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2014-11-20

City of Bandera gets new mayor

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: Rather than wait to open a box containing Bandera's "keys and secrets" - as advised by former Mayor Don Clark - new Mayor John Hegemier dug right in as part of his unofficial duties after being sworn in on Tuesday, Nov. 18.

After much ado, John Hegemier was finally sworn in as mayor of the City of Bandera during a special-called meeting of city council on Tuesday, Nov. 18.
The final vote tally showed Hegemier with 117 votes; Brian Black, 111 votes; and Maggie Schumacher, 32 votes. No numbers had changed as the result of a recount on Friday, Nov. 7, that had been requested by Black.
No novice to municipal government, Hegemier has served for eight years on city council and as mayor pro tem for several years.
Eschewing his normal informal attire, Hegemier showed up for the ceremony wearing black ropers. "Yeah," he said when asked about the cowboy boots, "I had to dust them off for this occasion."
After Municipal Judge Frances Kaiser delivered the oath of office, self-described "lame duck" Don Clark delivered a box to the newly minted mayor, which, he said "contained the keys and all the secrets of the city." Clark continued, "Go with God and I advise you to open this box in the presence of (City Administrator) Lamar (Schulz) and (City Secretary) Karen (Chesler)."
After Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 4, Hegemier had given a statement about the outcome to the Courier. He wrote, "I'd like to thank the all the voters who participated in the recent City of Bandera election. I am humbled by the faith and trust that the majority of voters have placed in me. It is truly an honor. The position carries with it a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I will endeavor to represent every citizen and business with the utmost transparency."
Hegemier continued, "I would like to thank my two opponents, Brian Black and Maggie Schumacher, for running good and competitive campaigns. Their affection for this town is also obvious and I hope and trust that they will continue to stay involved with the City of Bandera and work for its better future.
"I would also like to thank all the volunteers and supporters who worked hard for their chosen candidate. The interest and excitement they helped to generate can only be beneficial for Bandera's future. Lastly, I would like to thank my family and friends for their unending support."
Immediately after taking the oath of office, Hegemier appointed Councilman Suzanne Schauman as mayor pro tem, which council approved unanimously.
In the only other action, council revisited hiring Jannett Pieper as municipal court clerk. Previously, council had balked at her salary, which would have been raised from $12 an hour to $14 an hour on Jan. 1.
In his capacity as a "concerned citizen," former Mayor Clark recommended hiring Pieper. "She comes in qualified and we don't have to train her," he said. A veteran of county government, Pieper served as Kerr County Clerk for 14 years.
This time around, council unanimously voted to hire Pieper, who had been Kaiser's first choice for the position.
New Councilman Charlotte Browning-Black did not attend the council meeting.