Q&A with candidates running for Place 2 on Round Rock City Council

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Incumbent Rene M. Flores and Blane Conklin are running for Place 2 on Round Rock City Council. Community Impact Newspaper asked the candidates about their priorities and experience.

Place 6 on Round Rock City Council is also up for election. Election day is May 4. Early voting is April 22-30.

Blane Conklin

Occupation: senior business analyst, The University of Texas
Hometown: Round Rock
Experience: 14 years at The University of Texas, commissioner on Round Rock’s Historic Preservation Commission, Ph.D. from the University of Chicago

www.conklinforroundrock.com

What will be your top priorities if you are elected?
Public safety and mental health. Traffic solutions including mass transit. Vibrant and diverse economy. Taking action on climate change.

What uniquely qualifies you for this position?
My experience as a business analyst at UT, my work in our community, and my service on the city’s boards and commissions gives me a unique skillset. I will be an advocate for regular people while continuing Round Rock’s legacy of being one of the best places to call home.

How should Round Rock manage its growth?
The guiding star for every decision regarding our growth needs to be how it affects the quality of life of the people of Round Rock. We need to ensure that our core services and responsibilities of public safety and infrastructure are keeping up with our growth.

What should Round Rock’s infrastructure priorities be?
We need more options for getting around the city and the region. We need walkable mixed-use neighborhoods, bike lanes, increased bus capacity for commuters and those who do not own a car.

Rene M. Flores

Occupation: community banker, Extraco Banks
Hometown: Fort Worth
Experience: current council member, board member Partners in Education RRISD and Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, St. William Finance Council

www.renemflores.com

What will be your top priorities if you are elected?
Seek out traffic and mobility improvements; public safety; jobs and economic development; low taxes; smart growth; high quality of life.

What uniquely qualifies you for this position?
I have served as a planning and zoning commissioner, board member Round Rock Chamber, private sector representative to Workforce Solutions board, secretary—Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority, president of Round Rock Rotary and member of the El Amistad Club.

How should Round Rock manage its growth?
Strong and well-thought-out planning is crucial. We are currently working on Round Rock’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan and getting citizen input on what they want and hope to see in the future. As a council, we have planning sessions to lay out priorities for each upcoming year.

What should Round Rock’s infrastructure priorities be?
Continue to work on mobility improvements with arterial and collector roads.  Projects such as North Mays, University Drive and Wyoming Springs.

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Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Jackson Buchanan is the editor for the Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from The University of Texas.
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