Cedar Park residents critical of Chavez, Kelly at April 23 council meeting

Cedar Park City Council met virtually on April 23 to discuss wastewater agreements, election date options, COVID-19 and other items. (Screenshot)
Cedar Park City Council met virtually on April 23 to discuss wastewater agreements, election date options, COVID-19 and other items. (Screenshot)

Cedar Park City Council met virtually on April 23 to discuss wastewater agreements, election date options, COVID-19 and other items. (Screenshot)

At the April 23 city council meeting, Cedar Park residents and council members discussed the recent actions of council members Dorian Chavez and Tim Kelly.

Ten Cedar Park residents spoke at the remote meeting.

Nine residents spoke against the council members actions. Speakers called for removal or resignation and discussed future council elections.

One resident spoke in support of Chavez and Kelly’s actions and spoke against Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale and Council Member Anne Duffy.

Council members Chavez and Kelly attended an April 18 protest in Downtown Austin. Many at the protest violated the city of Austin and Travis County orders that call for protective masks to be worn outside and 6 feet of social distancing. According to social media photos, the two council members were not wearing masks and were in contact with people closer than 6 feet.


Social media posts by the council members and Mayor Van Arsdale stirred the Cedar Park community in response to the council members' actions.

During a COVID-19 update, council members discussed and responded to Chavez and Kelly’s actions.

Van Arsdale began by reading definitions of city values, including community, service, leadership, professionalism and the city’s strategic goals to the council. He said council members need to look at all laws and not only the laws liked.

“We can’t just pick one piece of the Constitution and ignore other parts of the Constitution,” Van Arsdale said.

Council Member Anne Duffy, a nurse, said nurses and healthcare providers are already packed with extra measures to protect themselves and their families.

“I hope to God that you don’t have to be in the position that they’re in,” she said. “Having to hold up a phone to someone’s ear to say goodbye to their family member—and it’s happening like it or not.”

“Do you know whether you have COVID right now?” Van Arsdale asked Chavez.

Chavez replied, “No.”

Council Member Mel Kirkland said council members need to set the best example possible and follow the ordinances and laws of the city, county, state and U.S.

“We need to let Austin heal,” Kirkland said. "Austin needs people to stay in their own communities, unless you work down there.”

Kirkland, during closing comments, requested a special called meeting to take possible action against Chavez and Kelly as early as possible.

Council member Rodney Robinson said council members need to do the best thing and lead by example.
By Taylor Girtman
After interning with Community Impact Newspaper in 2019, Taylor Girtman became a reporter for the Cedar Park and Leander edition in Feb. 2020. She covers Leander ISD and the Cedar Park and Leander city councils.


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