Desiring you and those that are close to you are doing well during an unusual time for our country, state, and city. There is a saying by Nitin Namdeo that says, “Challenges come not to break you but to mold you into the form you are meant to be.” If that is the case, we should certainly know more about ourselves after the last twelve months. Challenges with the pandemic, social unrest, and a catastrophic winter storm have impacted us in such a way that we would have never anticipated on January 1, 2020. However, as usual, our great country, state and city found a way to persevere as that reshaping of our bodies minds and souls will identify and implement solutions to issues, we never thought imaginable.
Likewise, the City of Buda has had to adapt like most cities in the United States and become more creative in how we deliver goods and services not only during regular times but also during times of great uncertainty. This was delivering our mantra of “Meeting the Needs of the Citizens” in challenging times when no one alive could speak of living through these events in their actual life experiences. Few of us were on this great environmental ball of plants and humanity called earth when the last pandemic happened. Therefore, we had to discover and research for answers we thought we would never need. However, we are determined as usual.
The City of Buda acknowledges all persons in our city that had to endure change, sickness, extreme weather, uncomfortable social discussions and even death of loved ones during this time. This is something that none of us wanted but withstood to where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it might not be a train! Thank you for your assistance, understanding and ability to maintain a trust in your local government in a time when civil disobedience was the order of the day in the country and government received much of the blame. We choose to be optimistic.
The City of Buda has gone through organizational difference over the last year. We now have a new Mayor, Mr. Lee Urbanovsky who bravely accepted the reins of government in a difficult time is now in office. Replacing him as Mayor Pro-Tem is Mr. Evan Ture along with two new City Councilmembers Ms. Monica Davidson and Mr. Matt Smith. Having experienced members on the Council like Mr. Ray Bryant, Mr. Paul Daugereau and Ms. Terry Cummings to develop policy leading us through turbulent times sure made things more soothing and less impactful than most cities in our country and state. Likewise, persons are acknowledged that voluntarily serve on City Boards, Committees and Commissions. A big thank you goes out to those in these challenging positions which are often second guessed by the population. However, always know they overwhelmingly have the best interest of the city at hand.
In speaking of change, we will say goodbye to Buda’s first Communications Director, Mr. David Marino. David filled his role admirably and gave 100% in making sure messages were communicated in a concise and clear manner. He wanted to answer every question within minutes, assist elected officials with their statements and still entertain every citizen of Buda in allowing us to take a break from many of the distractions of the time. Thanks David and we wish you well in your next activity.
As all businesses, we have reinvented the way we operate during the Pandemic. Virtual services delivery has become the rule rather than the exception and surprisingly it was done at higher levels than anticipated. However, cities cannot do everything virtually. Police, public works, parks, water, wastewater, and libraries must have people on point. Employees in these departments delivered without a whimper and I commend them for it. Was it easy? No. They too got cases of Covid, had to work in a winter storm and tend social protest in the green belt. Not to mention responding to such events while taking care of families at home. When you see a city, employee tell them thank you; they do not always get positive feed back as they are often told “you work for me” or other disparaging comments. But their dedication is unwavering as often they can find more lucrative work in the private sector but chose this job because they want to “be a public servant” and have the satisfaction of helping people. Do we do everything right? Heck no! But it is not from a lack of trying and you better believe they hear internally when things are not right. But praise is a part of the process too. People easily recognize when, the water does not taste right, the pothole is in front of my house, my garbage was picked up too early or my bill is not correct. Cities provide essential services, and those services cannot be ignored so the goal is to deliver those services at a level that exceeds expectations.
The City of Buda is strategically planning as we cope with the challenges associated with dynamic growth in our region. Please do your part when asked to assist in identifying and implementing solutions that assures the charm and excellent quality of life in our town.
As spring sets upon us and Covid subsides, we wish you to enjoy our new City Park, relish a drive or walk down the new Main Street, peruse the trails in Garison Park, saunter Old Town Buda or get ready for the events coming to our great new amphitheater. The quality of life here is second to none so why not enjoy it. After all, as someone said, “it’s the journey not the destination that counts.”
I am fortunate to serve in this great place. One in not just to work but one we can all take pride to call home. Thanks to all persons of Buda, including citizens, businesspeople, young/old, of different caste, and those just welcomed to be here as we celebrate our differences. Please do not hesitate to let us know of an issue that the City can assist, as that is our responsibility.
Wishing you happiness, positive challenges, and good health in the year.
Enjoy the journey!
Buda City Manager