New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, January 26, 1993

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

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Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 26, 1993, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels ■i ZN / ^ O ■*' no i 6 to/*.*' 97 17 4 So”UPST 'mCROPUB. ISIHNG 2627 £ YAND*:.I I 1,1 v EL PASO, TX 7990* Tuesday Afternoon, January 26,1993Serving Comal County/ Home of Mattie Ott Vol. 141, No. 49 - Dally 50 cents, Sunday 75 centsCISD meeting draws parent, teacher responsesHays says each case will be dealt with separately at renewal time By ROSE MARIE EASH Staff Writer Last night about 25 of the more than 330 attendees at the Comal Independent School District (CISD) board meeting spoke up on the discrimination charges facing some district administrators. MWe are supportive of the board’s statement that racial discrimination in our schools will not be tolerated,” said Linda Robertson, a counselor at Mountain Valley Elementary. Those who know Mrs. Dees (Leigh Ann Dees, principal of Mountain Valley Elementary) know that she is a dedicated professional educator and is fair to all parents, faculty and students.” Dees was reprimanded by the board in the actions taken on January 11. Robertson said as far as she knew the allegations against Dees were based on a single incident. The incident happened Dees alerted a patron of the district, whb's attention the board was trying to get by saying to her, They want you to make a twenty minute speech.” The implication was that someone overheard the remark and misinterpreted her comments. The majority of the speakers were district employees supporting their school administrators. Some CISD students also spoke in support of the administrators. Among the speakers supporting the administrators were some Hispanics. One Hispanic speaker, however, questioned the motivation of many of the other speakers. MIt seems to me that now that they see that the school has decided to take some positive action—now they think, well, if that can happen to them, it can happen to me,” said Domingo Herrera. On Jan. 23 the Comal Independent School District Board voted not to extend the contracts of three highranking district officials, issued a directive of reprimand to another and a notice of proposed termination to another after the discrimination investigation which began last summer. The charges of racial discrimination were made in the summer of 1992. In December, the board received the final report on the investigation and took action in January after legal requirements for personnel action were in place. Among the speakers last night included a parent of a child involved in a specific allegation. The parent said one of the incidents which had been described as an inappropriate, but nothing more than a prank, had involved more than just the reported pinch on the buttocks and deserved to be punished. Her testimony gave credence to many of the speakers’ claims that the whole story had not been told in some cases. Among the Hispanic patrons defending the actions of the board was a woman who said her children are good students and not the disciplinary problems alluded to as the main reason for actions that were being described as discriminatory. She said despite the excellent records of her children in the district, she had to fight to assure that they were treated fairly. Prior to the audience participation section of the agenda, CISD board president Bill Hays made the following statements. ”Before final action is taken at contract renewal time each administrator will be given an opportunity to fully discuss all concerns as well as their versions of the allegations,” said Hays. "No discrimination was substantiated. I must emphasize no individual was found to display an evidence of discrimination. It is unfortunate that the public perceives this is a racial discrimination issue. There were areas that were substantiated that caused the board to take action. We cannot disclose specific findings for legal reasons and providing the areas of concern are corrected, we will not disclose these findings in the future.” In a memorandum issued by the district, CISD administration said. The investigation initially began as one dealing with discrimination, but discrimination is only one of the various allegations being made.” The memo was issued January 13, two days after the news reports based on the actions taken by the board. The Herald had requested a clarification from the district to include with the coverage the morning after the meeting. The public information officer, the president of the school board and the district's attorney were contacted. Information provided by the* district’s attorney was included, but she wu the only person who would go on record for the district. Chamber honored with Achievement Award By GARY P. CARROLL Btett Writer The New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce was honored with an Achievement Award presented by the Texas Chamber of Commerce at its state convention in Austin last Thursday. New Braunfels lead the pack in its population category, 13,001 to 30,000, picking up the award for its efforts in comn^pity and economic development, in this, the first year of the award. The Chamber received the award for its active role in establishing and supporting the Hummel Museum. Newly installed Chamber Chairman Mike Dietert said New Braunfels had competition from numerous chambers throughout the state that submitted applications outlining the impact their projects had on their communities and their achievements during 1992. "For a chamber our size, they thought we were the best in the state,” Dietert said, referring to the Chamber’s work with the Hummel Museum. The Chamber was instrumental in organizing The Hummel Museum, Inc. • a non-profit organization developed to solicit funds for the general operations of the museum. New    Braunfels Chamber President Tom Purdum said that this award is an honor for the city and it is a positive reflection of the Chamber’s involvement with the community. "The award is presented honoring Chambers initiating programs in their community that have a positive civic and economic impact,” Purdum said. "It would be a pretty tough act to follow,” Dietert said, “but we would love to see it happen.” The New Braunfels Chamber has an active membership of almost 1,150 members; 30-to-40 percent more than towns comparable in size. The State Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board Don Carleton, presented the award to Dr. Charles Berger. “This (award) is just another feather in the cap for the Chamber and the community,” Purdum said. “We have great community involvement.” Council seeks ways of stabilizing budget Mayor Clinton Brandt presents Don Woodhouat, Taxat president of the Jaycees, and Bill Russell, national president of the Jaycees, with the Office of the Burgermeister award at Monday night s City Council meeting. The award is a proclamation restricted to citizens outside the community who contribute to the betterment of life In America. (Photo by Karts Wenzel) Bremer suggests forming ethics committee C70    O By GARY P. CARROLL Blaff Writer The New Braunfels City Council convened Monday night and, among other agenda items, reviewed the city's annual financial report for the fiscal year which ended July, 31 1992. Darrell Sollberger, New Braunfels finance director, told the council members that although the city gained revenue with the sale of the old City Hall, it lost money in other areas. “One of the big losers has been the Safe City,” Sollberger said. “One of the grants we were anticipating this year didn't come through. Sollberger said with waning interest rates on investments, the city did what it could to maintain them at 4 percent, but the market simply was not there. Another area in which the city lost money was in collections for the ambulance service. The city had budgeted to collect $270,000 for usage during the fiscal year, and only $230,000 wu collected. Another thorn in the side of the city’s budget was the removal of gasoline tanks from the old city yard. Sollberger called for an extra $30,000 be transferred from the city's contingency budget to the funds allotted for the tank removal. Sollberger did say that some frrnds, an estimated $123,000, may be reimbursed to the city from the Texas Water Commission. "We are in compliance with TWC's requirements for reimbursement, but when the funds would be available is the big Question," Sollberger said. He added that the amount of the reimbursement would depend upon the condition of the soil with regard to possible chemical content as a result of sanitation trucks being parked on the property. However, he expects to at leut have 50 percent of the funds reimbursed. The fiscal year ended with the city increuing revenue by $137,033, due in part to the sale of the old City Hall building, but extra expenditures along with $46,000 in encumbrances, outpaced the revenues and left the city with a $140,345 deficit. Mayor Clinton Brandt said the city may have to take action to prevent future budget shortfalls. “I think one of the things we're probably going to be faced with is the inevitable and that might be a tax increase in order to do some of the things that need to be done, and basically shore up the budget,” Brandt said. However, Councilmember Rudy Seidel suggested other means of stabilizing the city's budget. "We should figure out some way to put pressure on people to where they have to pay for services (such as ambulance service)," Seidel said. The Council then entertained a notion to have a point-of-service payment system for services rendered by the ambulance service which City Manger Hector Tamayo said Is being looked into. In other business, the council received the New Braunfels Utilities' financial audit for the fiscal year ending July 31,1992. Eugene Mornhinweg, chairman of the NbU board of directors, told the Council that the utility enjoyed a successful year and because of this, customers would be reaping the benefits. He announced that the utility would be returning $300,000 to its customers In the form of a refund applied to the February bill. Mornhinweg said the refund was a "one shot" occurrence because it Is Bee Council, Page I By GARY P. CARROLL Blaff Writer New Braunfels City Council Member Dan Bremer, at Monday night's meeting, called for the formation of an ethics committee to establish ethical guidelines for city employees. "The committee would put together some ethical standards that we would expect city employees to abide by," Bremer said. Bremer suggested that the committee be comprised of city officials, community leaders, and private citizens to devise the ethical standards that could be a part of a mandatory training program for all city employees. "All employees (would need to know) what we expect and what the citizens should expect from their city government," Bremer said. Council member Paul Fraser said Bremer's idea was "outstanding” and volunteered to be on the committee, as did Mayor Clinton Brandt. Bremer said the committee should be set up to teach city employees, including city officials, how to deal with and handle any and all situations they may encounter on the job. "I think it's important that all city employees have the ethical training so that there is no confusion as to how they should go about accomplishing their duties," Bremer said. When asked lf any particular incident influenced his idea to organize an ethics committee, Bremer said simply that city employees need to “know what the game is." Council proposes credit card system for payments By GARY P. CARROLL Staff Writer The New Braunfels City Council, faced with $140,000 in overexpenditures for the 1992 fiscal year, due in part to uncollected funds, entertained an idea for reducing uncollected funds by requiring services to be paid for at the time they are rendered • including ambulance service. The past year's budget showed $20,000 in uncollected funds from ambulance service, and Councilmember Rudy Seidel suggested that ambulance users pay for the service when the ambulance arrives on the scene. Seidel said that pressure ought to be applied to the people who used the service and did not pay, and the city should actively go about collecting these funds. They dam sure needed them ... they should be grateful enough that they would help and pay these fees," Seidel said. He told the Council that since most everyone has a major credit card, the possibility exists for the user to pay for the service upon the ambulance's arrival. City Manager Hector Tamayo said the city has been and still Is exploring the possibility of using a credit card system for its service vehicles, and agrees that the system could help the city reduce lost revenue due to non-payment. Councilmember Paul Fraser agrees that steps should be taken to Bee Credit Card, Page t IndexStammtisch 1 Oaotlon, 10 PBflBB OLABBIPIIO................................•*• non tot    § WWHeVWlt IM I IMI Mil I MIMI I IMI I IMH I Mil MI HIW HOROBOOPI.................................• R BOORD#.......................................g OPINION#    A w" R1VW1W MIHM MM ll ll MM ll ll IM MM Mil MM 1^ OPORTO I IMI ll ll MI I IM IIM IIM ll ll IMI ll ll I ll ll l7 WATER WATCH.............................I WRATHER ll ll III IIH IIM IMI IIM IM IMI Ml I IIM l9 BGOtwlBhti The New Braunfels Herald-Zeltun* sends Birthday wishes to Connie Stollens, Russell Offerman, Tiffany Holder and Walker Lindsay. Belated birthday wishes go to Kathy Mom, Brittany Couch and Melissa Steel, Anniversary wishes go to Glenn and Beverly Timmermann, and David and Connie Sullens. Belated anniversary wishes go to Kane and Regina Sauceda. Fro# parenting oImogb In conjunction with the Comal County Bmergeney Children's Shelter, Family Outreach will be offering free parent Int or paren teenagers. Early childhood classes will be classes for parents of young children an parenting ildren and held on Saturday mornings beginning Feb. 27, uses will begin on Tuesday and Teenage classes evenings beginning Feb. 23. Anyone interested in attending the classes is invited to an orientation on Tuesday, Fab. 2, from 7 to 9 C.m. at the Comal County Extension Service i New Braunfels. For more information, call 620* 1299 or 629-0639. Maternity pra-admlMlon elaaa McKenna Memorial Hospital Maternity Center will be offering a pre-admission class to women planning to deliver at McKenna. Information about a typical stay, patient's rights, documents, Infant care Indudln preparation for breast and bottle feeeding a Maternity Center tour wjll be Included. Preadmission forms win be provided. Significant others are welcome. This class is provided as a service to the community, Call 623-91 ll, ext. 333, to reserve a time, Classes will be the first and third Wednesday of each month from 9-11 a.m, Or, for those needing an evening class, iv of caon month from 7 • 9 p.m. Select one class eight to tenweeks prior the second Monde) to your due date. Anyone closer than that to their due date shoudl schedule a class Immediately. Comal County Alumna# Panhollanlo Comal County Alumnae Panhellenic invites all area col legs sorority alumnae to the annual membership meeting Sunday, Jan. 31, at 2 p.m. In the home of Jo Ann Bedford, 667 Fredricksburg Rd. A short business meeting and informational update on local and national panhellenie activities will be presented.For Home Deliven ( oil 625-9144 a ;

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