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Cottonwood Shores elects new mayor for first time in a decade

Jared Dodd and Donald Orr

Challenger Jared Dodd (left) defeated incumbent Mayor Donald Orr in the Cottonwood Shores mayoral election on May 6. The defeat marks the end of Orr’s 10-year tenure as mayor. Courtesy photo/Staff photo by Nathan Bush

Cottonwood Shores has a new mayor for the first time since 2013. Jared Dodd defeated incumbent Donald Orr and Cassandra Clark in the May 6 city elections. Dodd won with 96 votes to Orr’s 61 and Clark’s three, according to Burnet County Elections Office results.

Dodd looks to usher in a new generation of service with the win.

“There was a sentiment in the air that it was time for a change, so I decided to go for it,” he said.

The freshman mayor-elect believes the city is headed toward an inflection point as Austin’s growth spreads toward the Highland Lakes.

“Growth is upon us,” Dodd said. “Austin, I believe, is one of the top-growing cities in the nation and it’s spilling into Cottonwood (Shores). The choices we’re going to make this next decade are going to be felt for the next century.”

Dodd also plans to promote public engagement to ensure the city is run properly.

“My agenda is nothing more than to hear from the people, rely on our amazing staff, and see a direction that’s the most beneficial for the community,” he said. “I want (Cottonwood Shores residents) to know that they have a voice and that all of the staff, myself, and the council will graciously and humbly listen to them and sincerely consider what their perspective is on any issue.”

Mayor for 10 years, Orr said he is most proud of bringing businesses to Cottonwood Shores, growing the city and strengthening its finances.

“When I took over as mayor, we were $200,000 or $300,000 in debt,” Orr said. “We owed everybody in the county. Now, we’ve got about $700,000 in reserves. We had to do that to be safe.”

The longtime mayor is grateful for the city staff’s support over the years.

“We have a fantastic staff,” Orr said. “Our staff is unbelievably reliable and professional. If Jared listens to them and lets them guide him, we’ll do alright. They know what it takes to do the job.”

As a parting wish, Orr urged more residents to consider volunteering to help the city accomplish its goals.

“A city our size needs more volunteers to do things,” he said. “We don’t have any more volunteers than we did 15 years ago. That’s not how it ought to be. We need to have people step up.”


In the race for the Place 4 seat on the Cottonwood Shores City Council, Laura Hankins defeated former Councilor Gary Parsons and Kevin Scott, 71-50-31.

The open seat was held by Councilor Ray Whitis, who did not run for re-election. Whitis joined the council via appointment after the resignation of Councilor Michael Hibdon in August 2022. was unable to reach Hankins for comment in time for this story’s publication.

2 thoughts on “Cottonwood Shores elects new mayor for first time in a decade

  1. I understand that Marble Falls also has a new mayor. Yes?

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