Q&A with candidates running for Place 3 on Leander City Council

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Jason Shaw and Becki Ross are running for Place 3 on Leander City Council. Community Impact Newspaper asked the candidates about their priorities and experience.

Places 1 and 5 on Leander City Council are also up for election. Election day is May 4. Early voting is April 22-30.

Jason Shaw

Occupation: Program Coordinator at Visa
Top priorities: Removing unnecessary ordinances
Website: www.facebook.com/jason4leandertx

What makes you fit for the role of a city council member?
For over 23 years in the military, I have solved multifaceted problems using facts while understanding how those decisions affected my team. My ability to make unbiased decisions, best for the whole, makes me a great fit for City Council. Outside of the military, I stabilized a struggling mid-sized manufacturing company with over 20 employees and helped turn it back into a profitable company within one year. I understand what needs to be done to move things forward toward a goal.

How do you plan on addressing the growth in your city?
Our current web of codes/ordinances are unattractive to potential new businesses considering Leander, and [they] are going to other cities because they feel our city is too restrictive without reason. I will call for a review of the current codes/ordinances that are in place in reference to the permitting and inspection process. Working with the city to eliminate the extraneous demands that Leander requires is the first step to the future of growth and development in our community.

What role should the city play in regulating development?
In comparison to our surrounding cities, Leander’s restrictive codes/ordinances are frustrating developers and limiting commercial growth. The city should have a role in identifying and eliminating the unnecessary restrictions that are unattractive for new commercial development. Once we remove restrictions that do not serve our city well, the city should then adopt a business development mindset where the focus is on marketing Leander as the best home for new development.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city?
1. Lack of transparent communication between the citizens, the city, and developers. We need to create open communication and transparency between the city and give the residents a chance to have focused input on the issues.
2. Fiscal irresponsibility — do Leander residents know what their tax dollars are actually being used for?
3. Responsible growth — creating codes/ordinances that make sense and encourage, not discourage new business in Leander.

Becki Ross

Occupation: Small business owner
Top priorities: Foster growth without compromising quality
Website: www.fb.me/votebeckiross

What makes you fit for the role of a city council member?
Ten years of experience as a business owner and countless hours as a community volunteer make me the best choice for this role. I have primary knowledge of opening and running a successful business, leading teams, collaborating with others and managing budgets. I have a proven record as an active member of my community, currently serving as vice chair of the Leander Chamber of Commerce, planning and zoning commissioner and economic development committee member to name a few.

How do you plan on addressing the growth in your city?
The comprehensive plan is the guiding document for our city’s growth. My role on council would be to utilize the plan in making decisions about the expansion of Leander. This will give those that want to conduct business with the city the tools needed to understand the quality and safety standards we expect. Creating efficiencies, eliminating duplicity and regular reviews of workflows is crucial to rapid, quality growth while maintaining public safety.

What role should the city play in regulating development?
The role of the city is to ensure as expansion happens it falls under the vision of our new comprehensive plan, contributes to our tax base and adds quality of life value. Regulations outside of these parameters would hinder growth.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city?
First and foremost, Leander needs a broader primary employer base. Employers will create the daytime traffic we need for secondary businesses, retail and restaurants to be sustainable. With the predicted growth, the city must ensure we have the infrastructure in place to handle the increase in traffic and need for additional amenities such as parks and recreational activity space.

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2 comments
COMMENT
  1. Q: How do you plan on handling gridlock traffic in Leander, specifically the 183/Crystal Falls intersection that is a mess thanks to Capital Metro? (Hint: Don’t blame TxDOT like Mr. Seiler)

    Q: Should we just do away with Cap Metro here in Leander?

  2. Gustav Von Kahr

    It would appear that Betsy Ross is rather more on the side of growth than anything else. I issue a little challenge. Betsy, get in your pickup and drive south from SH29 on RR to Crystal Falls. Turn right and go to Bagdad, then up to Hero Way. Then take Hero to 183 south, then back to RR on 2241. Do it at 830 AM. Somewhere along the way, stop and get a mug of coffee.

    Then tell us, Mrs Ross, how much more growth we need.

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Marisa Charpentier
Marisa Charpentier joined Community Impact in September 2018. After working as an intern, she became a reporter for the Cedar Park | Leander edition in October 2018. Charpentier graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors.
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