The next Florence City Council will be comprised of familiar faces, as voters kept two current alderwomen and re-elected a former alderman, according to unofficial results released by the Williamson County Elections Department on Saturday night.
The three candidates who prevailed in the at-large election were current alderwomen Lesa Ragsdale, with more than 27% of the vote, and Amanda Vance, with around 24% of the vote, and former alderman Kory Woolverton, who also turned out 24% of the vote.
Voters decided not to reelect Richard Moon, who had been on the council since 2013, or to elect Amber Richardson, who was seeking a first term as an alderwoman.
The Florence Independent School District election was uncontested, as the two incumbents — Edward Navarette at Place 4 and Charles Giddens at Place 5 — were the only two people who filed for the open seats on the Board of Trustees.
Growth on their minds
The growth of the small town of Florence was on the minds of all council candidates.
Vance, a community volunteer and waitress, will serve a second term on the city council.
“Our little town is destined for inevitable growth that I am eager to be a part of,” she told the Herald. “I just want to make a difference and give back to the community that made me who I am.”
She said the past two years on the council have been a learning experience.
“I’ve learned so much about how the city works and why we do the things we do,” Vance said. “I want to help others understand that the process is long but the results will be a future our kids can enjoy.”
Woolverton, a lieutenant with the Cedar Park Fire Department, previously served on Florence’s City Council from 2011 to 2019, but did not run in the 2019 municipal election because of his family schedule.
He told the Herald previously that beneficial growth and infrastructure projects are priorities for him.
“Florence has that small-town feel and it’s important to be maintained,” Woolverton said.
Ragsdale, an alderwoman since 2012, is retired from her position as the director of transportation for Florence ISD.
She told the Herald expanding the city limits would grow the tax base.
“That is how we’re going to have to build up our tax money to repair what we have and to build up our water infrastructure,” Ragsdale said.