Two names will appear on the ballot for the Dripping Springs City Council Place 1 election this May: incumbent council member Taline Manassian and challenger Anthony Aristar.
Aristar told Community Impact Newspaper in March that he has decided he will withdraw his name from contention due to a family obligation and is no longer running for the position. However, his name will still appear on the ballot.
As part of Community Impact Newspaper‘s coverage ahead of the election, we reached out to both candidates with questions about the local community. A version of this Q&A with Taline Manassian appears on page 27 of the April 2019 issue of Community Impact Newspaper’s Southwest Austin – Dripping Springs edition. Aristar elected not to complete a Q&A after he withdrew.
Early voting in the Hays County election runs April 22-30 and election day is May 4.
Occupation: attorney with George Brothers Kincaid & Horton LLP, an Austin litigation firm
How long have you lived in Dripping Springs?
I have lived in Dripping Springs for almost ten years.
What experience do you have that makes you a good candidate for the position?
Being on City Council for two years has taught me a great deal and shown me how much I still have to learn. I also have worked in open government and in dealing with municipal ordinances through my legal work. Mostly though, I try to listen when people voice concerns.
What are the biggest challenges currently facing Dripping Springs?
Our biggest challenges continue to relate to growth—building infrastructure, managing development and planning for transportation needs, all while keeping the feel of Dripping Springs that drew so many of us here. Also, we need to communicate more often and relate better to one another as people and community members.
If elected, what goals would you have for your term in office?
My goals include (1) building community between the city and the extraterritorial jurisdiction, (2) maintaining our feel and culture, (3) studying water infrastructure, availability and conservation, and (4) growing our arts presence. I also want to continue the work of my first term in wastewater, the town center and transportation.
Do you have any conflicts of interest that could prevent you from voting on future council actions?
During my first term, I have not had any conflicts. I did, however, abstain from voting on amendments to the sign ordinance because my law firm is involved in litigation over municipal sign ordinances, and I wanted to avoid any suggestion of conflict or bias on those matters. Going forward, I could see abstaining or recusing myself if, for example, a family member or an immediate neighbor comes before council.