Hutto City Council approved the results of the March 6 special election during its canvassing and swearing-in ceremony March 16. Mike Snyder and Amanda “Mandi” Villarreal Salvo were sworn in as mayor and City Council member for Place 3, respectively.

The special election was ordered to fill the place of mayor vacated by former Mayor Doug Gaul, who resigned Nov. 5. Until the election, Snyder served as mayor pro tem. Villarreal Salvo ran to fill the Place 3 seat, previously held by Snyder.

Council members and the mayor are typically elected for three-year terms; however, both Snyder and Villarreal Salvo filled seats vacated mid-term, and their terms will end in May 2022.

Mike Snyder, mayor

Before you were on City Council, what got you interested in local government?

The way our city was being run. I disagreed with the direction of the city from the city manager and the way the council was operating.

What challenges do you think the city is facing that you hope to find a solution to?

I think our biggest issue is we did not properly plan for growth over the last maybe four years. We waived a lot of impact fees and we just didn’t do our jobs in the last four years. We have a lot of catching up to do.

What is your leadership style?

It changes, depends on the situation and the person. Situational leadership is what I would call it.

What are some of your main goals going into your first few months as mayor?

Working out an emergency plan with the school district and other area municipal governments. Working on a Hutto community foundation. Also, there’s an idea I’ve been working with some people on a container park and some multipurpose builds.

What are some long-range plans you hope to accomplish?

I think in general it’s to continue to do what I’ve been doing, which is hammer home the transparency, hammer home the voice of the people, making sure they feel empowered to speak. Really working with our minority groups in the city that feel like they have no voice and no power whatsoever. Empowerment, I guess, would be a big part of it. And then the third thing would be to continue to work on our commercial development, but do it in a way that actually makes fiscal sense not just to do it, to do it, which is kind of what we used to do.

What is something you would like Hutto residents to know about you?

I’m not as serious as I look.

Amanda “Mandi” Villarreal Salvo, Place 3

What motivated you to run for City Council Place 3?

I was on the HOA and just attending a lot of events in the community, and I’ve been doing public comment since I moved here. When we moved here, the reason that I started going to council meetings was because our water bill was ridiculously high. The more questions I asked, the more bombs that were getting dropped on me. I started making more public comments about stuff. People in the community just little by little started noticing, and so I was asked to consider [running for City Council].

What are some of your main policy goals going into your first few months serving in Place 3?

I want to make sure that the districts that we’re building now, in the long term they’re beneficial to the city. The other thing is our access of communication to the public. My background is, I own a marketing firm, so I’m all about content creation and over-communication, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all when it comes from your local government or any level of government. One of our issues that people are always talking about is our website. Our website, it’s not user-friendly; it’s also not accessible for people [who] are handicapped or visually impaired.

What is something you would like Hutto residents to know about you?

I kept my last name because my Hispanic heritage is just really important to me, and so when I got married it felt weird the idea of losing that. I grew up in South Texas, and my family is from Spain and Mexico. You grow up with certain values and culture, you know, it’s in your home and stuff, and it means a lot.