After candidate filing began last week for Cedar Park and Leander's May 5 city elections, vacancies in the cities' mayor positions quickly drew interest.
Corbin Van Arsdale filed for mayor in Cedar Park to fill the spot currently held by Matt Powell. In Leander, Vic Villarreal threw his hat in the ring for mayor to fill the opening being left by Chris Fielder. Candidates for council seats in both cities also turned in their paperwork to be listed on the election ballots.
Candidate filing continues through Feb. 16.
Van Arsdale, Place 2 City Council Member in Cedar Park since 2014, released a 10-point plan for his campaign over the weekend after filing for mayor last Thursday, Jan. 18. His issues include creating a homestead exemption from property taxes for city residents and expanding emergency shelters for victims of domestic violence.
Van Arsdale also would like to make city government more transparent and accountable with town hall meetings and relations with the media.
“We need to be upfront on ethics, finance and whenever there is a controversial issue in the city,” he said. “When you are not open with the public, they can assume the worst and that is not usually true.”
Van Arsdale said his platform is assembled from feedback from his constituents, and it includes: public safety, better stewardship of city land and resources, transportation improvements, and flood and drainage control.
“We still have large tracts of undeveloped land in Cedar Park,” he said. “We need to continue to grow but also work on redeveloping what we already have to bring more jobs here.”
Van Arsdale will have to resign his council seat to run for mayor. He said he plans to resign in mid-March.
Van Arsdale was a member of the city’s 4B and Parks and Recreation Boards before being elected to the city council. He represented the council on the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority and on the Executive Committee for the Capital Area Council of Governments. He served in the Texas Legislature from 2003 to 2009. Van Arsdale is President and General Counsel for the Associated General Contractors Texas Building Branch. He and his wife Stephanie have five children ages 18 to 21.
To view the applications of candidates in Cedar Park, visit www.cedarparktexas.gov/departments/city-secretary/election-may-5-2018.
Villarreal, a business professor, is a former Leander City Council Member and a former member of the board of trustees for Austin Community College. He said he was instrumental in securing Leander’s first college campus, the ACC San Gabriel Campus.
“I bring a combination of municipal and education policy experience to the city,” Villarreal stated in a press release. “I am ready to continue moving Leander forward with purpose, passion and results.”
He listed his goals for Leander to include: job creation, economic expansion, tax stability, public safety and quality of life.
“My set of core values and goals will guide me as I work to bring residents and business owners into the decision-making process on important city matters,” Villarreal said. “As I have in the past, I will hold true to my core values and goals as a candidate and as mayor of Leander.”
Villarreal’s wife, Sandra, is an assistant teacher at Winkley Elementary School and their daughter attends public school in Leander.
For more information about the Leander May 5 general election, visit http://www.leandertx.gov/citysecretary/page/elections2018