Candidates for Kyle City Council discuss experience, city's future at candidate forum

Dex Ellison and Amanda Stark gather at the Kyle Public Library for question forum on Oct. 17

Dex Ellison and Amanda Stark gather at the Kyle Public Library for question forum on Oct. 17

Note: This article was updated 10/22 with statements from District 3 incumbent Council Member Robert Rizo and District 1 challenger Yvonne Flores-Cale.

Two of the four candidates running for Kyle City Council in Districts 1 and 3 gathered on Oct. 17 at the Kyle Public Library for a candidate forum.

The event was organized by District 1 incumbent Council Member Dex Ellison. Ellison’s challenger, Yvonne Flores-Cale, as well as District 3 incumbent Council Member Robert Rizo and challenger Amanda Stark were invited to join the event, which was moderated by Justice of the Peace Beth Smith.

The forum was scheduled to run from 6:30-7:30 p.m., but with only Ellison and Stark attending, the session ended early.

With no more than 10 people in attendance, the candidates addressed what they would do for Kyle if elected and their opinions on other issues concerning the city.

The following are closing statements both candidates in attendance:

Dex Ellison, District 1

“I’ve been blessed to have an opportunity to be of input in my community whether it was volunteering with football organizations or different programs, the chamber of commerce, learning about the city with different programs and then spending time with [the Planning and Zoning Commission] and learning. I’m forever grateful for that, and that’s one of the things you’re going to get from me if you re-elect me to City Council—that experience and understanding of how the city works.”

Amanda Stark, District 3

“If I’m elected a City Council member I will always be up-to-date. If I don’t know the answer right then, I will always find out the answer. I will know what I need to know; I will make sure that your concerns are heard; I will discuss your concerns; I will be a voice—I will be a positive voice—I will listen and I will stand behind what I say I will do.”

Both District 3 Council Member Robert Rizo and District 1 challenger Yvonne Flores-Cale sent statements to Community Impact Newspaper on why they chose not to attend the forum.

The candidates each said that there were a number of last-minute changes to the plan for the forum, and that they did not feel there was not enough time given to notify the public.

“The public was notified less than 24 hours before the event on the Citizens for Dex Ellison Facebook page. Only three people attended the forum and the audience was not allowed to ask questions,” Rizo wrote in an email. “In my three campaigns, I have been very transparent and have participated in forums and questionnaires from the press, the Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters. I have much confidence in these groups to be fair and impartial to all the candidates.”

Flores-Cale wrote that she, too, did not think voters had enough notice.

“I felt we would not have enough time to inform the public regarding this forum. [On Oct. 16] there still was no plan and I felt it was unfair to anyone who wanted to be there,  and I felt our citizens deserved better than a video of the forum,” Flores-Cale wrote. "I have participated in previous forums, I have been recorded, I have answered questions for different media outlets. It is not a fear of participating in these that bothers me, it is the idea that we would knowingly excluding people from being able to attend the forum that bothered me.”

To see a video of the full forum, see campaign Facebook pages for Ellison or Stark.
By Evelin Garcia
Evelin Garcia covers local government, education, business and development as the reporter of Community Impact Newspaper's San Marcos/Buda/Kyle edition. Evelin is a graduate of Texas State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in international studies.


Census reinstates some field operations in Texas following coronavirus delay. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
Census reinstates some field operations in Texas following coronavirus delay

Operations began in Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio beginning May 25.

The public comment period for the drafted action plan to allocate CDBG-CV funds will be from June 7-13. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos City Council members discuss projects for COVID-19 response funding, seek community input

The city of San Marcos received four applications from for-profit businesses, nonprofits and city departments to obtain funding from the Community Development Block Grant for Coronavirus Response.

Proposed plans for the Buda Visitors Center. (Courtesy City of Buda)
Converting former library into Buda Visitors Center could cost more than $600K

Add-ons including furniture could take cost over $800K

Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams and Police Chief Bo Kidd issued statements. (Courtesy City of Buda)
Buda leaders speak out about the death of George Floyd, protests

City manager, police chief, issue statements about George Floyd, protests

(Designed by Rachal Russell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Here is how to file a civil rights complaint in the Austin area

Citizens who feel they need to file a civil rights case against law enforcement have several avenues to make a complaint.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Hays County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
18 new coronavirus cases, another fatality in Hays County

Positive cases come at rate of 10% of tests recorded June 1

P. Terry’s Burger Stand is located at 515 Springtown Way in San Marcos. (Community Impact staff)
P. Terry’s celebrates 1 year of business in San Marcos

P. Terry’s Burger Stand, an Austin-based burger chain, celebrated its one-year anniversary in May.

Richard Rhodes, the president and CEO of Austin Community College, said June 1 that the district is prioritizing the hiring of a new chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer. (Courtesy Austin Community College)
Austin Community College prioritizing hiring equity officer despite ongoing hiring freeze

The district brought up the hiring during a discussion about protests and demonstrations that have taken place over the past weekend.

Businesses shuttering their doors due to coronavirus restrictions lowered the sales tax revenue collected by cities in May compared to May 2019. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas comptroller reports 13.2% year-over-year state sales tax revenue drop in May

Tax collection revenue fell significantly in several sectors from May 2019 to May 2020, according to the comptroller's office.

Demonstrators gathered at the Texas Capitol on May 31 to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas officials respond to demonstrations, unrest in wake of George Floyd killing

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state of disaster in Texas on May 31, while various city officials and law enforcment responded to protests and violence over the weekend.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Hays County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Hospitalizations of coronavirus patients stays steady at 4 in Hays County

Hays County now has four deaths; testing and cases rise while hospitalizations stay steady

Seniors from San Marcos High School paraded down McCarty Lane in San Marcos May 29. (Evelin Garcia/ Community Impact Newspaper)
GALLERY: Here’s how a parent-led parade honored San Marcos High School seniors

Thundering cheers echoed down McCarty Lane in San Marcos on May 29 as an army of high school seniors wearing caps and gowns paraded down the street on flashy rides.