Volente City Council calls for mayor’s resignation, sees leadership changes

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In the lakeside village of Volente, disputed events have led to a new mayor and two new members joining Volente City Council in recent months.

Now leaders are in the process of catching up with financial audits and preparing for a deep water intake pipeline expected to affect the village.

David Springer was elected mayor in the November election, defeating his opponent Judy Barrick. Soon after, Springer began living with his mother, whom he said is no longer able to live alone, 1,500 miles away in New York.

Members of the council approved a resolution calling for Springer’s resignation in June, citing he missed 11 regular and special called meetings, and his absence led to delayed payments for city bills, among other accusations, according to village documents.

Springer resigned soon after. He said in an email his wife did not feel safe “with all the hostility” council members directed at him.

“As soon as my wife said she didn’t feel safe I promised to resign that day,” Springer wrote. “I resigned five minutes later. You’d think volunteers would get treated better.”

Council then appointed Council Member Jana Nace, a Volente resident for the past three years, as mayor July 2. Nace said one of the issues council has been facing over the last year is the inability to form a quorum, meaning not enough council members were showing up to meetings in order for the council to legally make decisions.

“It just got to be frustrating because we couldn’t get so much city business done,” Nace said. “We even had some members that were in town that would not show up or answer their emails or their phone calls.”

The council also called for the resignation of Council Member Bill Connors, citing he missed nine regular and special called meetings since January and neglected to present financial reports to council, among other accusations, according to village documents. Connors, who was elected to council in 2017, said he feels members of the council have been coming after him and Springer, and he does not plan to resign. He said many meetings were called without his awareness.

“Most of the special called or emergency meetings they called I didn’t find out about until the day of the meeting,” Connors said. “They’re saying I refused to attend meetings, but the reality is they were playing … games.”

Earlier this year, Council Member Missy Thost resigned, leaving a space open, which was later filled by Cindy Metro. After Nace was appointed mayor, council selected Barrick to fill her open spot.

The village is behind on financial audits, according to Nace. Barrick, who previously served as planning and zoning commission chairperson, said getting the office back in order was one of the reasons she wanted to join council. Now that the council is more settled, she said she thinks it is headed in the right direction.

“I think we’ve got a very good council, and I think we all have the same ideas and goals to keep the village functioning and save as much money as we can,” Barrick said.

Council Member Sean Ryan said council has hired a financial consultant to help the village get organized.

“I’m optimistic that we’re getting all those things cleaned up,” Ryan said.

One of the biggest items council needs to work on is its relationship with the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority, according to Nace. The authority is seeking to pipe water from Lake Travis to the cities of Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock through a project that involves a tunnel under Volente.

“This is a long-term project, and it’s going to affect us for many years,” Nace said. “We’re forming committees to work with them and take care of the village and our roads because there is going to be some construction work that is going to affect our roads.”

VOLENTE CITY COUNCIL
Village leadership has undergone multiple changes this year, including the appointment of a new mayor. Here are the members of the current council.
Mayor: Jana Nace
Appointed July 2
Mayor Pro Tem: Chris Wilder
Elected November 2017
Council Member 1: Judy Barrick
Appointed July 2
Council Member 2: Bill Connors
Elected November 2017
Council Member 3: Cindy Metro
Appointed April 30
Council Member 4: Sean Ryan
Elected November 2017
Source: Village of Volente/Community Impact Newspaper

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Marisa Charpentier
Marisa Charpentier joined Community Impact in September 2018. After working as an intern, she became a reporter for the Cedar Park | Leander edition in October 2018. Charpentier graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors.
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