Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell announced Wednesday he will not be seeking re-election in May.
After 13 years in city leadership, a visibly emotional Powell made his announcement at the close of his annual state of the city speech event at the H-E-B Center Wednesday evening.
“It’s with a lot of mixed emotions and a tremendous amount of gratitude in my heart for the citizens of the city that I’m announcing this evening that I don’t intend to stand for re-election for this year,” Powell said.
After a long, silent pause, Powell continued.
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I know within our city there are plenty of people who will step forward for service,” he said.
Powell was first elected to Cedar Park City Council Place One in 2005. In 2012, he was elected mayor and won re-election twice.
Mayor Powell played a role in several projects the city has seen during this decade, including the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, 1890 Ranch and The Parke retail centers, Cedar Park Regional Medical Center and a new City Hall.
During his state of the city address hosted by the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce, Powell provided an overview of city finances and told the story of Cedar Park, a town that has encountered growth at all angles.
“When I first started running for office I would often get asked, ‘If you could bring anything to town what would it be?’” Powell said earlier, during his speech. “It would be a hospital, Chick-Fil-A and Costco. Folks, we got all three.”
When Powell first joined City Council, he said the city’s population was about 32,000 people. Now it’s about 75,000.
“Our city has fundamentally changed,” Powell said. “These are the golden years. This is where we’re going to make and lay our roots.”
With Powell out of the race, the city will have to wait until candidate filing begins on Jan. 17 to see who will run for office. Both Cedar Park and Leander will elect a mayor and three city council members in May.
“I want to say thank you for the ideas, for the support and the prayers and the anger, and the challenges and the volunteerism,” Powell said. “For the opportunity to learn and grow with you and to work with you to better the lives of the citizens of the city that I truly love.”