November 2020 election: Meet the candidates for Pflugerville City Council Place 6

Pflugerville City Council Place 6 candidates address city infrastructure, economic development and growth strategies ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
Pflugerville City Council Place 6 candidates address city infrastructure, economic development and growth strategies ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Pflugerville City Council Place 6 candidates address city infrastructure, economic development and growth strategies ahead of the Nov. 3 election.



PFLUGERVILLE



City Council Place 6










Jim McDonald




Occupation: owner, Three Legged Goat


Experience: 20+ years ecommerce software development, 2 years small business owner






What would be your top priorities if you are elected?



JM: I believe maintaining and growing our infrastructure to meet the needs of our rapidly growing Pfamily is as important as preserving our Quality of Life. We must safeguard our water supply and increase capacity to support future demand. Creating more parks, replacing aging playscapes, adding sports fields and building the best Park Trail system creates Community opportunities. We must invest in programs that support Staff. For instance, everyone takes Implicit Bias Training, including our police [...]



What uniquely qualifies you for this position?



JM: As a software developer, my entire professional career was centered around creating custom solutions with limited resources and never enough time. I used this talent in service of several non-profit organizations over the years and most recently as your Councilmember. In a recent example of this ability, I worked with city staff and Austin Public Health and multiple other agencies to keep a COVID testing site in Pflugerville.



How should Pflugerville manage its growth?



JM: The City can manage growth through Zoning Ordinances. Seeing new growth in our Downtown, the City recently reached out to residents to prepare the Downtown District Overlay Code Amendments. This creates “transitional zones”, limiting the types of future Zoning changes that can be requested and [protecting] the neighboring residents from businesses that could impact their Quality of Life. We are also fortunate to have the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation (PCDC) as our economic development arm.



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



JM: We must continue to leverage PCDC to attract businesses willing to invest in us. This increases commercial property tax revenues and creates primary job income, driving sales tax growth. These improvements help to offset personal property taxes. This allows us to maintain or decrease the City’s property tax rate. Consider the current proposed rate of $0.4863 as compared to the rate in 2018 of $0.5399.









David Rogers




Occupation: attorney, Law Office of David Rogers


Experience: Pflugerville Community Development Corporation; longest serving member on Pflugerville Board of Adjustment; attorney representing our community, police & firefighters






What would be your top priorities if you are elected?



DR: Our Pfamilies Pfirst plan for smart and responsible economic growth will focus on sales tax revenues to reduce taxes on renters and homeowners. City tax dollars must be spent first on roads, police and parks to make Pflugerville safe, green, prosperous and pleasant. Pflugerville Pfinances must be transparent and spending and tax information should be easily accessible to citizens. Business growth and development will help Pflugerville People prosper close to home.



What uniquely qualifies you for this position?



DR: Decades of living in East Austin, South Austin, West Austin and Pflugerville, raising children, while creating church, business, scouting, 4-H and volunteer connections and running my own business has given me the experience and motivation to make Pflugerville a better place to live. Government action hits my personal and business budget—and yours. Managing retail business and litigating on behalf of homeowners have taught me how government can help and hurt our people.



How should Pflugerville manage its growth?



DR: There is an old Chinese proverb: if you would build a fortune, first build a road. Pflugerville should focus on building roads in order to improve neighborhood connections and business opportunity. New roads make business easier to do in Pflugerville, lowering the cost of commuting while easing the burden of residential property taxes. Working together with the county and school district will make Pflugerville the best place to live, work, shop and play.



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



DR: Continuing the growth of Pflugerville without higher taxes while building innovative infrastructure in cooperation with high-tech businesses and developers, while encouraging new innovative and flexible housing solutions that do not increase crime. We need a lean city government that adapts new technologies and supports a pro-active police force trained with the most advanced techniques and technology. Government should do only those things that private business can't do—developing parks, training police and building roads.


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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