Cedar Park Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale talks leadership, business and transparency

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Cedar Park Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale praised city leadership and discussed the city’s recently approved strategic goals during his State of the City Address at the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce luncheon Dec. 12.

Van Arsdale, who was elected mayor in May, said he is proud of how the current council members have worked together in the months since the election.

“The thing I’m most proud about—because we had pretty contentious elections last year—is how well people have worked together and gotten along since they’ve been sworn in,” Van Arsdale said.

In October, council approved a list of seven strategic goals, outlining desires for the city on everything from safety and sustainability to development and growth. During his address, Van Arsdale spoke about what the city is doing to achieve these goals.

One goal is to recruit new businesses to expand and diversify the city’s tax base. Van Arsdale said it is important for Cedar Park to continue being attractive to businesses. Since the city is landlocked by other cities, Van Arsdale said only so many tracts of land are left.

“We want to make sure that we have those available, should we lure in a big employer,” Van Arsdale said.

Another goal is to expand civic engagement and encourage trust. He noted the city held its first town hall meeting where residents could ask some council members whatever questions they wanted earlier this year. He also drew attention to the fact that the council recently decided to post more detailed minutes of City Council retreats online.

“One of the best things a city council or city staff can do is to make sure the public trusts the city government,” Van Arsdale said.

Operational and fiscal excellence is another strategic goal. Van Arsdale said the city cut the tax rate again this year for the sixth year in a row. He also pointed out the city now has a revenue stream for the control of drainage, after residents voted to approve a stormwater drainage department earlier this year.

“We are delivering the services that people expect, but we’re doing it in a careful way with our money. …” Van Arsdale said. “We like to deliver top-quality services but do it in a way that’s not wasting money.”

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