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City of Sunset Valley Council Member {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

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    Phil Ellett

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    Melissa C. Gonzales

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    Joe Koizen

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    Karen L. Medicus

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Biographical Information

What strategies will you use to ensure open communication between City Hall and residents?

What are your top environmental and land development concerns and how do you plan to address them?

What is your vision for transportation infrastructure in your community and how will you advance it?

What other critical issue will you address and how?

Background I grew up in Wales and attended College in London, I came to the U.S. in 1977 I am married to a wonderful lady Sue and we have a son Dylan
Education HNC Electronics and Electrical Engineering West London Univesity
I believe the first rule of communicating is listening. Understanding the concerns and the expectations of all sides. I would use the skills I have learned in building and acquiring companies across the globe, treating all sides with respect. However tough decisions some times have to be taken and once taken I would support those involved and the communicating of the action
Preservation of a lifestyle , that allows nature to flourish through sane and practical governance Limitation of impervious ground cover . I plan on working very closely with the various committees and citizen groups to ensure that retail operations and nature can live in harmony.
Ours is a small city yet transportation can be improved I will encourage the use of ride share and car pooling opportunities especially to and from places of work Our extensive trails should continue to be expanded and encouraged as a means of travel to our retail locations
Our City is very dependent on sales tax revenue, I will work with our retail organizations to ensure that we have a healthy mix of stores and restaurants to weather the changing face of retail

Total transparency in the budgeting process so that citizens can clearly see and understand where money is being spent
Background Active Community Volunteer especially for the last 20 plus years in Sunset Valley. I have served on numerous city committees and visited with all.
Education Bachelor of Liberal Studies, St Edward's University
Sunset Valley is a community that truly encourages and is responsive to citizen concerns which is one of the reasons I enjoy living here so much. I plan to continue working to further that sense of open communication by listening to residents, working with other council members to problem solve our issues and create comprehensive solutions.

Our talented and responsive staff continues to improve our website, newsletters and email communications. We also use surveys and input from committees and any member of the community is always welcome to email or visit council and committee meetings.
My top environmental concerns center around water quality and flooding issues which have consumed many past council meetings. Our city has a deep love of the environment and our rural past which grounds us and must be integrated into our new more urban future. Redevelopment of our commercial areas is an important area to explore.

I have served on the Public Works committee for many years as well as Community and Economic Development and over a decade attending most city council meetings. I am very current on these issues and well prepared to go to work if I am so fortunate as to be elected.
Having served for a number of years on both Finance and Public Works committees, I understand that a vision of transportation infrastructure must be cost effective, well thought out and innovative. Our road bases are often challenged by clay and flooding issues. Our shopping area is successful and good traffic flow helps insure its continued good fortune. I am a supporter of our pay as you go philosophy and having dedicated funds for our infrastructure replacement. There are many idiosyncratic challenges to each of our public works projects and I enjoy being familiar with them.
Our City Facilities Project is currently consuming a large part of our public energy and discussion. As we wrap up that major project which is the largest our city has ever undertaken, I believe it will be useful to have an experienced member on council to ensure we effectively make good decisions about both that project and the replenishment of the General Fund reserve. I believe I have the background necessary to do that which is why I am running and hope I will have your vote to allow me to serve.
Background Retired in 2008 from USAF as Lt Colonel. Federal Contracting Officer. Construction, Renewable Energy and Water Conflict Resolution specialties
Education Master's degree from Air Force Institute of Technology - Dayton, OH, 1996 Bachelor's degree from Univ of Scranton - 1987
As elected officials we must ensure that we're good stewards of the public trust. This includes ensuring there's integrity and accountability in all that we do. Having served in the United States Air Force for over twenty years, I'm familiar with the importance of transparency in the public sector, particularly from it's elected officials. If elected, I promise to uphold these core values and ensure they remain in the forefront of all that we do. I intend to be accessible as a public servant both in my official capacity & as a private citizen. I invite you to reach me at: Facebook.com/jkoizen
Sunset Valley is somewhat unique in Austin in that it is surrounded by nature preserves and undeveloped woodlands. It is critically important for officials to remain mindful to preserve a balance between a healthy tax base and future development. We must work to preserve the unique blend of rural home and farm sites with a robust and vibrant commercial and retail corridor. Additionally, we must maintain and protect our city's access and our rights to the aquifer for our potable water needs. In particular, I plan on bringing my 20+ years of public and private sector experience to the table
Given Sunset Valley's size and proximity to Austin, we're likely to find ourselves contributing to the area's master plan rather than developing our own. However, we should continue to use our resources to protect citizen's safety first, especially on Brodie Lane. As traffic increases, so do safety concerns. Sunset Valley should give serious consideration to Austin's request for locating a new fire station within city limits. This could have the affect of reducing response times and reduce the need to expend future public dollars contracting with Austin for this service.
Sunset Valley is fortunate to have a vibrant retail and commercial corridor that runs right through the middle of our city. This thoroughfare not only offers citizens and neighbors excellent access to high-quality and affordable shopping, dining and services, but it also provides a much needed (and appreciated) tax revenue. City officials should work to understand on-line shopping trends and do it's best to protect the "bricks and mortar" space so critical to the city's financial health. Finally, the city needs a plan to deal with extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) requests/complaints.
Background Thirty yrs. in non-profit management. Service: Sunset Valley Zoning Commission 17 yrs.; Arts Commission 14 yrs.; Environmental & Planning 2 yrs.
Education Certification as a Dialogue Education Fellow; Mediator; Appreciative Inquiry and MBTI Practitioner; and former CFRE.
Provide meaningful information and effective public processes to build awareness and support planning and decision making. I believe face-to-face conversations and sharing of ideas will provide pathways for unifying our community. I will always be available to residents and staff to hear their thoughts and ideas.

We need to be prudent in issuing variances and provide adequate monitoring of mitigation factors over time. Enforcement of our current code should be done. If changes are needed to the code, those changes should be made to protect our quality of life.
We do not have public transportation within our city limits. Ensuring we have adequate budget to maintain our roadways on a scheduled timeline is important.
Development of a specific plan for city owned property to benefit the community.