At the May 26 meeting, vacancy was declared for Place 1 after Mayor Jim Penniman-Morin won the mayoral race in the May elections, leaving an open seat on the council. Council then decided to open applications for the Place 1 vacancy that same evening.
The appointment process required a completed application that included answers to three written questions, a personal financial statement and an interview.
“I like this process,” Council Member Mel Kirkland said at the May 26 meeting. “I think it’s important that we’re putting this much time and effort into this. I think we all agree that this appointment is very serious and very important to all residents of Cedar Park.”
Five total candidates were interviewed at the June 16 meeting. During the interview, candidates were given two minutes for an introductory statement and one minute for each question.
“I am really grateful to all five of you for coming out and applying—very, very thorough applications, a lot of information,” Council Member Heather Jefts said at the June 16 meeting. “We can only choose one out of the five of you, but I would really ask that the rest of you continue to stay involved, to continue coming to meetings and looking for ways to serve the community.”
While most of the council members agreed that all of the candidates were impressive, the council voted unanimously to appoint Thomas.
Thomas previously served on the Cedar Park City Council from May 2005-September 2009 and from April 2012-May 2019, holding the mayor pro tem position several times throughout those periods.
“I have a baby due here pretty soon, and they say that one has amnesia about childbirth and the early days of parenthood,” Penniman-Morin said at the June 16 meeting. “And I’m glad, Stephen, that you have similar amnesia about the challenges of serving on this council—it’s great to have you here.”