By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
A District 6 Candidate Runoff Forum featuring candidates Don Zimmerman and Jimmy Flannigan will take place next week in Four Points and the public is welcome to attend and ask questions.
“This is a chance to show that Four Points is an important part of their district. This is a chance where Four Points has direct input. We need to make sure they hear our voice for our neighborhood,” said Brian Thompto, Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association chairman.
The Four Points Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the forum on Tuesday, Nov. 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the great hall at Austin Baptist Church, 7016 Ribelin Ranch Dr. off of RM 2222. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The runoff election day is December 16.
Questions for the candidates can be emailed ahead of time at CandidateQuestions@FourPointsChamber.com
Also those who attend the forum can submit questions to the panel to be answered by the two candidates. There will be a forum moderator.
“Ask questions, raise issues that are of importance to our community, and hear views of the candidates,” Thompto said. “We need community input that our questions do get asked.”
There have been a number of forums already for District 6 but they have been with six candidates. “Here we can hear their deeper views” because each will get more time to explain what they would do if elected, Thompto said.
He expects some of the issues will revolve around traffic, transportation, taxes and other banner issues.
A four-person panel is being compiled this week and will likely include individuals from River Place, Canyon Creek, Grandview Hills and the Four Points Chamber.
“We seek to represent the Four Points neighborhoods and businesses on the panel,” said Thompto, who also is a member of the Four Points Chamber board.
District 6 includes all or portions of River Place, Grandview Hills, Comanche Trail, homes in Steiner Ranch within 100 feet of Lake Austin, and older areas outside and nearby Steiner Ranch including south of Selma Hughes Park Road.
District 6 also sprawls from Brushy Creek near Round Rock and Cedar Park in the north, southward through Anderson Mill and the surrounding commercial areas, all the way down a corridor to Bee Caves Road (FM 2244), according to the City Council maps. It includes all or portions of River Place, Grandview Hills, Comanche Trail, homes in Steiner Ranch within 100 feet of Lake Austin, and older areas outside and nearby Steiner Ranch including south of Selma Hughes Park Road.
The Austin Chronicle says that District 6 is relatively wealthy, heavily Anglo, although with sizable percentages of Hispanics and Asians (15-16 percent each).
“Everyone should be interested in this. Anything with roads and policies are going to impact (residents of Four Points if they get to vote or not),” Thompto said.
Last week election results showed that Zimmerman received 24.21 percent of the vote and Flannigan received 24.05 percent. Local resident and candidate Jay Wiley came in third with several hundred fewer votes.
Runoff Forum Candidates
Don Zimmerman, 54, is a consultant and founder of ZimWin Communications and he has lived in District 6 for the past 15 years.
“If elected, I will continue my past work to reduce our tax burden through homestead exemptions, ending illegal taxation and fees, proposing real traffic engineering for road congestion relief, and working to curb Austin’s bureaucratic morass,” Zimmerman’s website states.
He goes onto say on his site that District 6/Northwest Austin has been “famously underrepresented at City Hall.” In 2002, after learning that his Canyon Creek Municipal Utility District had been annexed and ignored by Austin in regards to an illegal tax situation, he campaigned to be elected to the MUD board and to challenge the taxes.
“District 6 deserves a proven leader with the courage, competence, and conviction to bring fair and equal treatment for Northwest suburbs, annexed as ‘profit centers’ to the downtown government,” Zimmerman’s website states.
Jimmy Flannigan, 36, owns Site Street, an online Internet marketing business and he is a longtime resident of Anderson Mill.
His campaign focuses on fiscal responsibility. He is also concerned about traffic congestion, housing affordability and “Austin’s bureaucratic road-blocks to small businesses,” his website points out.
“City Hall has continued to ignore us, focusing its efforts on downtown, silencing our voice, and denying us the needed services and infrastructure we were promised and for which we have already paid,” Flannigan’s website states.
Flannigan is a co-founder and organizer of the Northwest Austin Coalition. He is the former President of the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and has worked with the Austin Chamber Transportation Committee over the past few years, according to his website.