Mayor Robert Gregory — ‘What a ride the last 10 years have been’

La Vernia Mayor Robert Gregory (right) congratulates police Chief Bruce Ritchey during a 2019 city council meeting. Gregory was elected in 2012 to succeed former Mayor Harold Schott, and has not faced opposition in his bids for re-election. He chose not to run for re-election this year; Martin Poore will be sworn in May 12 as the new mayor of La Vernia.

Hello, La Vernia Citizens!

Well dang, here we are, the last mayor’s article for me, and all I can say is, “What a ride the last 10 years have been!” Despite all the obstacles presented in front of us, I believe we have moved our city forward and continued to make La Vernia a fantastic place to raise a family!

In this last edition, I would like to recognize those that get the job done, making sure that the water stays on and everything moves as it should, and always looking to improve our city to make it the most desirable location to live in Wilson County. And let’s face it: the city staff is who gets the job done, making my life pretty easy as I juggled work life and the mayoral duties.

It starts with Yvonne Griffin, the city’s first and only city administrator. Yvonne’s dedication and the effort she gives are remarkable, and she is mirrored by City Secretary Brittani Porter, Utility Clerk Jenny Begole, Municipal Court Clerk Lisa Flores, Municipal Development District Assistant Ashley Ritchey, and Administrative Assistant Lindsey Boyd! When you call City Hall, you will interact with one of these great ladies and I am so indebted to them for their professionalism in the job they do! Thank you!

To the guys that keep our water flowing, led by Josh Delazerda, and team members “Little” David Valdez and Scott Rolff, thank you so much, guys, for jumping in that hole at midnight some nights, fixing that pesky water leak and trying your best to keep everything operating, even when Mother Nature throws you one of the nastiest winter storms on record!

If you are in the city park at all during the day, I am sure you have seen Danny Bunte out there policing the park, keeping it mowed and looking so nice for citizens to enjoy! Please don’t hesitate to say hi to Danny and maybe a thank you, as making that park look the way it does is truly his passion! Thank you, Danny, for all your hard work, sir!

And of course I’ve saved the best for last, our men and women in “blue” who Serve and Protect and do it with Professionalism and Class, and are led by Chief Bruce Ritchey and Sgt. Donald Keil. Hank Fahnert, Josh Johnson, Eric Hutchinson, Albert Sanchez, Travis Beck, Joe Valdez, CJ Markgraf, and Shawn Goolsby, all I can say is “thank you” from the bottom of my heart for the work you do! We have several reserve officers that you may see on any given weekend or special event, serving our public; they include Nathan Gershon, Troy Hull, Charles Patty, Robert Rodriguez, Donnie Milewski, Victor Angiuano, Roger Horner, Gregg Maggard, and Belinda Garcia — and I must mention Andrew Flores, who also serves as our fire marshal and code enforcement officer. To all our team in blue, thank you for keeping us safe and serving our community! I must also add Skip Hajek, our previous Pct. 3 county commissioner, now working for the city as an investigator — and man, I’ve got to say, this guy is good at his job! Thanks for joining us, Skip!

As you can see, it takes a lot of folks to make our city work, day in and day out, and I am the person so blessed to have had the opportunity to work alongside this group of dedicated individuals! Thanks to all of you for what you do for our citizens.

I will end with one more thank you, to Nannette Kilbey-Smith and the La Vernia News as well as the Wilson County News, for allowing me to write these articles that I hope you have found entertaining as well as informative.

And with that, I’ll say thank you for letting me serve you for the last decade! I wish incoming Mayor Martin Poore and our City Council much success in their efforts to enhance all the qualities of living in the great City of La Vernia, Texas!

God Bless!