Three candidates vie for Round Rock City Council Place 1 in May 6 election
24-29, May 1-2. The last day to apply for a ballot by mail is April 25 and election day is May 6. The candidates, in alphabetical order include Hollis Bone, Matthew James Carothers and Tammy Young. Community Impact Newspaper asked questions of each candidate. Their answers are printed with limited editing.
BONE: BBA-finance, St. Edward s University (1993). Career: banking center president, R Bank (2015-present); executive vice president/commercial lender, R Bank (2013-15); senior vice president/principal relationship manager, Wells Fargo (2010-13); senior vice president/business banking manager, Wells Fargo (2005-10); vice president/senior business relationship manager, Wells Fargo (2000-05); assistant vice president/business banking, Bank One (1997-2000); business banking officer, Norwest Banks (1995-97); credit analyst, Cattlemen s State Bank (1994); legal assistant, Baker & Botts (1993-94); legal assistant clerk, Baker & Botts (1988-93).
I have served on numerous boards and committees in Round Rock, Austin and Hutto throughout my career. This service has provided me with a well-rounded and comprehensive background in community issues and initiatives. In addition to my 23-year career in community banking, I believe this work has prepared me to serve on the Round Rock City Council: Member, board of directors, Round Rock Police Foundation (2015-present); member, board of directors, Hutto Area Chamber of Commerce (2015-17); member, board of directors, Round Rock ISD Partners In Education (2013-present); planning & zoning commission, City of Round Rock (2013-17); member, board of directors, Round Rock Foundation for the Arts (2016); member, board of directors, Round Rock Area Arts Council (2013-15); district chairman, Chisholm Trail District, Boy Scouts of America (2011-12); member, committee, Round Rock Economic Development Partnership (2008 present); Transportation and Economic Development Corp., City of Round Rock (2008-13); chairman, board of directors, Round Rock Chamber (2007-08); member, board of directors, Round Rock Chamber (2006-09); president, board of directors, RMA of Central Texas (2004 06); member, board of directors, RMA of Central Texas (2002-06); member, advisory board, Hope Alliance (2005-present); member, board of directors, Hope Alliance (2003-05); member, board of directors, Junior Achievement of Central Texas (2004-07); member, planning committee, Leadership Round Rock (2002-14); member, Leadership Round Rock Class of 2001-02; member, board of directors, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce (1998-2000).
CAROTHERS: I currently work at Austin Community College and supervise campus operations and campus security with interaction with the campus police.
Includes over 10 years working with the State of Texas in Eligibility and Compliance issues.
Working with a [Texas Department of Transportation] and over 5 years working with Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority in external affairs. Tackling issues facing the community such as transit impact on business, construction, transit scheduling and community interaction.
Military service in the United States Coast Guard in Maritime Law Enforcement, Port Security and Operations and Marine Casualty Review and Investigations at Coast Guard [headquarters]. Honorable service with Distinction. Awarded the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Medal and Ribbon for Meritorious Service.
YOUNG: A former teacher, Tammy taught in Round Rock ISD and her three children attended Round Rock schools. Her oldest granddaughter currently attends a Round Rock elementary school.
Tammy has a Bachelor of Science degree in special education from the University of New Mexico. In New Mexico, she worked as a teacher, student advocate, consultant and Chapter President of a national non-profit organization (CH.A.D.D), collaborating with other non-profit organizations and the New Mexico State Department of Special Education to improve the lives of children with disabilities. Her book, Slow Down So I Can Tell You I Love You: A Handbook for Parents and Teachers of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder was published in 2000.
Tammy is currently a full-time Realtor and has sold many homes in Round Rock over the years so she has experienced personally and professionally the growing pains of the city she loves. Her real estate career began in 2002, selling new homes for a builder. She is a member of the Austin Board of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, the Texas Association of Realtors, Rodeo Austin and the Central Texas Water Coalition.
2. What are the major issues you see facing Round Rock and what are the solutions?
CAROTHERS: Positive managed growth without choking out Round Rock s historical identity and uniqueness.
I came to Round Rock as a child in 1968, son of one of the first city managers. Worked with parks and recreation as the aquatics director, graduated from Texas State University with dual degrees in political science and history, commuting to San Marcos. Seeing unimaginable growth within the city for the most part positive and would like to continue to see such positive growth, [while] keeping the culture of the past such as Frontier Days and Farmers Market. Traffic is always an issue when it comes to growth. The city needs to continue to find solutions in this area, one way to help solve this is coming up with smarter lights and changing patterns throughout the day and evening. Incorporating additional green space and dedicated parks would allow us to take advantage of the beauty of Brushy Creek.
YOUNG: This is a critical time for Round Rock and we must re-evaluate our priorities. Our city has grown at the expense of our quality of life. We have a local and regional mobility crisis which must be addressed in a comprehensive, forward-thinking way. Our history of being one of the safest cities in America is threatened by the under-funding of our police department. Public safety must be our number one priority, our mobility crisis must be addressed with a regional perspective and it is time to manage our growth in a way that protects the quality of life of those who already live here over the interests of commerce. Our focus on tourism and sports brings additional people here on the weekends and the revenue generated comes with a price, which is paid by those of us who already call Round Rock our home. We must engage our citizens in a meaningful way so adequate public input is collected and considered by our elected officials. We need to invite more diverse group of residents to participate in city leadership through additional committees and advisory groups. It is time to invest in our existing, older communities in need of sidewalks, street lights and adequate drainage. We must ensure a generous portion of our new developments include entry level homes and apartments so we can maintain our affordability. It is time to work with Williamson County to address our escalating property taxes. I am in favor of a Homestead exemption on city taxes and a complete freeze of property taxes after the age of 65.
BONE: Our primary issues have to do with transportation and mobility, responsible and strategic growth, and public safety.
Transportation continues to be an issue we face in light of the tremendous growth we have had in the area. Maintaining our roads and executing on the transportation master plan are vital components. The Type B funds available to the city have been a valuable source of funding for city transportation projects while our partnerships with TxDOT and [Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization] have been critical to our regional planning. We must maintain and execute on these partnerships while also providing a constant assessment of our traffic conditions and needs in the area. Options for transportation, such as the recently announced partnership with Cap Metro, have to be explored on a regular basis to provide access for our citizens.
The population growth in Round Rock and Williamson County has been exciting and challenging. Our city has done a tremendous job of managing infrastructure and services as our community has expanded rapidly. Our approach to growth has changed over the years. When Dell Computer relocated to Round Rock in 1993, the immediate need was to bring in additional businesses to help minimize our reliance on the tax revenues provided by Dell. Round Rock was still somewhat of an unknown quantity on the national level, and our city and Chamber worked very hard to market Round Rock as preferred location for business expansion and relocation. Over the years, we have had many wins and have added some outstanding corporate citizens to our community. Now, our approach to growth has a different look. Businesses and people want to move here. We are a city in demand. Our approach is less of a recruiting pitch and more of a strategic plan on how we grow. We have to maintain a discipline on attracting companies and employers that are providing competitive salaries, diverse job opportunities, and community partnership that will benefit Round Rock for the long term. The city and the Chamber s Economic Development Partnership will need to continue to work diligently to assess and engage those businesses and employers that fit this discipline.
Public safety is a broad term, but is a vital component to our quality of life in Round Rock. With tremendous growth, there is significantly increased pressure to provide citizens with a safe and secure lifestyle to which we have all become accustomed. Transportation is an important component, but the focus in this statement has to do with well-managed and well-equipped police and fire departments. We have an excellent record of being one of the safest places to live in America, but rapid growth will quickly challenge that record and we must make sure we are keeping these departments staffed and equipped. This requires a constant and regular line of communication with both fire and police and a willingness to address concerns raised by both the citizens and the professionals in these departments. We have facilities that are in need of upgrades or relocation, and our growth has demanded additional stations to be able to provide adequate response times for our citizens. We also have to ensure that our brave men and women in these departments are compensated and trained competitively so that Round Rock is viewed as a destination career for the finest in the professions.
3. What type of businesses do you think Round Rock should attract?
YOUNG: We must also work diligently to attract new business into Round Rock that pay a living wage and offer a variety of employment positions to Round Rock residents. We need more minority and women owned businesses as well as those who have a documented history of employing women and minorities with equal pay for equal work.
BONE: As mentioned earlier, we need to work to bring in a diverse range of businesses that will provide longterm career opportunities for our citizens. This diversity in industry will provide a wide variety of opportunities as well as a variety of resources for the city from a revenue standpoint. Manufacturers, wholesalers, distribution, retail, service providers and tourism-based businesses bring in revenues for the city that lessen the burden on residential taxpayers. As has been mentioned, Round Rock has become a destination target for businesses around the country and we have to make certain we are adding a balanced variety of businesses and jobs that will support our city and our citizens.
CAROTHERS: Dell [Technologies] and TECO-Westinghouse are major corporations within the city and proved to be such positive influences on the city. The city of Round Rock should attract such high tech giants. The city has also been fortunate to be a leader in the educational field with Texas State University Campus, Texas A&M, along with Austin Community College campuses we need to continue to cultivate such strong partnerships. Round Rock has attracted other business in regards to Medical Care and technology as well as many business in hospitality and the food industry definitely adding a flavor to our great City. I wish to see additional growth in these fields. We also need to continue to attract young entrepreneurs and creative ventures that keep Round Rock exciting. I would like to expand tourism and water sports, hike and bike trails in the city and add additional venues to Dell Diamond.