretchen Vance

Current Occupation: business owner, Electric Avenue Acro

Experience: professional with three decades in sales, marketing and special events; creative, strategic, and innovative team player with strong communication skills

Phone Number: 512-435-9555

Campaign website: www.vote-vance.com

Why are you running for Lakeway City Council?
Lakeway is my home and where I want to live the rest of my life. Our city is experiencing a fantastic period of transition, and it’s critical we capitalize on opportunities to make meaningful change. I am confident that I have the courage, passion and intensity to make a difference.

What are the top issues facing the city of Lakeway?
With Lakeway’s rapid growth, issues of land development, wild life management, traffic control and maintaining a service industry workforce are all core concerns. It is critical we tackle these issues with a multifaceted approach that yields a collaborative and effective result.

Lakeway mayor

Sandy Cox

Current occupation: mayor of Lakeway and STEM education consultant

Experience:
• 21-year technology career
• Successful in leading large, turn-around organizations
• Proven organizational “change agent”
• Former Lakeway council member
• Current Lakeway mayor

Phone number: N/A

Campaign website: http://sandycoxcampaign.com

Why are you running for mayor of Lakeway?
I am running again to finish what I started nine months ago. Lakeway needs a unique, experienced leader to help transform it from a town into city. I have the process engineering skills and experience in transforming organizations, as well as the relationships and respect within our community to help evolve Lakeway.

What are the top issues facing the city of Lakeway?
Managing our growth and its effects on our infrastructure, our business processes and our culture. My four top priorities remain consistent from last year: develop a comprehensive plan; address traffic concerns; support growth and development; and encourage civic engagement. Please visit SandyCoxCampaign.com/Priorities to view our progress to date.

Tom Kilgore

Current occupation: retired soldier and energy businessman

Experience: over 40 years of experience in the public and private sector, managing organizations, legal compliance and service to the community

Phone number: 512-905-6149

Campaign website: www.kilgoreforlakeway.com

Why are you running for mayor of Lakeway?
I love Lakeway. I’m optimistic about our future. I’m volunteering to serve as mayor to protect our city’s future and professionally guide the process. I bring a fresh perspective to City Hall. I’m not beholden to any special interest group or business. I will treat all residents equally.

What are the top issues facing the city of Lakeway?
We must return responsibility, accountability, and transparency to the city’s administration. Our city is changing. Our growth created issues with traffic density, infrastructure, wildlife and a poorly managed development process. The City Council must regain control of the process and install a competent manager.

Important dates for the May 4 election:

 April 22: early voting begins
 April 30: last day of early voting
 May 4: election day
 May 15: elected candidates take oath of office

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Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.
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