November 2020 election: Meet the candidates for Pflugerville City Council Place 2

Ceasar Ruiz and Victor To are running for Pflugerville City Council Place 2. (Community Impact staff)
Ceasar Ruiz and Victor To are running for Pflugerville City Council Place 2. (Community Impact staff)

Ceasar Ruiz and Victor To are running for Pflugerville City Council Place 2. (Community Impact staff)



PFLUGERVILLE



City Council Place 2










Ceasar Ruiz




Occupation: consultant, sole proprietor


Experience: B.A., St. Edward's University; commissioner, Pflugerville Planning and Zoning Commission; board chairman, National Veterans Outreach Program; commander, American GI Forum of Texas






What would be your top priorities if you are elected?




CR: Public health and public safety will always be my top priority. As your next representative on council, I will work diligently to ensure the safety of our citizens is emphasized and maintained. Next, I will continue working with council to promote economic prosperity through business enterprise. Finally, the tax burden placed on our community must find relief. The affordability for our community must take center stage, and fiscal responsibility must be [a] priority.



What uniquely qualifies you for this position?




CR: Serving on [the Pflugerville] Planning and Zoning [Commission] has given me the unique opportunity to hear the needs, fears and prospective [questions] of our community. I have been fortunate to call Pflugerville home for the past 15 years where, like you, I volunteer [and] pay taxes, and my children go to school here. I carry the needs of our community with me every time I cast a vote on planning and zoning, and I will continue to do so on council.



How should Pflugerville manage its growth?




CR: As our wonderful little city continues to grow and development steadily expands, we must be ever-mindful and open to the necessary accommodations we must make for this growth. Families and businesses need to know they are our top priority. Therefore, it is imperative we stay on top of the strain any future growth will have on our infrastructure, i.e. roads, water, sewage, and continue on a proactive, not reactive approach to growth [...].



What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the city, and how will you improve it?




CR: Prioritizing our fiscal responsibility is the No. 1 challenge facing the city today. Managing our needs vs. wants has been a balancing act our city leaders have been making for years. At the end of the day, the safety and future of our community should always take top priority. As your next council representative, I will work diligently to ensure unnecessary costly projects are sidelined and the needs of our community are our foremost concern.









Victor To




Occupation: legal assistant


Experience: government major, UT-Austin; PfISD graduate; former member relations at the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce






What would be your top priorities if you are elected?




VT: We need to make sure that Pflugerville stays affordable to current and future residents. As a Pflugerville native, affordability is what brought my parents here. It is also what is keeping them here. While it is exciting to be one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Pflugerville should be careful to not sacrifice existing residents in order to cater to prospective residents. As a council member, I will advocate for a citizen-focused [approach] [...].



What uniquely qualifies you for this position?




VT: I am the current vice chair of the Pflugerville Board of Adjustments, a board member for the Pflugerville Education Foundation and have been recently appointed by the mayor and council to serve on the [Pflugerville] Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee. I was also previously a member of the Pflugerville Budget and Finance Committee. My experience serving the community well-prepares me for the work and challenges that the city is facing.



How should Pflugerville manage its growth?




VT: The city’s infrastructure is pushing at its limits. To manage growth, we need to be ready to meet the demands of current and future residents. We need to make sure our roads are maintained, our water treatment plant prepared to meet our needs, and that all of Pflugerville has reliable utilities. As our population is expected to double by decade’s end, We should be proactively preparing to provide a high standard of city services.



What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the city, and how will you improve it?




VT: Pflugerville was a COVID hotspot in Travis county. With a possible second wave looming on the horizon, lack of leadership will endanger citizens and hinder the return to normal we’ve been anxiously longing for. Right now, it makes no sense that students are returning to school while council is still meeting virtually. There must be more effort to protect our community. It will not only save lives but get our economy back on track.


Editor's note: [...] indicates an answer was edited for length. Candidates were given specific word limits for each question.
By Kelsey Thompson
Kelsey Thompson is the reporter for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, where her work focuses on education, city government and community development. Originally from Upstate New York, Kelsey relocated to Austin after graduating from Syracuse University in May 2019.


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