Leander residents will elect a mayor and three City Council members May 5. Candidates may file between Jan. 17-Feb. 16.
A former Leander City Council member and Austin Community College board chairman announced his candidacy for mayor of Leander on Jan. 22. Vic Villarreal was elected to Leander City Council in 2005 and also served as mayor pro tem. Between 2012-16 he also served as the ACC board chairman. In a Monday press release, Villarreal emphasized his experience with Leander city government and ACC and listed values and campaign goals.
Villarreal said his goals were to “continuously improve job creation, economic expansion, tax stability, public safety, and quality of life and future.”
According to the city, Adam C. Benefield filed for the seat of Leander Mayor. Benefield has owned his own business since 2004 and said he is a longtime resident of Leander.
Benefield said he has served in a variety of volunteer positions in the community, such as the Parent Teacher Association president of Running Brushy Middle School, a Boy Scout Varsity Leander, volunteer team coordinator with Crisis Clean-Up and Mormon Helping Hands.
In a Feb. 2 statement, Benefield said one of his biggest priorities is to help Leander grow and develop in beneficial ways for the future.
Current Place 6 City Council Member Troy Hill announced his candidacy for Leander Mayor on Feb. 8.
Hill has served on council for 3 years and has served on Leander’s Charter Review Commission, the Leander Economic Development Committee and the Texas Economic Development Council. According to a press release, Hill also helped found the Leander Advocacy Group.
In the release, Hill said his goals are to rise sales tax revenue to 20 percent, eliminate the city’s “smart code” within the transit-oriented development around the Leander Capital Metro station, expand Capital Metro service and explore legal ways to redraw the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority with Cedar Park and Round Rock.
CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 2
Current City Council Place 2 member Michelle Stephenson filed for re-election this week, according to the city of Leander.
Stephenson was first elected to Place 2 in 2015. She also previously served on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Phil Contatore filed to run for Place 2 on Feb. 15, according to the city. Contatore has served as a police officer and previously owned a small business. He currently serves on the Ridgewood of Leander Home Owner's Association.
In an email to Community Impact Newspaper, Contatore listed limiting barriers and restrictive policies that discourage business development, alleviating property tax burdens and community engagement as some of his focuses.
CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 4
According to the city of Leander, Ron Abruzzese, the current Place 4 City Council member, has filed for re-election. Abruzzese was first elected to fill the vacancy of an unexpired Place 4 term in a December 2013 runoff election and was re-elected to Place 4 in May 2015.
He has served as Mayor Pro Tem and is currently the vice president of the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority. Abruzzese has also served as a representative of the Capitol Area Council of Governments, the Leander Planning and Zoning Commission, the Leander Bond Election Board and on the Comprehensive Plan Update Steering Committees.
Christine Sederquist filed to run for Leander City Council, Place 4, on Jan. 25. According to a press release, she currently serves on Leander’s Economic Development Committee and served as the chair on the Charter Review Committee.
According to the release, Sederquist has been a Leander Girl Scout leader for 6 years and is a past present of the Jim Plain Elementary Parent Teachers Association. She said she wants to bring businesses, jobs and smart growth to the city to offset property tax burdens for residents.
CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 6
Marshall Hines, a current member of Leander's Planning and Zoning Commission, has filed for the Place 6 City Council seat. Hines was first appointed to the commission in May 2015 to fill the vacancy of an unexpired term and was reappointed in October 2015. His current term expires in October 2018.
In an email to Community Impact Newspaper, Hines said his goals on City Council would be to build Leander as a destination; continue to expand commercial development; remove impediments to development and simplify codes; build upon the city's position as safe, welcoming and affordable; make responsible spending decisions; and advocate for residents.
According to the city, if Hines is elected to City Council, he must resign his seat on the P&Z prior to taking an oath of office.
According to the city of Leander, Marci Cannon filed for Place 6 on Jan. 30.
According to a Feb. 10 press release, Cannon served on the city's Comprehensive Plan Update Committee, the Leander Chamber of Commerce Real Estate Advisory Committee and the Reagan Parmer Corridor Association. She also serves as a small group leader at Northpoint Church and on the Seton Women's Development Board.
In the release, Cannon said she aims to simplify the development process, incentivize commercial developers and bring jobs to Leander.
Derek Levisay filed for Place 6 on Feb. 13, according to the city of Leander.
Levisay has 15 years of experience in public education, with three years being in Leander ISD, and currently serves works for New York Life. According to a statement to Community Impact Newspaper, Levisay also volunteers at Pleasant Hill Elementary and serves on the city's site-base planning committee.