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

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Incumbent Anne Duffy and Hulyne Christopher are running for Place 3 on Cedar Park City Council. Community Impact Newspaper asked the candidates about their priorities and experience.

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

Anne Duffy

Occupation: Clinical nurse manager, Ascension Texas
Priorities: Safety, fiscal sustainability
Website: www.akduffyforcp.com

What makes you fit for the role of a city council member?
As a lifelong leader in the military, health care and community, I have gained the skills needed of a City Council member. It takes collaboration, listening, working together, respectful communication and compromise. My leadership focus has always been about serving others and putting people first. During my past two years on City Council, I’ve held office hours; promoted the outstanding contributions of our citizens, fire and police; and remained focused on keeping Cedar Park a thriving city. It is my privilege to serve and represent all citizens of Cedar Park.

How do you plan on addressing the growth in your city?
I will have discussions, ask difficult questions and challenge ideas. I will ensure we are always evaluating the demands on our roads, public safety, drainage and finances. It is important for us to attract the right type of growth. Most importantly, good-paying jobs. When we attract employers, because of Class A office space, this assists us in keeping property taxes low. For our fiscal health, we need to have a diverse tax base. Therefore, I will carefully review the proposals brought to us. I have been diligent in this process during my time on council.

What role should the city play in regulating development?
It’s important that each proposal is examined for the benefit to the city and the impact to the surrounding areas. We need to stay true to our values, ordinances and comprehensive plan. Some of our anticipated growth is not appealing to our citizens. It is essential that we are forward thinking on how growth affects traffic and property values.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city?
Traffic and mobility are issues for our region. In addition to commuting into neighboring areas, population growth is impacting travel around the city. We have focused efforts on timing the lights properly and road enhancements. It’s essential we conduct studies to discover new ways to ease the burden on our residents. Being landlocked, developable land is at a premium. We need to consider new options for housing and commercial development. Rising property taxes is an issue. I voted for the past two years to lower the tax rate and to put in a homestead exemption.

Hulyne Christopher

Occupation: Office manager
Top priorities: Public safety and infrastructure for growth
Website: www.christopherforcp.com

What makes you fit for the role of a city council member?
With over eight years of management experience in the private sector, I can effectively prioritize, resolve conflicts and bring business acumen to city plans and projects. I value open dialogue and inclusiveness from all citizens. Cedar Park is a thriving, growing community, and I want to ensure we plan for growth without sacrificing the voice of our neighborhoods.

How do you plan on addressing the growth in your city?
As our city continues to grow, we will need to address increases in crime rates and traffic congestion. I think it is critical to ensure that our police and fire departments have adequate staffing and the equipment necessary to do their jobs effectively and safely. We must also focus on continuing road projects throughout the city as needed. Leveraging technology and retiming signals in key intersections can help alleviate some traffic issues and improve mobility as well.

What role should the city play in regulating development?
I feel that we have a good zoning and development plan already in place, but it is important to listen to the residents of Cedar Park when looking to make changes to those plans. The focus should be on encouraging a more business-friendly environment while maintaining the suburban culture that attracted residents to Cedar Park.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city?

  • Public Safety-Rising crime rates and need for more public services as population grows
  • Better management of tax payer dollars
  • Traffic congestion
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17 comments
COMMENT
  1. I don’t know all of the City Council members, but I have met Anne Duffy and Heather Jefts several times because they make efforts to be accessible. I can go to their ‘office hours’ which are announced online and held in various convenient places. I can ask questions and learn about their take on local issues. I’ve never met such open, service-oriented public officials! And they do this for NO PAY. They are remarkable public servants and I’ll be proud to help re-elect them.

    • Shannon Petcosky

      I must say I have never met two public officials who cared more about their community as Anne Duffy and Heather Jefts. They both truly have a servants heart! They are so very involved throughout the community and are always available, honest and upfront ladies. Not to mention Anne Duffy’s life has always been devoted to service in every way, that in itself speaks volumes. Serving in the military as well as being a nurse, along with her immense amount of volunteering she’s always involved in, truly takes a loving, caring, devoted type person and that is the kind of Lady I want representing Our City. Whose also not afraid to stand up for Cedar Park and the people! THANK YOU for your service!!!

        • Richard Balsam

          The wonderful changes that I have seen over the last two years are a direct result of the election of Anne Duffy and Heather Jefts. Improvements have been implemented, money has been saved, incredible businesses are coming here. It’s only just begun! And they are happy to work with ALL members of the council. They must be relected!

  2. Anne has done a fabulous job in her current place in City Council. I’ve never met a more civic minded and caring individual that goes above and beyond to take care of her beloved community. She’s one of us. Her kids attend our local public schools. There’s no reason to replace her with her opponent that has chosen to play dirty politics (really? City elections are supposed to be non-partisan!), and is spreading literal bald faced lies with obvious right wing scare tactics. If you look at how these ladies are running their campaigns alone, it speaks volumes about their personal integrity, honesty, and ethics. Anne continues to hold her head high, stands strongly behind her beliefs and past track record (without stooping to the low level of her competition). Anne Duffy will have our vote (along with most people I know). Let’s keep dirty politics in Washington and out of our beautiful city.

  3. I appreciate how we residents can meet with Anne and Heather during their published office hours. They can speak to how any issues with the city can be addressed. I am happy with the progress of and their contributions to the City Council the last 2 years, and look forward to having Anne and Heather re-elected. Cedar Park will continue to benefit from their fiscal responsibility, support of police and fire departments, bringing businesses in to hire locally and enhance our tax base, our cost of living and quality of life, caring for all residents (regardless of income/social level, live in house or apartment, party affiliation, etc.). Anne and Heather truly approach their work on the city Council as the nonpartisan position it is. They are very kind and have welcoming demeanors. They have my vote.

  4. Emily Montgomery

    Anne Duffy has my 100% support. She is an incredible woman. Experienced in civic service, determined to support her community, and has the knowledge and experience to continue to improve the city of Cedar Park! I will be voting for Anne and Heather!!!

  5. When selecting a candidate to receive my vote for any office, I look at one key factor-“Is this candidate a good person who has our best interest in mind?” I can confidently give my vote to Anne Duffy because I know that she is a good person. I have witnessed Anne participate in countless good deeds, including Back to School drives, meal packing events for starving families, and volunteering at Samaritan Ministries. Anne is also a veteran and nurse, both of which put her in the service of others. Anne is a long time resident of Cedar Park and has witnessed the growing changes and has plans to continue growth while maintaining the charm of Cedar Park. She is invested in the outcome of every decision made by the council and works hard to unite the city towards common goals. She is easily accessible and cares about the concerns of the community. Anne has been part of a great team on city council the past few years and she’s not done yet. I can’t wait to see this group continue building our great community with Anne Duffy’s experience, service, and commitment leading the way.

  6. As a citizen in Cedar Park, I love seeing our council members broadcast “office hours” like Anne does! It’s so refreshing to see them out in our community willing to engage with all community members. In a thriving (rapidly growing) city, I’m so glad to be able to cast my vote for a member who has proven they’re willing to listen and challenge that status quo if needed.

  7. Anne Duffy and Heather Jefts have been and continue to be responsible and responsive leaders for Cedar Park. They have lowered property taxes, paid off city debt, ensured the first responders receive the equipment and personal benefits they deserve, attracted positive development, preserved and boosted park land, and much more. Their contributions to this city we love will continue with all of our support. Go Anne and Heather!!!

  8. Anne understands what it takes to build a community and works hard to make sure everyone is fully represented. Our area is changing daily and we need someone who will represent everyone regardless of their political beliefs and Anne is this person!

  9. I’m so impressed with Anne, and the integrity with which she does her job! These positions are unpaid. She’s dedicated a lot of time and resources to an overlooked and underappreciated position. Her work ethic is beyond reproach. I am proud to cast my ballot for her in May!

  10. I’m very happy with Anne Duffy’s leadership on City Council over the last two years. With her help and Vote she has Lowered our Taxes!!! She’s strongly backed our first responders and is always looking to move our city forward for the future. She has our support and will have our votes in May! City Council positions are Non Partisan positions, and it’s nice to remember that.

  11. For 10 years City Council did nothing to increase developed public parkland in Cedar Park, despite the fact that the Citizens had voted for exactly that in the 2007 Bond Election. And to make matters worse, the 2015. Parks and Open Space Master Plan gutted several projects from the 2006 plan that were near and dear to the hearts of many Cedar Park Citizens. In 2017, Anne Duffy and Heather Jefts we’re elected, and Lakeline Park was finally Master Planned and is scheduled to be developed. In addition, Anne and Heather have been excellent stewards of our resources, they supported ethics reform including financial disclosure requirements for candidates for City Council, and prohibitions on lobbying the city after leaving office. They, along with Stephen Thomas, will have my vote for re-election. I encourage my friends and neighbors to go to the polls and and vote to re-elect
    Anne, Heather, and Stephen.

  12. These comments are all shills. The incumbents gave them all talking points and they all post on the same day. It’s like this for all 3. They all say the same thing. Disgusting, disingenuous, and fake. Lame.

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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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