Emily Jones – Buda City Council Candidate At-Large Position 3, November 2021

What can be done to ensure builders are paying their fair share so the infrastructure is done right when they build in Buda?

The city currently has a list of fees that developers and builders pay depending upon their project. There are also many engineering manuals that the development department uses as criteria to approve or deny permits, inspections, projects, plans, etc. We need to continue to evaluate the needs of the city departments to ensure efficient and appropriate staffing to obtain the results that these fees, manuals, and processes have been put into place for. The city has recently done a great evaluation of these needs and the most recently approved budget includes additions to city staffing for this purpose. In addition, we should be particular when it comes to variances or exceptions requested by developers. Buda is a great city and that’s why they want to build here. That’s also why we want to live here and protect it.

What are your thoughts about Buda's affordable housing situation? If more is needed, how would you provide for it?

Housing costs are increasing in Buda as well as across the state. Fortunately, we live in pretty well sought after area, but that high demand increases both land and home sales prices. Prices are still a good deal lower than Austin, while we are still close enough in proximity to take advantage of work and play commutes. I have found Buda to offer a pretty good range of housing price points that all still offer that great Buda living lifestyle. If more housing is needed in the affordable price points, we do have some more on the way as Buda is still growing and developing more communities. We should always make sure that there are properties zoned appropriately for the housing and other needs of Buda.

Law enforcement is one of the largest expenses in the city’s budget. What are your thoughts about the size of Buda's police force and if they are being deployed adequately and appropriately?

For the amount the citizens of Buda spend on our police department, we are getting one heck of a great deal. The crime rates in Buda are definitely lower than the Texas and US averages. Of the Expenses portion of the city’s budget, yes, the police cost is the second highest amount. But in the overall budget for the city, it’s only about 4.7%. And this is our safety we’re talking about. We’ll spend almost 4 times that amount on parks in FY2022. We have a very safe community due to the great job that the Buda Police Department and Chief Bo Kidd are doing and they have recently put together a new handbook with best practices. I’m confident in the department’s self analysis and we should look to them for any requests on additional needed personnel or other items of support.

The Buda Police Department rarely uses cite and release for non-violent, low-level offenses. Do you support the adoption of a cite and release ordinance to reduce needless jailing?

I don’t believe cite and release needs an ordinance or a mandate of any sort unless the police department feels it would suit their performance and the community best. To echo what I said above, the Buda Police Department is a doing a great job of keeping all of us safe. With the limited data that is available on mandated cite and release programs, it does show to potentially save money, but not all things boil down to money. Short and long term public safety must also be considered. Currently, I believe the decision on whether to cite and release or arrest should be left to the experienced Buda Police Officer on the scene.

What should the city council do to support local businesses?

Promote buying local, especially during the holidays. Offer incentives/assistance to locally owned/to be owned businesses, especially those that have something unique and "Budaful" to offer both the residents and the visitors that we want to attract. Work with the EDC on those areas of the market where Buda is missing an offering and see if it can be fulfilled with a local company; new or existing.

The City of Buda currently has no one who lives on the east side serving on City Council. Did you support the city's move to single-member districts in 2017 and will you support moving to full use of single-member districts when the city population hits 25,000? Please explain.

There is a lot of data and research out there on which of these methods of election are most beneficial to the people who are represented, and much of it is inconclusive to at least some degree. The current combination of single-member and at large seem to offer Buda the best of both worlds. Each district has an opportunity to be specifically represented and the city as a whole also has the opportunity to elect others who they feel represent them best, regardless of where they happen to live. 

What is your stance on each of the bond proposals on the November ballot for Buda voters?

Being that I am currently seated on the Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Buda, I believe it might possibly be legally improper or inferred as such if I were to promote a vote for or against these bonds so I will abstain from answering at this time.

Buda has some very well thought out Comprehensive and Master Plans that look many years into the future. These are reviewed and updated on a periodic basis to ensure the plans are still representative of the times and the future of Buda that is desired by its residents. While Buda is in a state of explosive growth, there is only a finite amount of land left to be developed or redeveloped. I want the council and the related boards and commissions to take a really deep and detailed dive into what exactly it is that Buda wants and needs the rest of our city to be and to plan for that. This might include revisions to the Specific Use Permits, zoning, and/or the UDC. This should involve the EDC for consultation on highest and best use of properties and other related matters.

What are you willing to do to maintain an open dialog with your constituents?

Listen, interpret, be user friendly, accurate and pro-active. Elected officials are chosen to represent the people. We need to hear what you want and need. We should be able to interpret that or dig down deeper to find out how that request can be applied to what the city can do for its residents. And then the information back out to the public should be interpreted from the city to the people. And we need to make sure it’s available in multi-media formats. Not everyone has access to the internet or is on it all day long, so that shouldn’t be the only source of information from the city. 

Emily Jones


Emily Jones

How can voters contact you?

Describe your educational background

Currently working towards a degree in Political Science/Pre-Law. President of National Honor Society in my graduating class from Lake Travis High School; top 15%

Describe your relevant employment background

24 years in construction and development, residential, multi-family and light commercial. Estimating, bidding, budgeting, contracting, reconciling, permitting and entitling projects up to $80 million each.

Describe your leadership experience background

  • As the Vice President of Development for a developer/GC that started with 6 or 7 people, I played an important leadership role to build the company to almost 50 people. This included planning, hiring, locating, training and developing. I continue to lead estimating teams and am currently part of a risk mitigation committee for a multi-state company of about 250 employees. I've also lead church groups and coached school math teams. 

Describe your community involvement in Kyle

  • I'm the current Vice Chair for the Buda Planning and Zoning Commission. I have also completed the Buda Citizens Academy. This is my second year as a member of the Hays CISD GT Advisory Board Committee. I'm a Defenders of Texas History member of the Texas State Historical Association. Four of my children are in/have been in Buda schools. My husband and brother both own businesses here and I used to have a business here as well. I have lived here for 7 years and much of my family is here and nearby and we are committed to Buda and her people.

Jones is running for Position 3 on the Buda City Council, which is an at-large seat.

​In November 2017, voters approved an amendment to the City Charter for the City of Buda to transition to single-member districts. Buda City Council Places 2, 4, and 6 will be the first to switch from at-large to single-member districts. These Places are now assigned as District A (Place 4), District B (Place 6), and District C (Place 2).

​​In June 2018, Council approved the district boundary lines for Districts A, B, and C. These single-member districts will be used as boundaries for electing City Councilmembers beginning with the November 2018 Election.


Click on the image below to see an interactive map of the Early Voting locations in Hays County. Registered voters can vote at any location.

Click on the image below to see an interactive map of the Election Day voting locations in Hays County. This is the first year that Hays County registered voters can vote at any vote location on Election Day.