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New city council members follow learning curve of government work

Turnover on the Buda and Kyle city council daises was prevalent this election season as five political newcomers claimed seats this November.

But with acquiring a seat on the dais comes the prospect of learning what makes the machine that is civic government work.

Buda Public Information Officer David Marino said “there is a learning curve when it comes to city government,” but that the city of Buda staff gives the new council members the tools they need to get off to a good start.

“Anytime there is a new council member or new mayor in Buda, all the directors in each department meet with them individually so they can talk to the incoming council member and explain what their jobs entail while getting feedback on advice and future goals,” Marino said.

Marino said the new council members are given a very thorough orientation into the inner workings of Buda’s government. Those lessons entail city ordinances, a meeting with the city attorney to go over legal issues and all the literature covering city topics.

Recently elected council member Remy Fallon and councilmember Lee Urbanovsky agreed that there is a lot of reading involved in the position as a council member. As such, doing their homework is a big part of the job.

Urbanovsky, who was elected to the Buda Place 1 seat in 2016, said that before he was elected to city government, he had no idea how “connected all the regional communities are.”

“Keeping up with Buda is only one part of the job, the actions of other boards and municipalities do impact Buda,” Urbanovsky said.

Evan Ture, newly elected Buda Place 3 council member, said he expected to learn a lot through experience in public service, which included serving on the Buda Zoning Board of Adjustment from 2015 to 2017.

Ture said so far his expectations were accurate.

“My expectations were that there would be large helpings of listening, discerning and constant learning, and so far that has been the case,” Ture said.

Marino said that whenever there is a predominantly new city council, municipalities hold a retreat to lay out specific vision and goals for the city of Buda while on the council.

“That retreat will give us the opportunity to hammer those ideas out and it gives us an idea of what direction we’re going in since with a new council priorities may have shifted,” Marino said.

Fallon said the city staff has done a thorough job of acclimating the new council members to the position.

Fallon added she wasn’t aware of all the work that went into being a city council member until her orientation by city staff.

“We want to make sure that they’re as prepared as possible, that we’ve answered all their questions and that we continue to support them in making informed decisions on the dais,” Marino said.

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