What do you think made your campaign so successful?
Schroeder said his victory is an indication that people are generally happy about the direction Georgetown is headed.
“There are always some things that we can do better, but I think [my win] shows folks are positive about where we’re at and optimistic about the future,” he said. “My two opponents were pretty negative about the state of Georgetown, so I think positivity was a clear distinction of my campaign.”
He said he believed residents agreed with the positive message and voted accordingly.
You have talked in the past about how transportation and transparency are priorities of yours, but now that you’re going to be mayor, what actions will you take to further these causes?
A transportation bond committee is working on a list of projects and cost totals, Schroeder said, in support of the efforts already underway.
“Hopefully we can get enough significant projects done for the proposed $50 million bond we’re looking at to keep up with growth,” he said.
He also cited the traffic impact study underway and said it is important new developments pay for themselves, and a traffic impact fee is one way to ensure that happens.
In other communities where a traffic impact fee has been implemented there have been intense disputes among landowners, developers, the city and community members, according to Schroeder, who said one of his priorities is keeping the process civil.
“I’m hopeful because we’ve been working on this already for a significant period of time,” he said. “Prior to getting elected, I was the chair of the Georgetown Development Alliance, a committee under the chamber of commerce. It focuses on relationship-building between city staff, developers and the community at large and talking openly about these types of issues. So I’m really hopeful that not only will we get that traffic impact fee worked out, we’ll get it worked out the Georgetown way: as a community, civilly, and without a bunch of screaming and hollering.”
Regarding transparency, Schroeder said he wants to reopen City Council meetings to the public. He said he feels like it could be done while socially distancing.
You cannot talk about Georgetown without talking about growth; what will be your approach to addressing the population boom?
The pressure points from growth the community feels are traffic, crime and water, Schroeder said. Regarding traffic, he referenced the transportation efforts mentioned above to address the issues.
“Folks are sitting in traffic, and that’s one of those pressure points we have to alleviate because growth is going to happen whether we like it or not,” he said.
The city added three new police officers this fiscal year, though Schroeder believes there should be a higher officers-per-residents ratio.
For water, Schroeder said the fact work is scheduled to begin on another water treatment plant next year will help bring immediate relief, but it is important to think long term and work with area water authorities to secure new sources of water, be it groundwater, piping surface water to different locations or transferring water service for some areas in extraterritorial jurisdiction to neighboring cities.
“We don’t need to necessarily be in the water utility game outside of our territory, so that we give us a smaller, more manageable area to cover and make sure we have enough water for our needs,” he said.
What are you most looking forward to about being mayor?
“We’ve got a great council; I genuinely like all of those folks; and I love to bring people together and get them on the same page, find common ground or at least find ways to disagree civilly,” Schroeder said.
He said he has also gotten to know city staff through working on various boards and commissions.
“I think we have one of the best city staff in the United States,” he said. “The city manager, police and fire chiefs, planning director, all of them are just great people. That doesn’t mean I agree with them all the time, but they love this community and have its best interests in mind, and I can’t wait to work with them.”
Is there anything you are nervous about?
Schroeder said having to make a decision where there is no clear right or wrong answer scares him—a decision about something that is not a moral issue in any way, rather one that will make half the people mad whichever way it goes.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you?
“I want my kids to be proud of Georgetown,” he said. “You meet people that couldn’t wait to get out of their hometown and never want to go back to it. I want my kids and grandkids to call Georgetown home—that’s my goal; I’m playing the long game, and every decision is made with that in mind.”