Candidates for Georgetown City Council District 1 seat discuss plans, ideas for the city

Georgetown City Council meets monthly on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 510 W. Ninth St., Georgetown.

Georgetown City Council meets monthly on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 510 W. Ninth St., Georgetown.

Voters will choose among three candidates in the race for the Georgetown City Council District 1 seat. The term ends in May 2021.



Alex Fuller

Occupation: attorney

Experience: 43 years as a practicing attorney, city of Georgetown Planning and Zoning Commission

Top priorities: preservation, transportation, energy and utility costs and affordable housing
Why are you running for this position?

I have always valued public service, and now that I am semi-retired, I have more time to commit to it. I believe I have a good understanding of the issues facing District 1 and Georgetown as a whole, as my wife and I have lived in a historic house in District 1 for almost 20 years, and I have served seven years on city commissions. As a former senior partner in an Austin firm and now a solo practitioner in Georgetown, I have many years of business experience, which will let me hit the ground running when I take office.






What do you believe to be a significant issue facing Georgetown, and how will you address that issue?

In a fast-growing city like Georgetown, it is critical to balance development/growth with preservation of our historic assets and the charm and character of our existing neighborhoods. One way to do this is to ensure that infill projects, particularly in residential areas, meet [unified development code] standards and are consistent in character with the neighborhoods in which they are proposed. As the appellate body on such projects, City Council must carefully weigh the benefits of a proposed project, the recommendations of city staff and administrative bodies such as [the historic and architectural review commission], and the expressed concerns of neighboring property owners to find the best solution.






How will you address the city’s energy issues and prevent them from happening again?

It is my understanding that City Council currently has three action items related to the energy issues in progress. The city is hiring an energy portfolio manager to manage the sale of excess energy; the risk-management policy is being updated to minimize the danger of future contracts resulting in large cost overruns; and a new general manager of the electric department will be hired in the near future. Once elected, I will be able to gain a more in-depth understanding of our utility operations.






What do you think is the most important strategy to keep Georgetown affordable to live in?

I don’t believe there is a single most important strategy, but rather that we need to look at a number of approaches working together. Among those are resolution of the energy issues as described above, providing incentives to developers to build affordable housing and maintaining the city’s current low tax rate. At $0.42 per $100, it is the lowest in Central Texas.






Stevie Jones

Occupation: residential mortgage loan originator

Experience: former teacher, active in shaping Georgetown’s 2030 plan

Top priorities: affordability, public safety,  smart growth, transparency and accessibility at City Hall
Why are you running for this position?

I think it is time the community of [Georgetown City Council District 1] has a voice in City Hall that represents the hard-working families and residents that reside here and knows the challenges we face daily with just basic needs.






What do you believe to be a significant issue facing Georgetown, and how will you address that issue?

Transparency is the common factor to many of the issues Georgetown faces.  I believe that our City Council members should be able to speak with their constituents before, during and after town halls, and most importantly, always remain available to listen and communicate with them.  If elected, I will have those conversations; I will be in the streets with them; and most importantly, I will let them know that I will represent them and their voice in City Hall.






How will you address the city’s energy issues and prevent them from happening again?

This is an issue that is very large and complex. I have been meeting with people that understand the business of buying and selling energy to try to bring myself up to eye level with it and will continue to do so. To avoid something like this from happening again, it is very important to communicate with a larger group of professionals that can give advice and opinions not just on the initial move. I am a huge advocate for renewable energy. However, I am learning that there are many layers to it, and it is not something to just jump into.






What do you think is the most important strategy to keep Georgetown affordable to live in?

The most important is making sure the cost of living matches the community.  Development and growth is inevitable.  But planning, while being respectful and honoring the history of Georgetown, I do believe is a way to maintain a livable town not just for a certain group, but for all others that call it home, or will soon call it home.  Taxes are the hardest punch for many. We need to make sure that spending by the city is going towards needed infrastructure and not just items to put us into categories to make us look good from the outside.






Mary Calixtro

Occupation: administrative assistant

Experience: St. Helen Catholic Church Hispanic ministry coordinator, Courageous Conversation member

Top priorities: conscientious balance in planning our city growth, available and affordable housing
Why are you running for this position?

I am running for this position because I care about what happens in Georgetown. I want to be the person who will add balance in the decisions and planning of growth in our city, to connect with the citizen who may feel they are not being heard when they approach council.






What do you believe to be a significant issue facing Georgetown, and how will you address that issue?

Disconnect of some of council with its citizens when they bring concerns and suggest solutions to them. I want to be intentional and meet with and listen to the people in my district and anyone who has a concern. [With] the energy mishap, [I want to] ensure that best practices are followed.






How will you address the city’s energy issues and prevent them from happening again?

I believe we need to critically analyze these types of contracts using best practices and bring in the appropriate people when needed. Not rush.






What do you think is the most important strategy to keep Georgetown affordable to live in?

I would look at economic development. We have great restaurants, coffee shops and major retail stores. I think a better balance in planning [will be] bringing in businesses that provide blue-collar jobs.


SHARE THIS STORY
By Ali Linan

Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.


MOST RECENT

Williamson County residential home sales increased 11.6% year over year, according to an Austin Board of Realtors January housing market report. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County sees increase in year-over-year residential home sales in January

Williamson County residential home sales increased 11.6% year over year, according to an Austin Board of Realtors January housing market report.

Georgetown ISD rezoning 2020
Georgetown ISD board finalizes rezoning for 2020-21 school year

Students at Pickett, Carver and Mitchell elementary schools as well as Wagner Middle School will be affected.

Sue Harrison Georgetown ISD Round Rock ISD
Georgetown ISD names Sue Harrison as director of human resources

Harrison will start in her new role March 9.

Mango Tango Bistro and Bar Georgetown
Asian fusion restaurant coming to Georgetown Square

The bistro and bar plans to open in mid-March.

Cordovan Art School offers a summer camp. (Courtesy Cordovan Art School)
Check out 29 Georgetown summer camp options for the 2020 season

Parents searching for summer camps have a variety to choose from in the Georgetown area.

Local committee works to see Georgetown completely counted in U.S. census

Members will work to educate residents so they know what to expect and when regarding the census, which, ideally, will make them more likely to respond.

Meet the artist, more details on the new Gus's Drug mural in Georgetown

On March 2, the artist will begin drawing out the design on the wall.

The Georgetown Utility Systems control room operates 24/7. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Four new water tanks in four years: Growth leads to continued expansion of Georgetown water utilities

In the last two budget cycles, Georgetown City Council has earmarked $47.4 million in major water capital improvement projects.

Tourism strategic plan implemented to manage more Georgetown visitors

The intent of Georgetown’s plan is to take tourism to the next level.

Abed Yaghi makes a margherita pizza. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
Yaghi's New York Pizzeria offering fresh yet affordable options since 1999

There are eight Yaghi's locations in the Austin area.

Annunciation Maternity Home provides day care while moms work or are in school. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Annunciation Maternity Home: helping women in crisis pregnancies secure promising futures in Georgetown

The home works with women ages 12-30 who are experiencing crisis pregnancies, including issues such as bouts of homelessness, excessive debt or abuse

Kelsie Cabrera opened Brave Vira Yoga in September 2018. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Georgetown's Brave Vira Yoga studio owner found passion for her practice through military experience

Brave Vira offers mostly heated and nonheated vinyasa flow-based, or continuous movement, classes.

Back to top