Tuesday, April 14, 1987

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Page: 4

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Text Content of Page 4 of New Braunfels Herald Zeitung on Tuesday, April 14, 1987

New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 14, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas Jim Managing Editor Mew Forum LETTER POLICY eeng welcomes All letters should be ed ahd include ah address or telephone The newspaper reserves the right to Letters should be sent to New Brauntels HeraldZeltungi Drawer New Texas or brought to our offices at Editorial on target Dear Sir is to be complimented for an editorial in the Sun day April 12 issues of the The Tort question of money and emo is right on Everyone will agree that it is a complicated but as Harold stated In the it should not be decided on the kind of advertising Texans Against Tort Reform is Everyone will agree that tort reform wont prevent drunk but as the editorial one can only wonder what this child is doing in the trucks alone and after dark in the first I too have seen many times recently that com merical on This type of adver tisment is There recently appeared an arti ele in a well read magazine that stresses the need for tort The author of the a member of the legal a graduate of Harvard Law School magna cum among other stated our legal the prime sup port of our is burdened by too many too many and too much It should also be noted that former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren Burger said some time Hostility towards the legal profession has grown in the past and if lawyers do not regulate the govern ment George Nowotny New Braunfels Easement sale enrages Dear editor I would like to bring to your atten j tion a matter be of im 1 aHofour M townspeople who are not fortunate enough to own river but yet do enjoy our local rivers for family City council is currently considering selling off the Faust Street bridge river easement to a private I am enraged The Faust Street bridge ease ment to the Guadalupe River is us ed dailu by many many citizens in our town who enjoy fishing off the Mission Valley Denying our own townspeople the right to our river by selling the easmrny is a and I urge the city council to re ject such an Jayne Dimick Coverage appreciated To the editor 1 would like to thank you for the ef fort which you gave to the feature about our New Braunfels Middle School vocational education that reduce the number of dropouts provide meaningful programs to meet the needs of Through your you were I to focus on students achievements and I cannot begin to stress the long term im portance that your article will have for Thank you again for your interest in our Anita Stipnieks Secondary Education Balloon finders wanted Dear editor On March our Nor thwest Crossing Elementary in Bex ar held a ballon sponsored by Weekly Reeder We launched approximately 800 heliumfilled each with an attached note asking the finder to please write back and tell us something about himself and where the ballon was We are happy to tell you that five of our ballons were found by residents of your They were found by and Earl Williamson of Spring and by Tracy Marie Yvonne and Jack all of Each of them sent an in informative We have a large map of Texas on a bulletin with pins marking each of our ballons were Surrounding the map are copies of the letters sent by the various Thanks to good neighbors our students are learning about com friendliness and We want to let you and your readers know how much we appreciate the and how much we would like to hear from others who have found ballons but have not yet had a chance to Thank Nancy Woller Representative HEY 1 VWfcT H HBCK EDITORS NOTE Cartoonist Pete Williams will discontinue his regular features for the HeraldZeitung effective April with a final Townspeople In Petes Due to an increasing workload in my regular I am just not able to do quality cartoons any more at this Pete will continue a part of the editorial content of the newspaper through a series of caricatures and graphics on an as needed Andy Rooney Why I stopped appearing on 60 Minutes As a writer and as an Im ill at ease being Im uncomfortable with the degree of wellknownness that has come to me since 1 began appearing on 60 Minutes as a Strangers expect more from me than Im willing lo give when they stop me on the street or come up to me in a Were desperate for heros in America and people quickly endow public figures with virtues they dont in support of stricking friends who belong to the Writers Guild of of which 1 am also a I declined to appear on 60 Minutes until the issues were It has brought me the kind of attention usually reserv ed for the families of it wants to interview Earlier this week CBS made a public an nouncement that it would no longer pay iMy pay is absurdly being somewhere in bet ween baseball players and that of the President of the United It was a move on CBS part that I it could hardly do other but I was surprised that it put out a press release announcing While 1 had made no ef fort to contact newspapers with my it would have been pointless for me to take my stand if no one knew about By making the an CBS made millions of who might not otherwise have known aware that 1 would not be appearing on 60 Minutes until the strike was The CBS announcement produc ed a second avalanche of phone calls for me As 1 write it is April Since this 1 have had 41 phone calls from Two camera crews appaered at my kitchen A photographer is silting in a car across the street from my house this wailing for me to In my professional life as a 1 have asked enough people enough questions to have formed the opinion that most of those who wouldnt talk were hiding 1 have nothing to hide and Ive answered questions 1 be pleased if reporters spent less time calling me and more time finding out what the differences are between CBS and the Writers Why so much emphasis on me and so little on the As a reporter 1 have questions Why wont the negotiators make clear whats going on or isnt anything going on Why doesnt CBS want the issues arbitrated by a federal mediator It appears as though CBS Is afraid of an impartial judge of the The chief negotiator for CBS had to ask what he called one of the gray heads for an answer when I asked to be admitted to the meetings as an observer If he doesnt have the power to say yes or no to a petty question like that from what power does he have to commit CBS lo anything1 Is he a negotiator with no power to negotiate Its a cruel joke on the people without for a solution The second cruel joke on the striking writers was the announcement by CBS this week thai it paid former President Tom who was a lump sum of million severance pay and will continue to pay him a year from the rest of his life if CBS lives that long Imagine what theyd pay him if hed been sue cessf ul Howard CBS News and Don CO Minutes are on my side bul cant admit it Theyre on im side because their interest is news not money They both love their work Don Hewitt would svork for onelenlh of what hes paid and Howard Stringer does work for onelenlh of what Don is paid Theyre my friends even though theyve yelled at me quite a bit recently I hope our friendship survives this episode As or CBS stopping my u means it II be losing my business in the CBS cafeteria Guest Column Innovative ways to be efficient and save taxpayers money By JACKSON Would it make sense to you if a businessman said he was losing money because his sales Doesnt that seem backwards Yet that is how City Hall explains our citys budget Finance Director Jim Jeffers says the reason the citys expenses exceed its revenue is not but because the city grows too The city manager and council seem to blithely accept this oxymorn and propose a tax the media dutifully reported and none dare actually think about its But how can it be Growth means more jobs and They pay the same property sales utility garbage collection auto registration permit fees and other items as we pay who were here before So they are paying for whatever services they use As a matter of they are contributing a surplus This is a technical but easily understood by business people The component of taxes which paid for fixed costs before the is also in the rates paid by the taxpayers add ed from But we set that rate based on previous so the fixedcost portion of rates paid by new tax payers is Attached is my analysis of the changes in the Citys budget from 198384 actual to 198788 I used the March 31 computer runs presented to council at your budget The conclusion clearly emerging from this analysis is that growth has helped narrow the deficit it is greatly expanded management and regulatory ex peditures that have widened our There is now a 31 percent larger remaineder left over frpm General Receipts after paying for our health and safety functions than in and that the general receipts subsidy required by Parks and Recreation ex penditures has shrunk percent gut the subsidy required for Administrative expen ditures has nearly tripled since rising from tp Administrative expenditures have risen from by 72 percent in these four while health and just 32 The citys expanding deficit is fueled by Yog are being asked by staff to increase taxes so the budget will I dpubt the citizens will appreciate paying more taxes so an everlarger bureaucracy can Iin4 lore ways to run our By the regulatory fief the only major category of receipts to drop since expenditures went up 85 making it to J9 tesiness in New Braunfels because of additional permit inspec etc Fees paid by businesses declined percent while other receipts grew 33 This is the antibusiness syndrome at work If you smother business with taxes and regulatory you will get less business Not only is that plain common it is also now proved by our own city budget Here are some suggestions for reducing expenditures while still delivering essential services Some involve merely asserting better control over the citys financial while others are daring ideas of how we might do things differently The March 31 budget proposal contains two errors which would be a disgrace to any First is presenting departments with incomplete comparative data for prior The parks and budget split into new categories this making it hard to discover that the overall parks budget rises by percent Second is the release of the budget report with a error int A item was entered as and not spotted until after the reports Is this in dicative of the care with which expenditures are approv ed The budget seeks million for other services and This is where consultants and expense accounts What does the City get for this million How much in salary and allowances are employees paid You are supposed to set policy without useful informa tion you cannot do that effectively Decide on the in foramtion you desire about thge citys financial and then demand that the citys accounting producres be arranged to provide that Save parks maintenance by contracting with area high school bands to pick up trash in the parks The kids are always seeking fundraisers and this would be a steady The city could save some fujltime pay and benefits Save on liability insurance by transferring the Citys assets to a separate trust and then conducting the Citys business as a corporation with meager Drop our liability coverage and rely on bankruptcy to ward off ex cessive People tend not to sue when there is nothing to Sell NBU in a public stock pro fitable utilities command handsome prices in todays stock The cash proceeds would provide a cushion and an alternative to nujriedly basting tax rates to pay for things longterm growth in out tax base might solve in due Instead of paying police officers to drive around in patrol cars and paying garbage truck drivers to drive around in garbage have the police officers drive garbage trucks The garbage collection routes seem just as effective as any other patrol and probably would enhance citizen contact with police Instead of a patrol cruising by and missing a police officer would stop at your driveway twice a week Kig the trucks to carry a motorcycle and radio so the officer can respond lo and we will have a more productive force We would use their driving time top accomplish not only patrols but also garbage collec tion 5 Offer a discount to people who submit iheir insurance papers as evidence of market value for assessing proper ty This saves appraising expenses and renders ac curate Harldy anyone carries less insurance than a propertys replacement cost Offer regulatory functions as optional services rather than mandatory rules Instead of compelling elec tricians to buy permils and get Iheir jobs offer to certify their work as meeting your But charge a hefty fee for this service You will find reputable electricians and builders declining your People dont need you checking on Gene Penny Cecil Reno Engel and the we trust them to do whats right Bear in mind that the building codes are designed to pro us from unsafe buildings yet in a free no one has an incentive to build an unsafe structure A free market holds each accountable for his own work and ruins those participating in shoddy Desire to be employed and feed their family next year prevents men doing poor work Tenants will not wnat to lease space in an unsafe employees wont want to work customers wont want to shop the bgnks wont want to lorn money for and the insurers wont want to write cpyerage on we wont have any unsafe buildings if you jus leave people alone Consider that building codes actually create an incen tive for unsafe bujjdjngs by enabling builders to transfere responsibility for jheiy f a contractor cun tool or bribe the and get substandard work then the contractor can later its not ray roy wort met codj soficiAciitJlons The actual result buUdwg codes as many government is pppsjte the intended Say ing us from a bogus tjtey eneoujrage danger they pujrport to curb 7 Arrange or the people who are most mierestexl in certain to pas for them Prune examples are library and parks Analyze who benefits from each ami find a creative they can gain while paying more for it For doctors and hospitals cant make am money from dead patienls have a strung economic interest in maintaining excellenl ambulance service which keeps patients alive There sureh a way the medical profession can take user ambulance service and profit from it lurn the OUT lo a bookstore operator The lure of additional space plus mure traffic would be attractive offer libran memberships Have annual contests in poeiiy narrating and so with college scholarships or exotic vaciiuns and prizes Only library members can enter contest As for parks maintenance offer area nurseries land scape rights in a portion of the in return for their doing maintenance chores The chance to display their work in highly visible spots without having to buy or lease additional seems an aUtractive bargain You would spruce up the parks at no cost There must be countless other possibilities for saving taxpayers dollars by creative sharing of opportunities between government and citizens Auio mechanic classes repairing city senior citizen volunteers answer ing phones for the high school computer and ac counting classes doing the citys and appraisal districts keypunch and so on Raising taxes should be a last and one agreed to by rather than the automatic and only answer U you install an atUlude of serving the of get ting the job of being oriented toward results instead of of having sharing life with citizens then creative ideas can the citys budget will become productive and efficient Put if we continue the approach that city hall knows best and is going to run our so we just have to knuckle under pay whatever budget czars then we will suffer an unfriendly government so wrapped up in its fog of conventional procedures that it forgets t serve rather than rule j have offered you about a doxen ideas With peo ple in New there are probably ideas waiting tp be neajri U you create an environffiyent wWch welcomes and tries new you will receive We will all