A version of this Q&A with Tommy Gonzalez and Jaquita Wilson, candidates for Georgetown City Council District 7, appears on Page 16 of the April 2019 issue of Community Impact Newspaper’s Georgetown edition.
Candidates’ answers are their own and were only edited for length or minor style changes.
Early voting runs April 22-30. Election day is May 4.
Tommy Gonzalez (incumbent)
Experience: 25 years in financial services industry, nine years on City Council, current chair of the Georgetown General Government and Finance Board and member of 2030 comprehensive plan update committee; previously served on the Historic and Architectural Review Committee, Georgetown Economic Development Corp., Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corp.
Top priorities: Maintain and enhance the level of public safety; maintain one of the lowest tax rates in our area while providing high levels of service and amenities.
Experience: director of Liberty Hill Head Start, former teacher, military wife, mother of five, active member of the community.
Top priorities: increase accessibility to the quality of life necessities constituents are lacking, including accessible high-quality grocery stores, public transportation, affordable housing and better internet access.
Why are you running for this position?
Gonzalez: My father taught me to be part of the solutions, not the one that only points out the challenges. I feel the experiences in city government over the past nine years are important in cooperating with the rest of City Council to find positive solutions to all challenges we face. We continue to grow rapidly and are dealing with growing pains. I seek real solutions to issues not just saying what I think others want to hear. In the end, I am running in order to continue being a part of making Georgetown the best city to live, work, retire and raise a family.
Wilson: I believe I bring a unique experience and perspective to City Council. My years of teaching, educational administration, and local involvement in Georgetown have demonstrated the need for effective change in our community that creates tangible solutions for people in the realms of accessibility to grocery stores, expansion of public transportation and improvement of our infrastructure.
What project or policy initiative needs to take priority on City Council?
Gonzalez: I believe most important is keeping up with infrastructure needs as well as providing value to our citizens. We need to be efficient with our resources to meet the ever-growing needs or our expanding community. Public safety (fire, police, EMS) are always a top priority.
Wilson: We need to prioritize transparency and communication to our constituents. The people of Georgetown and District 7, in particular, have voices that our local government needs to hear and assist. One area our council needs to focus on is sustainable water and green-space planning and flood prevention as we update and expand out city infrastructure.
How do you think you stand out as a candidate?
Gonzalez: I have nine years of experience serving on the council, along with serving on several city boards and commissions. Over 25 years of financial services and business experience can be an asset in understanding complex economic development opportunities and other city projects.
Wilson: I bring an educator’s perspective to the board, I will ask questions and get answers! My campaign is centered on transparency and accessibility; thus, I plan to increase the amount of social media content and contact between the city of Georgetown and its citizens. I will do quarterly town halls based on the priorities of my district and will keep an active website and dedicated Facebook page for ease of communication for my constituents.
What has City Council done well, and what could it do better?
Gonzalez: The city has done a great job managing our growth. Georgetown is one of the safest cities in Texas thanks to top-notch Police, Fire, and EMS. This recognition was achieved while being in the top ten growing cities over the past four years in the country. The city can do a better job in seeking experts in areas that staff does not have the highest level of expertise in order to better advise City Council.
Wilson: I think City Council has been excellent in its support of Georgetown Parks and Recreation. We could do better with emergency planning and dissemination of emergency planning information to not only necessary city officials but constituents.
What else should voters know about you?
Gonzalez: I have built good rapport with other City Council members, which is important to get things done. Leading a charge by yourself does not often achieve any results. Serving my community is very important to me.
Wilson: I am a military wife, mom and educator; my life is service, and I would like to expand that service to the citizens of Georgetown. I firmly believe City Council creates community, and I want to facilitate the necessary communication between the people and local government. I believe my passion, experience and leadership will help ensure City Council finds effective solutions for the challenges facing our community.