Q&A: Two challengers squaring off for Dripping Springs City Council Place 3 seat

Voters will select a new council member for Dripping Springs in the May 1 election. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Voters will select a new council member for Dripping Springs in the May 1 election. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Voters will select a new council member for Dripping Springs in the May 1 election. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Two individuals are running for Dripping Springs City Council Place 3, an at large seat on the council. The following responses were submitted by each candidate.


AUSTIN



Dripping Springs City Council Place 3










Geoffrey Tahuahua



Occupation: VP of policy and government affairs, Real Estate Council of Austin


Experience: president of North Hays County ESD No. 1 (EMS), board member of San Marcos-Hays County EMS, board member of Combined Emergency Communications Center






Why have you decided to run for City Council?



JD: I’m running to bring my years of experience in municipal budgeting, planning and process improvement to City Council. For the last several years I used this knowledge as president of our emergency services district to purchase a third ambulance to address the critical needs of the community.



What are the biggest challenges currently facing Dripping Springs?



JD: Dripping Springs is growing, whether we’re ready or not. The biggest challenge facing our community is proactively managing growth, ensuring our city continues to run smoothly while maintaining the character that makes it home. My experience with local government and budgeting makes me the best fit to tackle this challenge.



If elected, what goals would you have for your term in office?



JD: I hope to lead a thorough review of our city’s existing plans and goals, such as our comprehensive plan, and find ways to improve them and think further into the future. I’d also like to improve our relationships with our regional partners for transportation, including the county and TxDOT.



The city is currently developing a transportation master plan. What would you like to see this plan address?



JD: The transportation master plan should focus on key areas where the city would like to see growth and ensure that we’re planning for the right amount of right of way where it’s necessary. We should also be communicating with the school district, fire and EMS to better integrate their plans as well.



As residential developments continue to be proposed, what would your approach be to density in Dripping Springs?



JD: Density in and of itself is not a problem, but lack of planning is. Just ask our neighbors in Austin. What’s important is being prepared for it and encouraging it in the areas where the city wants to see density and ensure that the infrastructure is there to support it.









Charles Busbey



Occupation: retired


Experience: Dripping Springs city treasurer from 1996-2006; Dripping Springs Planning and Zoning commissioner from 2007-11; Dripping Springs City Council member from 2011-17


Contact: None




Why have you decided to run for City Council?



JD: It is a particularly critical time for Dripping Springs since the city treasurer has just retired after holding that position since 2007 and has been replaced with a new hire. At the same time, the city is incorporating a new accounting system. I believe I may be able to help.



If elected, what goals would you have for your term in office?



JD: Goals would include effecting a smooth transition to new accounting software, being an advocate for responsible spending of public funds and trying to keep local government small.



The city is currently developing a transportation master plan. What would you like to see this plan address?



JD: Actually, the city has a transportation plan (I served as council member/sponsor of the transportation committee) and that plan is being updated. As always, I would like to see that plan address vehicular traffic and its associated problems..



As residential developments continue to be proposed, what would your approach be to density in Dripping Springs?



JD: Denser developments have been approved and built by the city on land closer to the city’s center. I would expect that trend to continue. Land costs continue to climb resulting in fewer large lots in subdivisions.


By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


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