Ahead of a Nov. 4 city election, candidates for Buda City Council responded to questions at an Oct. 13 political forum at Buda City Hall.
Candidates were given opportunities for opening and closing remarks. In between, they were asked questions and answered them in a round-robin fashion.
A common thread in the discussion was Buda's growth and the challenges it presents.
Place 5 incumbent Eileen Altmiller, who is running against engineer Evan Ture, said the city is at a "critical juncture."
"We need to maintain and enhance the quality of life through careful planning and wise investments," Altmiller said. "We need to fund true priorities, and they need to bring real value to our community."
Place 6 incumbent Bobby Lane was also featured in the forum. He is being challenged by restaurateur Greg Henry.
Mayor Todd Ruge is up for re-election but is unopposed. Ruge was in attendance to give some remarks but sat in the audience during the question-and-answer portion of the forum.
Also among the topics of conversation was water. Ture said water availability and rights will be a priority for the city of Buda moving forward.
"I think it is something we need to evaluate very thoroughly as we go forward, and it is something I have already started doing and interacting with [water rights leaders] on that," he said.
Lane said City Council has been working on acquiring water rights in recent years. The city has three sources of water and is working on acquiring a fourth in the Trinity Aquifer, he said.
"I think the city has taken great strides in maintaining our water quality and using all the sources we can get," he said.
The five bond propositions on the November ballot for municipal projects were also featured in the forum. Candidates were asked which bond propositions they supported and how they would handle the debt that would be taken on if the measure is passed.
Buda is proposing as much as $55 million in capital improvement projects such as a new City Hall and public library complex as well as parks and trails additions. Should voters approve all five propositions, property taxes could rise by as much as $19.35 a month for a home valued at $173,000.
Lane and Altmiller did not discuss their favorite bond measure as standing council members are not legally able to speak for or against bond propositions.
However, Altmiller touted the council's fiscal responsibility and improving the city's bond rating from a B- to AA for putting the city in a good financial position.
Henry said he was "not against the bonds" and that he is "for most of them," but said certain bond propositions could have been approached in a different way.
Early voting for these races takes place Oct. 20–31. Election Day is Nov. 4.