Cedar Park City Council May election guide

Cedar Park City Council Q & A

PLACE 3 (*Incumbent)

*Lyle Grimes

Lyle Grimes grew up in Dallas, attended The University of Texas and began working with

Lyle Grimes Lyle Grimes[/caption]

American Airlines in 1995. He has worked as an operations manager and airport general manager and is currently the corporate sales manager responsible for Central Texas. He resides in the Highlands at Gann Ranch with his wife and two sons and attends Gateway Church.

Contact information:

Why are you running for City Council?

I am seeking re-election because I am dedicated to our community and the future of our city.  Cedar Park has seen amazing growth in jobs, population, and new restaurants and business, and my desire is to work to make sure [Cedar Park] is still our hometown. It is my goal to work to ensure we keep taxes low, support our emergency services, reduce traffic, encourage good job growth, and preserve our parks and trails.

What qualifications do you have?

I have 22 years of experience managing people and a multimillion-dollar budget. I have served on local city and community boards, and for the past four years on council I have focused on jobs, lowering the property tax rate and increasing public safety investments. I have worked to bring enhancements to Veterans Memorial Park, added additional safety measures at school crosswalks, worked on connecting sidewalks and improving mobility.

What are Cedar Park’s biggest challenges?

The biggest challenge is managing the continued growth.  With the increased population and jobs, I will continue to focus on making it easier for you to move throughout Cedar Park. During my time on council we have opened new roads, improved intersections, added turn lanes and additional capacity to many local roads.  As we expand we must also find a balance between development, housing diversification and green space. Together we have made Cedar Park one of the most desirable places to live, and together we can find the solutions to any challenge that arises. 

What are your top priorities?

Keeping taxes low

Improving traffic

Enhancing parks and trails

Anne Duffy

Anne Duffy is a registered nurse and has lived in Cedar Park for 17 years. She served 13 years in

Anne Duffy Anne Duffy[/caption]

the U.S. Naval Reserve as a hospital corpsman and navy nurse corps officer, and she has served in nursing leadership for more than 10 years. She is married to a Leander police lieutenant and has two children. She has been a volunteer coach for Cedar Park Youth League softball and served on the Student Health Advisory Committee in Leander ISD.

Contact information:
Twitter: @AkduffyforCP               

Why are you running for City Council?

I’ve been networking with some amazing people lately. I was inspired to get involved in local politics. I saw an opportunity to bring new ideas to our city’s council. Our current council lacks diversity and I feel is more representative of development and not fully engaged with public interests.

What qualifications do you have?

I have served in multiple leadership roles throughout my adult life. I know what it takes to set goals, provide vision, work closely with a team, be empathetic to needs of others and be willing to initiate and influence change. As a longtime resident of the city, I have witnessed all the growth and have often been left questioning some of the short-sighted decisions that have been made.  I value preserving a pleasant city rather than developing all of our last pieces of green space.

What are Cedar Park’s biggest challenges?

Regional mobility is of major concern. Commute times in Cedar Park are increasing and have a financial and quality of life impact. Many citizens need alternative transportation, like transit or safe walking and bike paths, aside from recreational trails.  We need to connect our parks and look to enhance travel in and out of our city.  Affordability is becoming a challenge for many residents. We’ve seen positive job growth in our city, but we need to attract more employers offering primary jobs.  Many local retail and food service jobs do not offer livable wages needed for the city’s steadily increasing living costs.

What are your top priorities?

Competitive wages, recruitment and retention efforts, including retirement benefits for our firefighters and police officers.

Attention to sensible growth. Future projects need to involve input from all stakeholders.

Quality of life. Parkland needs to be preserved, rather than rezoned and sold for more office and retail space.

PLACE 5 (*Incumbent)

*Jon Lux

Jon Lux has served on the Cedar Park City Council since 2012 and previously served as mayor

Jon Lux Jon Lux[/caption]

pro tem, and on city commissions and boards. He retired from the Navy after 21 years of service as a naval surface warfare officer and received numerous awards. He has worked in the private sector for Lockheed Martin, SCCI, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and FICO, and he currently works as an information technology program manager.          

Contact information:

Why are you running for City Council?

City Council and staff have done an amazing job over the past several years. I am proud to have voted for a balanced budget that focuses on the core functions of the city and lowered the tax rate. I am committed to maintain a business climate where taxes are low, regulations are reasonable and predictable. Finally, I am committed to ensuring our fire and police departments have the resources, equipment and support to keep us safe.

What qualifications do you have?

I have served on the council for over four years, and I believe my experience in business, government and the military brings a unique mix of talents that allows me to have a strong understanding of city issues and bring the best, most efficient and fiscally conservative way to address them. Also, my service on local boards and leading a restore ministry at a local church has given me a keen insight into the needs and interests of residents and how best I can serve them.

What are Cedar Park’s biggest challenges?

Even with all the accolades our great city has received, we do have challenges—PEC power line proposals, Bell Boulevard and Quarry redevelopment projects, transportation issues and our most important function, maintaining and expanding our public safety, requires an experienced presence. I will use my talents and decades of extensive experience in the military, private sector and city government to continue the great work we have been doing in the city.

What are your top priorities?

Public safety

Balanced budget

Creating an environment to entice more shops, restaurants and jobs

Heather R. Jefts

Heather Jefts is a small-business owner and has lived in Cedar Park for 12 years. She has been

Heather R. Jefts Heather R. Jefts[/caption]

married 18 years and has two teenage sons. Jefts was a vet and surgical technician for over 10 years, and she graduated from Austin Community College. She worked at The University of Texas and is now a private swim teacher and coach. She volunteers with local parent teacher associations, Breakthrough Austin and SAFE Place.

Contact information:
Twitter: @jefts4cedarpark         

Why are you running for City Council?

I want to bring transparency and accountability to our council. Four of six council members were appointed their first term and never had to face voters until after they were considered an incumbent. The council has appointed friends and colleagues for vacancies. Most votes have been unanimous, seemingly without substantial dialogue or debate. I am a longtime resident, and I am willing to step up and be an advocate for citizens.

What qualifications do you have?

As a small-business owner, I know what it is like to build, work hard and be successful. I’m detail-oriented, thoughtful, great at organizing and analytical. I also have experience at the everyday challenges business owners in Cedar Park have faced over the last decade. I look at data; get input from others; and find rational, logical solutions. I will hear all sides of a discussion before coming to a decision. These are the qualities that the residents of our city expect, demand and deserve.

What are Cedar Park’s biggest challenges?

Cedar Park is land-locked, so we must strive for thoughtful development. We need to diversify our tax base and properly address traffic. I want to restart negotiations with Capital Metro. I will work to move beyond retail jobs toward organically grown startups while still taking into account the people who live here. Parks and open spaces and recruiting and retaining quality first responders is important. Having an affordable place to live locally is essential to retention. We need to realign our priorities away from big retail development and back to quality of life for all residents.

What are your top priorities?

Place the Bell Boulevard project on hold until proper review can be done and traffic and fiscal feasibility studies are conducted.

Restart negotiations with Capital Metro to look into long-term regional mobility solutions.

Stop the practice of appointments for open seats, either by amending our city charter or passing a resolution.

By Caitlin Perrone
Caitlin covers Cedar Park and Leander city councils and reports on education, transportation, government and business news. She is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, Caitlin produced a large-scale investigative project with The Dallas Morning News and led education coverage in the Brazos Valley at The Bryan-College Station Eagle. After interning with Community Impact Newspaper for two summers, she joined the staff as a reporter in 2015.


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