Buda residents to choose three new City Council members


With a fierce debate roaring on social media about two controversial charter amendment proposals in Buda — whether to fluoridate the city’s water and whether to adopt geographic districts for the City Council seats — the race for three new council members has been somewhat overshadowed.

But after Tuesday’s election, half the members of City Council will have changed and a new mayor will be at the helm.

With Place 4 Council Member George Haehn running for mayor unopposed and two longtime council members announcing they would not run for re-election, voters will decide how to fill three seats.

The contenders are mainly newcomers with the exception of Jose Montoya, a retired state employee who served on the council in Place 3 from 2012 to 2015. Montoya ran for re-election in 2015 and lost to Council Member David Nuckels.

In Place 4, Montoya will face Paul Daugereau, a public sector manager at Waste Management, Inc. Evan Ture, who does sales and marketing for an energy storage company, is running unopposed for Place 6.

Clark Beach, a sound and video designer, and Remy Fallon, a co-owner and manager of Helen’s Casa Alde, will compete for the Place 5 seat that Eileen Altmiller is leaving.

All candidates said addressing infrastructure needs are their top priority, from completing work on 2014 bond proposition projects to increasing public safety funding.

Montoya said he decided to run again because he wanted to bring his institutional knowledge as well as increase Hispanic representation on the council.

“The population of Buda is 35 percent Hispanic,” Montoya said. “There’s no representation for that segment of the population.”

Beach said he began attending council meetings and joined the Planning and Zoning Commission in the last year, and that involvement inspired him to do more and run for council.

“I have seen the City Council deal with complex issues over the last year and know what challenges are ahead,” he said.

Fallon, who is raising fourth-generation Buda residents, said she was inspired to run by her family’s connection to the city.

“The town is growing at an exponential rate, and I want to help guarantee that it remains an area where my children will also choose to settle down,” she said.

Daugereau also mentioned family, saying he wants to positively impact the city for his two daughters. He said he felt his experience as a municipal contract manager would provide a helpful background in serving on the council.

“I bring a unique understanding of best practices in city policy and procurement to the Buda City Council,” he said.

The candidates diverged on the issue of whether to move from at-large council members to geographic districts, however.

The proposition calls for two phases: an initial phase to move half the council to geographic districts in 2018 and then complete the shift when the city population reaches 25,000. Buda’s population was 15,023 as of the Census Bureau’s 2016 estimates.

Montoya said the proposal will improve representation, pointing out that the majority of council members currently live in west Buda. Fallon agreed and said the slow transition is the best option for proper representation.

But Daugereau said the city is not large enough yet and worries that not enough candidates would be willing to run. Similarly, Beach said he doesn’t feel geographic districts are necessary until the city reaches a population of 25,000.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Austin ISD adopts 2018-19 school calendar. Here’s what changed
Austin ISD adopts 2018-19 school calendar. Here’s what changed

The Austin district board Monday night approved the 2018-19 school calendar, and students will attend school one less day than this year. Here are the highlights: • Students will be back in class Monday, Aug. 20, but summer will come early as they get out May 24, 2019, the Friday before Memorial Day. • Students will attend school 176 days...
HIT-AND-RUN CASE: Car strikes motorcyclist, SUV then runs over motorcycle; both flee, police say 
HIT-AND-RUN CASE: Car strikes motorcyclist, SUV then runs over motorcycle; both flee, police say 

Austin police are looking for two drivers who left the scene of a hit-and-run early Sunday after the first one struck a motorcyclist and the second one ran over the victim’s motorcycle.   The motorcyclist was heading north on South Congress Avenue about 2 a.m. when someone driving a black Lexus in the opposite direction hit him while...
Group takes aim at Austin schools with names tied to Confederacy
Group takes aim at Austin schools with names tied to Confederacy

Days after one Austin district trustee was criticized for publicly calling out his peers for delaying a vote on changing school names with ties to the Confederacy, more than a dozen community members Monday night announced the creation of a work group to push the changes forward. The group of 15, formed by the East Austin Coalition for Quality Education...
Austin-area federal employees expected to return to work Tuesday
Austin-area federal employees expected to return to work Tuesday

As the federal government shutdown rolled into Monday — the only business day of the three-day closure — calls to affected Austin-area agencies went unanswered, building doors were locked and employees stayed home. At Fort Hood, 40 percent of about 6,000 civilian employees were told to not come into work. When reached by cell phone, Christopher...
New panel launching effort to identify Texas school finance fix
New panel launching effort to identify Texas school finance fix

Two years after the Texas Supreme Court suggested sweeping reforms to the school finance system, a newly formed state commission will hold the first of several meetings Tuesday in an effort to find a fix to the system by the end of December. The 13-member Texas Commission on Public School Finance, composed of school district officials, lawmakers and...
More Stories