Update for April 17, 2014

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Lutz steps down; Villa takes office

By William Hoover
Anvil Herald Correspondent

Hondo City Council on Monday welcomed new Place 5 Councilman John E. “Johnny” Villa, and said farewell to outgoing Place 5 Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Keith Lutz. Lutz effectively resigned from council in December when he filed to run for Medina County Judge.

Lutz agreed to continue to serve on council until the winning candidate from the April 7 Special Election could be seated. Johnny Villa was the only filer for the election, which council canceled before declaring the unopposed candidate elected to office.

“Tonight is a special night for us,” said Mayor Jim Danner opening the meeting. “Unfortunately, it is one of those nights where we have both sadness and happiness.”

“Tonight is the last meeting Mayor Pro Tem Lutz will attend,” he said. “He decided to part us here a while back and he was willing to serve until we were able to elect a person to replace him.”

“I think I can speak for the whole council that we will really miss Keith,” he added. “He has been very supportive and dedicated in his service as a councilman. His intelligence and wisdom are some things we will really miss.”

Danner then presented Lutz with an engraved plaque in honor of his service on council from February 2010 to March 2014. The outgoing Councilman took advantage of the opportunity to offer a few parting words to the audience.

“I would really like to take a moment to thank everybody,” he said. “It has been a great four years. I’d especially like to thank my fellow council members and the mayor.

“I’m really proud of the accomplishments this council has made. This council truly reflects a group of people who serve not for themselves but for everybody in this community. I think the decisions they have made and history will reflect that,” he said. “I’m proud to have been part of that. And, I’m proud to have worked with the new City Manager (Jeff Litchfield) and I’ve enjoyed the time you’ve been here.”

“I will miss being here but, at the same time, I’m happy and it feels good to have a big old hole in the middle of my schedule,” he added. “Thank you all very much.

The audience gave Lutz a round of applause before Danner asked Villa to take his oath of office. After being sworn in by the mayor, Place 5 Councilman Villa joined his new colleagues on the council dais.

Villa previously served three consecutive terms on city council, from 1986 to 1992.

After Villa was seated, council unanimously appointed Place 4 Councilwoman Ann-Michelle Long to serve as council’s new mayor pro tem.



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