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You have probably seen them when you need to pay a bill, resolve a traffic ticket, or deal with a court-related issue.
Missy Keen, Lori Comstock, and Sondre Crabtrey come face to face with many of you every day.
“I do both utility billing and court. I process bills and help Missy with sending out bills. Also with court I do pre-trials and processing payments for court tickets,” said Utility Billing/Court Clerk Lori Comstock.
“I primarily do all of the Utility billing. Lori helps out with the incoming applications. I even back up court when needed,” said Utility Specialist Missy Keen.
“I pretty much handle all aspects of court, everything from ticketing, input trials, talking with the prosecutors and judges," said Court Clerk Sondre Crabtrey.
Although Lori, Missy, and Sondre each have a different job, they work together as a team.
“Each department has a busy time. Usually the beginning of the month is pretty heavy with utility billing issues, payments, and billing. Towards the end of the month I tend to have more trials and appearances. So we have scheduled around when we can back each other up,” said Crabtrey.
“We all work very well together. We do a really good job of that. We all pitch in and do a little bit of everything,” said Comstock.
For Lori, meeting new citizens is one of her favorite parts of the job.
“I enjoy interacting with the customers and helping them resolve any issues have and setting up new applications when new people move into Buda. You get to set them up and say welcome to Buda, we’re happy to have you,” said Comstock.
When it comes to you, they are focused on providing the best customer-service interaction. However, they know you’re not always happy to see them.
“People are usually upset. They are usually irritated. I have noticed if I give them respect and give them a smile I get a smile back. They are usually are much happier leaving than they expect to be,” said Crabtrey.
A lot of times it comes down to educating the public about the different options available, whether it pertains to a high bill or a court issue.
“A lot of people come in very nervous, very scared. There is always a smiling face here. We will always let you know what your options are. We are here to help you,” said Crabtrey.
"The same thing goes for utilities. If you get a bill that you are not happy with, we are here. Just call us. We have options to work with you on your payments. We are here to help,“ said Keen.
As we move forward, the focus is on making things easier for our citizens.
“You can sign up for driver’s safety and deferrals. We have set it up so you can do credit card payments online. You can do updates make your changes online. We are definitely trying to make things more user friendly for the citizen or the defendant," said Crabtrey.
“We are going to be updating our software and we are hoping to eventually email bills and be more state of the art,” said Keen.
Moving into the new Municipal Building will provide more work space for the trio.
“There is going to be six windows. There is going to be a customer service area with court, utilities, parks, engineering and planning. So it will be a one-stop shop for all the resident’s needs,” said Crabtrey.
Lori, Sondre, and Missy all take great pride in their jobs. Sondre and Missy have worked for the City for over 10 years and Lori has been with the city for 4 years. We are proud to have them in our City of Buda family.
“I was born and raised in Buda, so Buda is very special to me. I like working in my town. I have a lot of family here and I like the people I work with.”
“I live here in Buda. I have pride in it. I want to make this town better. You know my kids go to school here and my family lives here, so it’s very important to me. So we definitely try to make this town better and better every day,” said Crabtrey.
"I have always been in customer service and I've been in billing. It's neat to be involved with different activities that the City does and to understand how a City runs," said Comstock.
You can watch the video version of the story here: Employee Spotlight Video - Sondre Crabtrey, Missy Keen, Lori Comstock