Buda, like many other municipalities, encourages resident involvement in civic government.
On Tuesday, the city bid farewell to long time Buda resident Joyce “Tommy” Poer, who, in her own special way, exemplified said behavior. Poer announced in January she was moving from Buda to an assisted living facility in Travis County.
“Tommy has been instrumental in our (Buda’s) responsible growth,” Buda Mayor Todd Ruge said.
Poer moved to Buda with her family in 1957 when the population was 287 people. Poer was involved with school business at a time when Buda ISD wasn’t completely integrated yet.
“She stood her ground on integration,” Ruge said.
Poer said it took four years, many school board meetings and a 4-3 vote by the Buda ISD board of directors before integration took place in 1962.
She then briefly worked as an advertising salesperson for the Hays County Citizen newspaper in 1958, as well as being involved in the Buda PTO with her late husband. The two helped get a new concession booth with restrooms built on what was the Buda football field.
In 1964, Jim was transferred to New Mexico for work for three years, but the family came back to Buda in 1967, which is also when Poer joined the Buda City Council in addition to being a mother of three.
Poer also served in the Home Demonstration Club, which became the Women’s Club and is credited with starting the city library, where Poer served as one of the first library board members.
Poer continued to be active in the community. In 1977, Poer worked at Hays High School as a Library Technician and spent ten years in the position.
Poer went on to serve on Buda’s first Historic Preservation Commission and has served on steering committees for two comprehensive plans as well as serving on the Downtown Master Plan Committee and the Buda Bond Advisory Committee.
Poer has remained an active participant in city and school affairs and has been a constant attendee at Buda City Council meetings.
“I am really going to miss her,” Ruge said, “She jokingly calls me her grandson.”
Poer’s legacy of service ended when she announced to city staff in January that she would be leaving Buda for the assisted living facility, leaving her unable to serve Buda. Poer was a member of Buda’s Economic Development board of directors.
Poer moved to the facility in late January and told the board before she left that the facility had a town hall meeting on Jan. 30, which she attended and would “get them into shape.”
“She is a bull dog,” Ruge said, “She’s not afraid of a fight if it comes down to it and she has been a voice of reason to both city council and Buda citizens for a long time.”
Poer’s effect on the Buda community has seemed to reverberate throughout the years.
On Jan. 17, Buda council member George Haehn requested a Civic Award for Poer to honor her service.