LIBERTY HILL VOTES 2012: Candidate Profiles
As part of The Independent‘s local election coverage, articles and photos of candidates seeking positions on the Liberty Hill City Council and Liberty Hill ISD Board of Trustees will be posted here as received. Send campaign news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIBERTY HILL CITY COUNCIL
Jack Harkrider: Liberty Hill Mayor
After much prayer and thought, I’ve decided to resign my position as Liberty Hill City Councilman, Place 2, and seek election as Mayor. I ask for your support and vote. Liberty Hill has been our home for 11 years and we plan to spend the rest of our lives here.
As you know, our city is predicted to experience the fastest growth spurt in the metropolitan area over the next 10 years. Without a plan on how to accommodate this growth, it will overwhelm and dramatically change our way of living. I don’t want to see us become “just another suburb.” I believe with strong leadership, current and future community businesses will thrive. If we plan now, I’m convinced we can guide this growth while keeping our small town friendliness and atmosphere.
Two of the major challenges we face are a lack of communication and clear goals for the direction of our city. We need improved relationships between the city and the school district, our boards and commissions, as well as with other area government entities. As Mayor, I will work to reconcile these relationships. Furthermore, I will encourage increased citizen involvement and input pertaining to city issues.
Part of the Optimist Creed says we should learn from the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. I firmly believe this. We can’t afford to dwell in the past. We must prepare now for what’s to come.
As a council member, I always voted for what I thought was best for our community. I am neither a “lock-step” follower, nor a single issue candidate, nor do I have an axe to grind. As Mayor, I pledge to do whatever it takes to help restore faith in our city government, present a positive image for our city and guide tomorrow’s growth while keeping true to the principles and values of today’s Liberty Hill.
Married to Gayle for 50 years; four children, four grandchildren. Bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University, graduate work through Texas A&M University Commerce. Fifteen years as a professional journalist, primarily as editor of suburban daily newspapers. Life member of Society of Professional Journalists; served on the National Board of Ethics. Taught government, history and journalism for 32 years.
Achievements: National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year; author of a national textbook on journalism education; attained Master Journalism Educator certificate; inducted into international honor society in education; former President of Optimist Club; member of City Council, Chamber of Commerce, Christian Business Leaders Association and St. Theresa Parish Renewal Program Board.
Update Comprehensive Development Plan
Develop and follow a long-range goals program for our city.
Establish better communication and cooperation between the city government, school district, county government, businesses and citizens.
Expand and improve community utilities and services.
Improve city roads, streets and drainage.
Seek annexation and voluntary annexation to incorporate more of the community.
Revitalize, restore and expand downtown business area.
Work with Economic Development Corp. to further current businesses and attract new ones.
Conduct community Town Hall meetings.
Promote a greater sense of community.
Create more community celebrations and activities.
Della Hodgson: Liberty Hill City Council, Place 2
My time on this earth began during the Great Depression. My aunt delivered me at home.
Most of my first 18 years was in the Foster Home Care of Washington State. I was fortunate because my guardians were kind people. Every morning a Bible verse was chosen to begin the day. Those teenage years were heavy on, “let those without sin throw the first stone”; “Forget the mote in another’s eye when you have a beam in your own”; “as you would that others should do unto you, do ye even so to them.”
After high school I joined the Air Force seeking additional education. We traveled to many states and overseas. I worked at each base in whatever job was available. Hence my experience varied from finance, accounting, budget to procurement. The last was my favorite. My authorized signature purchases was limited to $25,000 per contract.
Looking to the future of Liberty Hill brings to mind many projects. With grant money available, none seem too far fetched. For instance, a swimming pool, tennis courts, ground hockey area. One daughter played ground hockey in Massachusetts and was good at it.
A possible business opportunity:
For the seniors who can no longer do all those tasks that once were effortless, a local senior care facility. Family and friends could visit more easily. We have doctors, dentits, physical therapists and pharmacy close already. Add a senior bus service for those who still like to shop go to a church of their choice, school events — you name it. I even bowled with seniors in their high eighties (age wise) never mind scores.
At the last City Council meeting a possible reduction in policing was discussed. Personally, I would not care for less coverage. Night time brings out the worst offenders and of course, our dare-devil teens. I know, I raised eight.
Finally, I am so happy to be back in a small town environment.
Thank you for your time in reading the above, and remember me at the polls.
Liz Hanna Rundzieher: Liberty Hill City Council, Place 5
My name is Liz Hanna Rundzieher. I am running for Place 5 in the upcoming City of Liberty Hill elections. I have been proud to serve my community on the city council in the past and look forward with your vote to serving my community again on the Liberty Hill City Council.
I have been very happy to call Liberty Hill my home for the last 34 years and I look forward to calling Liberty Hill home for the rest of my life. I have worked at Meridell Achievement Center for the last 29 years in the accounting department. I was married to Francis Hanna until his passing in September 2001. I had the great blessing and honor of marrying Ernest Rundzieher in October 25, 2008. He is my best friend and a wonderful husband. Together we have six kids, who have given us 21 grandkids and three great-grandchildren. All but two of our kids live in the Liberty Hill area.
I was involved in the community of Liberty Hill for many years prior to serving on the city council– working with the Chamber of Commerce and the Liberty Hill Volunteer Fire Department.
While serving on the council in the past, I had the pleasure of working on several committees including the Parks Board and Beautification. I was instrumental in obtaining the City Park from Sundance Ranch, which became our first city park. I also worked on obtaining the property that houses the current Municipal Court/Council Chamber. I spent many hours along with others renovating that building from a café to a city office.
I was proud to have been involved in being a part of the process to bring adequate housing for our young families to Liberty Hill as this was a part of our city’s mission statement.
I worked along with others on the committee to bring a single source trash provider to Liberty Hill. I think this has had many benefits for our community. I enjoyed working on the “city clean up days” both in planning and hands on and looked forward to these opportunities as they helped our community clean up on a voluntary basis.
In any campaign announcement there will be a lot of I’s, but I still believe serving on a council or a committee involves a lot more we’s. It takes a lot of effort and commitment to serve on this type of board and requires the ability to work as a team player and member. I am always proud to be a team player.
My current goals for the city will be to continue to work towards having an adequate water system with infrastructure that will support our water needs, revitalization of our downtown area, and meeting the pending transportation issues that continued growth will bring.
I have experience in the difficult job of working with a young city government and look forward to serving on this board as we continue to grow and evolve as a city and a community.
Unfortunately, Liberty Hill seems to continue to suffer the growing pains of a young city and I feel that I can work with groups and individuals to get past some of the negative aspects of the growth with your vote.
I don’t feel that the city has moved forward in the manner that it needs to since the last election. I want the council to move forward in areas that seem to have stalled since the past election – especially infrastructure/utilities and business growth. It is vital to our growth that we manage our city resources in a manner that will promote and support the growth. I would like to see sales tax revenue pay for our city rather than property taxes and fees. I want to be a part of helping our community grow and flourish. I want Liberty Hill to be a place people are proud to come from if they have to move away and a place that we can attract families and businesses to come to if they are looking for a new place to move to.
I am asking for your vote for Place 5 on the Liberty Hill City Council. Early voting in Liberty Hill is May 2-3 and Election Day is May 12.
I have an open mind and try to stay unbiased with my main thoughts being to work in a productive manner for the city as a whole and not individuals with special interests. Please remember Liz Hanna Rundzieher when you go to the polls. Liz.email@example.com.
Elizabeth “Liz” Branigan: Liberty Hill City Council, Place 5
Let me introduce myself. My name is Elizabeth “Liz” Neal Branigan. I was born in West Texas during the oil boom of the 1950s. West Texas was my home then, several small stone built towns separated by vast areas of breathtaking scenic beauty. The warmth and steadfast character of its citizens gave me a lasting impression of Texas and Texans of what they are and should be. My father was my role model, a quiet man of great physical and spiritual strength combined with a gentle and nurturing soul.
My family and I arrived in Liberty Hill by way of Leander in 1976. Liberty Hill was my choice for raising my two children in a place where they could be raised in fresh air and sunshine. Many days were spent riding bikes on the streets and playing ball together with friends on Saturday mornings. This was a great choice for my family as they grew up to be happy, successful adults. Today, I have grandchildren who attend Liberty Hill schools and participate in Liberty Hill youth sports. Liberty Hill is my hometown now.
Nursing is my passion. I have been a Registered Nurse for 22 years specializing in Critical care. For more than 20 years, I have worked for the Seton Family of Hospitals, mostly at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin. It has been my privilege to work with award-winning teams in exciting locations from Texas to the US Virgin Islands and nNew Mexico. One of my professional challenges has been working with the advanced hospital systems in San Antonio. The critical thinking skills required for this type of work has taught me to listen carefully and critically analyzing all data. I never grow tired of nursing, a new challenge or opportunity arises every day. I still get excited about helping save a life.
Holy Cross Church in Bertram is my church home. You can find me there volunteering at the food pantry whenever I have the opportunity. Like most of us in Liberty Hill, I strive to live a Christian life.
I must confess that I have a personal agenda to pursue in Liberty Hill City Council Place 5. This is my hometown. I want Liberty Hill to be the best hometown in Texas. I want it to be the best community in the country. I want my grandchildren to grow up in a truly wonderful place. I believe that all this is possible and I will work toward these goals.
Liberty Hill is facing exciting new challenges and growth today. I believe it is imperative to allow smart growth while we retain our own unique flavor. Liberty Hill needs to maintain its friendly small town atmosphere while tackling change. Water is our most pressing challenge. Friends, we all know that we live in Texas and that water has always been an inssue. Last year’s drought brought that home in a really painful way. We must work together to ensure that this resource and other resources continue to be available to us. Many of us here still live the traditional Central Texas lifestyle that includes home vegetable gardens and flower gardens. Careful planning will enable us to have sufficient water for all.
It’s the Central Texas lifestyle that has attracted people from all over the country. Liberty Hill should never become just another standard suburb. We can work together in shaping this area as it develops into a place that keeps all its best qualities while moving securely into the future.
Our current zoning needs to be refined in such a manner that supports both residential and commercial growth. Within the two square miles of our community, it would be ideal to live, work, play and do business. Liberty Hill will not prosper without commercial growth. It will lose its vitality if no one can live within the city limits. As a community we need to have a vision which includes all of us.
Sidewalks and drainage continue to be current issues.
Liberty Hill residents have a strong support system in place for our local school and sports. Supporting our schools and sports enhances our quality of life. My grandchildren are attending our awesome schools! Our schools and teachers deserve our continued respect and support.
We, as a city, should continue the sound fiscal management that has brought the city from deeply in debt to a balanced budget. This year we have a modest surplus. If we continue in this direction we should consider reducing property taxes.
Liberty Hill City Council needs Liz Branigan to encourage citizen input and value the contributions made by all of us. We are facing unprecedented growth and challenges that will affect us all. These challenges will become opportunities as the citizens of Liberty Hill allow it. In return for your vote, I will listen to all the various voices of this rich and diverse community. I won’t make any rash decisions. I will thoroughly be informed on each topic before voting. I believe we can move forward in a constructive manner.
I ask for your support. Please vote for Liz Branigan City Council Place 5 in May 2012.
James Wofford: Liberty Hill City Council, Place 5
Born and raised in Burnet, Texas. Graduated from Burnet High School in 1977. Competed in tennis and “lettered” in sophomore year.
Married to Margaret Wofford (LH music teacher/counselor). Have two daughters (one a full-time mom and one a freshman in LH high school).
Liberty Hill resident since 1996.
28 years of service working in the public sector (LCRA) operating and managing 22 parks and various land tracts totalling approximately 16,000 acres along the Highland Lakes in a 6 county parks district. Also worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a park ranger. Work history include all facets of park operations and management consisting of contract administration/management, financial accounting and audits, budget creation and revenue management, writing and evaluating bid documents, park planning and grant writing, wildlife and conservation management, developing and operating a park host program, administering a cash control policy, supervising employees.
Commissioned Peace Officer for 15 years in law enforcement as a reserve officer working for several agencies to include the LCRA Rangers, Llano County Sheriff’s Office, Burnet County Sheriff’s Office and Burnet Police Department.
B.S. – Recreation and Parks Administration – Texas A&M University, 1982.
A.A.S. – Criminal Justice/Police Academy – Central Texas College, 1997.
A.A. – Liberal Arts – Temple College, 1979.
Church Treasurer/Asst. Treasurer/Finance Committee member – Liberty Hill United Methodist Church, 2010-present.
Substitute Teacher – Liberty Hill ISD
Certified First Aid, CPR/AED
“Forward thinking, common sense approach to guide Liberty Hill into the future.”
Vicki Brewer: Liberty Hill City Council, Place 2
My name is Vicki Brewer. I have lived in Central Texas my entire life and, in April 2010, my husband and I became homeowners, residing in Old Town Liberty Hill. I attended Marble Falls ISD growing up, and attended Baylor University. I have worked in optical sales/management for 19 years. My husband and I currently own Victory Glass, a company specializing in custom showers, mirrors and windows. My husband and I are currently Worship Leaders at Williamson County Cowboy Church.
I enjoy being part of a community that is rich in diversity. While I have tremendous respect for the Councilors currently serving, I feel as though Liberty Hill needs a fresh voice to represent the large number of young people and young families in the community. I believe that ultimately it’s only by working together and by being solution and goal-oriented, that the City of Liberty Hill can build on the achievements of the past and realize the full potential of the opportunities that lie ahead of us. Let’s not to have someone else dictate it to us.
I believe that now, more than ever, we need to bring people from across the community to the table and get them engaged in the process of government. The future of 10 years ago is now. What do we want the future of 10, 15, 20 years from today to look like? I believe that the best way for us to face that future is to build it – together.
Together, we must tell the story of Liberty Hill rather than allow others to tell it for us. I can guarantee you that they would never tell the story as we would want it to be told.
It is with great pleasure that I announce my candidacy for the position of Liberty Hill City Council, Place 2 in the upcoming Election to be held on Saturday, May 12, 2012.
I see my role on the City Council as not only an opportunity, but as a duty, to help further these efforts and to do everything I can to help ensure that the City of Liberty Hill realizes its full potential. As your Councilman, I will leverage my practical business experience, creativity, solid values and common sense to partner with the people and businesses across Liberty Hill and our partners in the region to help realize our true potential.
I encourage interested citizens to reach out to me at VLBrewer@ymail.com to give me their ideas on improving Liberty Hill.
LIBERTY HILL ISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Renee Morgan: LHISD Board of Trustees, Place 5
My name is Reneé Morgan and I am running for Liberty Hill Independent School District, School Board, Place 5. By way of introduction, my husband, John Morgan, and I have called Liberty Hill home for many years and are content to spend the rest of our lives doing so. Many of you already know us as active business people in this local community and grandparents of children currently attending Liberty Hill schools.
I could spend a lot of time telling of my family’s long generational history as proud Texans, giving you a list of our many business accomplishments or other anticdotes and sweet family stories. Rather, I’d prefer to tell you why this position is important to me and how I think I can serve the children and families of LHISD well.
I have a strong belief in the importance of community service and volunteerism. Our community is growing, which means we are faced with many issues we haven’t faced previously. It’s time to step up to the plate, roll up our sleeves and be part of getting things done. I believe anyone who knows me, knows that I am a hard worker with a can-do attitude.
If elected, some of the issues I hope to address include proper stewardship of the new high school building project. You all know there has been an issue with providing sewer to the new high school. It’s time to find a resolution to this problem and move forward on the project that we as a community already voted to accomplish.
Another issue near and dear to my heart is school nutrition.
As a professional chef and founder of a non-profit charity to benefit and educate nutritionally challenged children in Williamson County, I feel especially suited to speak to the nutritional needs of children in our local school system. In a time when we are all hearing about school kids being fed “pink slime,” I hope to partner with our school system to ensure that our kids are receiving the best nutrition we can provide.
Other issues that I think are important include helping our kids make a successful transition from TAKS to STARR testing, continuing to uphold and reduce even further our low dropout rate and working to make sure we continue to maintain and improve our commitment to retain our first-class teaching staff in the face of massive state funding cuts and even as other districts continue to deal with overcrowding and teacher layoffs. I am grateful to be a part of a community that has such a strong commitment to the education and welfare of our children.
One thing you need to know about me is I’m a woman who takes her responsibilities seriously. I’m not one to just go along with the crowd for the sake of it. If elected, I’ll ask the questions necessary to do the best job I can and I’ll continue asking questions to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible.
I’d consider it an honor and a privilege to earn your vote on May 12th. If you have any thoughts, questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alfie Perrin: LHISD Board of Trustees, Place 5
As I graciously seek your assistance with my re-election to Place 5, I would first like to encourage you to take advantage of your democratic right to vote, by asking you to participate in the Liberty Hill ISD School Board elections.
As a former teacher of 16 years in Liberty Hill ISD, I consider myself a true Panther supporter and will continue to work with our wonderful administration, teachers, staff members, and especially our students to make Liberty Hill ISD the best district in the state.
My husband, Tom and I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing three of our four children graduate from Liberty Hill and we will rejoice when our last little Perrin walks the stage at the new Liberty Hill High School in two years!
There has been much reported on the discourse between the school district and the Liberty Hill City Council and I would like to work to see this come to an end. For those of us that have been a part of this wonderful town and school district for many years we need to embrace the growth of our community with open arms, open minds, and open and honest discussions about our future.
In my position as an Account Executive for Pearson Digital Learning, I have the opportunity to travel the state working with both large and small school districts. Every district I work with knows of the fine reputation of Liberty Hill ISD in academics, athletics, UIL, band, and student participation and discipline. These districts want to know our secret to success. Our secret is our hard and continuous work, community support, our great staff, and our fantastic students.
As Coach Vance says, “Every Day is a Great Day to be a Panther!”
So I once again ask for your support so I may continue being a Panther by serving as your Place 5 representative on the Liberty Hill School Board.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns.
Jim Dillon: LHISD Board of Trustees, Place 5
No member of the current school board has ever dared vote no at their monthly meetings. Not a single “no” vote, ever. Not once has a current school board member ever asked to debate or discuss any issue or any agenda item..ever. The school Superintendent brags that he keeps the school board “on the reservation” and “on a tight leash.”
A tight noose has been placed around the taxpayers necks. We are being financially strangled by the wanton excess of a $100 million spending spree. This spending includes a new high school which we neither need, nor can afford.
The cowardice of the school board has resulted in a sex education curriculum for sixth grade that is nothing short of perverted.
The U.S. Army and Marine Corp. Recruiters are invited to prey on the students and actually teach entire class periods about the virtues of dying for your country.
Changes must be made. I will be a voice for liberty on the Liberty Hill School Board.
Thank you and trust Jesus.
Kim Corbett: LHISD Board of Trustees, Place 4
Kim Corbett is currently running for place 4 on the LHISD School Board against incumbent Leslye Pogue.
Kim and her husband Ted of 16 years, have four children ages 15, 14, 9 and 7 who currently attend LHISD schools. Kim has direct and ongoing first-hand experience and knowledge about the policies and initiatives for each LHISD campus.
Kim has been a volunteer at all campuses and involved with each of her children in their education process. She has worked closely with teachers and administrators over the years and she remains committed to striving for the best education for all children.
Her approach is conservative both socially and fiscally. She believes we need stronger accountability, more transparency to the community, and better use of discipline and incentives in support of our student population. Kim will work with parents, board members, faculty and administration in furthering these goals in service to the community.
Kim and her family attend Fellowship Church and are active members of the Liberty Hill community. Professionally, she holds a Doctor of Optometry degree but has chosen to focus on raising her children the last 15 years.
Please vote for Kim Corbett on May 12 for Place 4. She is dedicated to working hard for you and your children to ensure that Liberty Hill schools continue to be among the best in Texas. If you wish to contact Kim Corbett directly, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.