Naked City

Beyond City Limits

Last week Travis Co. Judge Sam Biscoe swore in two commissioners and the newly elected mayor of Webberville, which incorporated Feb. 1 after a closely divided vote among the fewer than 200 residents. A few days later, new Mayor Hector Gonzales and commissioners Ken Moon and Tom Trantham held their first public meeting. Resolved business included enacting a 120-day moratorium on new development, hiring a village clerk and village attorney, and announcing an Easter egg hunt April 19. Gonzales invited residents of the hamlet east of Austin to apply for seats on the village's standing committees, including finance/budget, fundraising/donations, economic development, and natural resources. Application forms are available at www.webberville.org/village_commission/. -- L.A.

Texas' 3rd Court of Appeals last week refused a request for a rehearing in "mold queen" Melinda Ballard's lawsuit against Farmers Insurance Group. Last fall the appellate court slashed the $32 million judgment Ballard won against Farmers in 2001, leaving just more than $4 million in awards for actual damages to her family's Dripping Springs mansion. The court ruled that Farmers did not knowingly breach its good-faith duty in handling Ballard's 1998 water-damage claim and threw out awards for punitive damages and mental anguish. Ballard says she will appeal the decision to the Texas Supreme Court. -- J.S.

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