Leander City Council members and the mayor are elected at large. Place 3 Council Member Shanan Shepherd is running unopposed. Answers were edited for space constraints.


Leander City Council Candidates, Place 5 Philip Contatore[/caption]

Philip Contatore

[email protected]
Twitter: @Phil4Leander

Profession: police officer with the city of Austin since November 2001

Bio: I am a Texas transplant from rural Nebraska who believes in small-town values, morals and strong commitment to my community. I am an adoptive father of two who enjoys sharing the outdoors with my family. I graduated from Columbia Southern University manga cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice administration. I currently serve as a police officer here in Central Texas where I hold several advanced training certificates in the National Incident Management Systems.

Why are you running for Leander City Council?

I have … [worked] … in the Austin community for many years as a public servant. I see many opportunities for Leander to grow. Growth means diversifying our tax base and relieving some of the burden from our families. It’s time we provide recreation and community centers for … seniors and young families. … Building recreation centers with tax dollars only to turn them over to outside providers who will charge us to use the facility we built with our tax dollars is absurd.

What qualifications would you bring to the position?

In 2000 I [left] the world of private business to serve my community. Since then I have been very active in Central Texas through my work as a police officer. I was the founding president and the past executive director for the Police Activities League of Austin Inc. I served on the National PAL board of directors representing the south central U.S. I have also served on the Austin Police Association board of directors. … I am … a citizen of Leander who cares about my community.

What are Leander’s biggest challenges, and how would you address them?

I believe we need to aggressively seek out businesses and employers to locate [to] our city.  …  [I] am tired of seeing my taxes increase while watching our retail tax dollars go … to Cedar Park and Austin. I would stand up to [Capital] Metro and demand improved weekend and evening [rail] schedules. … I would work with city planners to implement the McDonald Observatories Dark Skies Initiative. Light pollution wastes energy and money while disrupting global wildlife and ecological balance.

Leander City Council Candidates, Place 5 Jeff Seiler[/caption]

Jeff Seiler*

[email protected]

Profession: operations manager at veraTECH Solutions

Bio: I moved to Leander when I was 3 [years old] from Cedar Park. My wife and I grew up in Leander schools, and [we] graduated from Leander High School. This is, and always has been, home to us. I graduated from Texas Tech University in marketing/management and am blessed with two boys, one at Camacho Elementary School and the other to follow in a few years. I’ve always had a passion for leadership and economic development, which led me to council last year.

Why are you running for Leander City Council?

I am running for re-election because I am dedicated to Leander’s future. I have young kids, and I want to ensure that they grow up in a city that made things better for its residents. Sam Houston once said, ‘I live by the political axiom of always meeting issues head-on and at once, rather than leave my children [to] the dread legacy of their father’s indecision.’

I’m not afraid to achieve the success Leander is begging for.

What qualifications would you bring to the position?

I served on Leander’s Planning & Zoning Commission for almost five years, [as] chairman for my last year before getting elected to council in May 2014. While on council I have served on the Bond Task Force Committee, Comprehensive Plan Update Committee, [as a] council liaison to the Arts Commission and served on the board for the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center. I also serve on the Leander chamber’s Old Town Street Festival Committee.

What are Leander’s biggest challenges, and how would you address them?

The biggest challenge facing Leander is proactively managing the continued growth that is coming. It takes responsible preparation to provide the resources that our public safety needs to protect our residents. It takes strategic planning to provide parks and other amenities that we all want to enjoy. We have the opportunity to improve the quality of life for our citizens; I have the vision and experience to make sure those goals are met.