By Editor Terry Hagerty
Connie Schroeder was elected Bastrop’s first-ever woman mayor on May 6, and while that feat is definitely a historic occasion for the City and Schroeder, she says she is more focused on the immediate task at hand. In an interview two days after her win, Schroeder, a retired civil engineer who served on the Planning & Zoning Commission for six years, said she was “proud to be the first” woman mayor, then added, “But I’m more interested in being remembered as the best mayor Bastrop has had.”
Of the three contested spots for Bastrop City Council, the Mayor’s race was the win with the widest margin. Schroeder handily defeated Willie DeLaRosa, who had served 27 years on the council, with Schroeder receiving 609 votes (59.01 percent) to DeLaRosa’s 423 votes (40.99 percent), according to results posted by Bastrop County Elections Administrator Bridgette Escobedo, on www.bastropvotes.org. The Council Place 4 contest was a tighter race – a close win for Bill Ennis who garnered 509 votes (51.36 percent) to Nancy Wood’s 482 votes (48.64 percent). Ennis recently retired after a 36-year tenure with the Texas Oil & Gas Association. Wood served the City for nine years as the Main Street Program Director. Ennis will serve out the remaining one year left in the term of DeLaRosa, who gave up his seat to run for mayor.
The contest for Place 3 has resulted in a runoff to be held between Lee Harle and Lyle Nelson as neither of the two candidates received a majority of votes in a three-candidate race. Harle totaled 422 votes (43.15 percent); Nelson received 385 votes (39.37); and Rachel Corbett received 171 votes (17.48 percent).
Schroeder said her “number-one priority” are the appointments to fill various boards and commissions for which terms are up. She said she is also “thrilled to get an opportunity” to work with new City Manager Lynda Humble, adding that Humble has already scheduled a training workshop for new and current Council members. “She asked us to clear our calendars” for the workshops, Schroder said, adding that they were for anybody on the Council who wishes to attend. When asked by this reporter, “Do you believe that decorum at the Council is on the upswing,” she responded, “I’ve never had a problem running a meeting and don’t anticipate (problems) running a meeting, whatsoever.”
Schroeder also praised voter turnout, calling it “a substantial jump up in one year,” from a little over 600 to over 1,000 voters. She said that during her campaigning she had called for increased citizen participation in a multitude of (governmental/municipal) processes, including voting, running for office, and serving on boards, commissions and task forces. “The more people involved in the processes, the better the municipality is a reflection of our community,” Schroeder said.