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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 16, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas THURSDAY 50 CENTS New Braunfels The Mergele House 708 W Mill A2 Pages in one section Thursday November Herald2 2627 E YANNELL U EL PASO TX 79903 Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years Home of ALBERT MUNIZ JR Vol 144 No 3 Inside Stammtisch Birthday wishes from the HeraldZeitung The New Braunfels Herald Zeitung extends birthday wishes to H L Saur Fidencio Luna Rosie Carrizales Kaylee Perales one Amy Rosales 11 and Albert Muniz Jr River and aquifer information Conrtat RWer278 same as yesterday Edwards Aquifer feet above sea level down 02 Guadalupe 200 Great American Smokeout today Several restaurants in New Braunfels will participate in the American Cancer Societys Great American Smokeout today by being smokefree all day The participating restaurants are China Kitchen Cappar Molly Joes TJs Plaza Diner Dragon Place Pats Place Huisache Grill Lubys New Braunfels Smokehouse and Texas Fried Chicken in Bulverde Rehearsals start for Carolfest Calling all Joy Singers rehearsals for Carolfest begin tonight at pm at the Senior Center The music is geared for fun singing and easy to learn expressing of the many moods of the Christ mas season Public is invited Yard and bake sale The youth of Primera Iglesia Bautista will hold a bake and yard sale Saturday starting at 9 Taco plates will go on sale for from 11 to 2 The event will raise money for Youth Congress in Lubbock and Youth Camp next summer It will be held at 475 Magazine Ave For infor mation call 6255661 Time again for the Cheer Fund Each holiday season the HeraldZeitung runs the Cheer Fund campaign which pro vides food to needy local fam ilies for Christmas Anyone wishing to donate can do so in person by coming by the Her aldZeitung office at 707 Lan da St or call Cheer Fund Director Carol Ann Avery at 6259144 New donations are James Mainz canned goods Correction A story on Page 1 of the Wednesday Nov 15 issue of the HeraldZeitung should have listed the address of Victoria Bank in New Braunfels as 1000 N Walnut The winning numbers If s business as usual at most local federal offices By MELANIE GERIK Staff Writer HeraldZeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL Firefighters were called to this home at 663 N Liberty early this morning A woman was killed in the fire Police have not released the victims name or determined the cause of thelire Comal County residents who want to register for Social Secu rity benefits or a card must wait until the deadlock between the Republicancontrolled Congress and President Bill Clinton is resolved But the National Weather Service Women Infants and Children office Consolidated Farm Service Agency and Army Corps of Engineers will continue to operate without interruptions admin istrators said Wednesday Laurin Jimenez office manager for the Seguin Social Securi ty branch said most employees were sent home at noon Tuesday They have been told to listen to the news and when Congress passes a budget they can come back to Jimenez said Theres going to be a lot of work for the employees to catch up on when they get The 15 Seguin Social Security workers are among fed eral government employees furloughed when nonessential oper ations were shut down Tuesday Although the office is closed for new claims this will not affect an individual receiving a regular Jimenez said While Congress is at an impasse concerning the budget Jimenez and another staff member are available in case of an emergency such as not receiving a check Theres going to be a lot of work for the employees to catch up on when they get Jimenez A firefighter battles the fire Paramedic George Amen administers oxygen to a cat rescued from the burn Ing house Woman dies in Liberty Street blaze By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND Staff Writer A fire took the life of a New Braunfels woman and destroyed her home early this morning New Braunfels fire units respond ed to a fire at 663 N Liberty at said Assistant Fire Chief Elroy Friesenhahn When they arrived they found the house fully he said Firefighters had to break down the front door to fight the fire Friesenhahn said The victim had been sitting in the living room he said The cause of death is still under investi gation he said The womans body was taken to the Travis County coroner for autopsy Officials have not released her name pending notification of next of kin Four cats and a dog were also living in the house They were rescued and are now under the care of the animal warden One room of the house was completely The victim had been sitting in the living room Elroy Friesenhahn engulfed in flames and the other rooms had flames halfway up the walls Friesen hahn said The house wont be livable Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire Three employees paid through the statefunded Senior Texan Employment Program answer calls to the Seguin office in the absence of the administrations normal work ers But warnings and watches still will be issued by the National Weather Service said Esther McKay deputy meteorologist in charge of the Antonio weather forecast office located in New Braunfels Because the organizations mission is to protect life and prop erty in adverse weather conditions our operations here are con sidered essential to public Connie Roberts nurse at the Women Infants and Children New Braunfels office said Until further notice were working as usual at the federallyfunded lowincome nutrition program The Department of Agriculture and the Army Corps of Engineers have been funded by appropriations bills separate from the main budget bill At this point in time were not said Richard Bran des county executive director for the Consolidated Farm Service Agency He said his office will continue to deliver USDA programs to the Programs include crop subsidies farm insurance and home mortgage loans Jerry Brite reservoir manager for the Army Corps of Engineers at Canyon Lake said nationwide lake projects were funded by the Energy and Water Appropriations Act which President Clinton signed Monday The seven parks overseen by the corps in the Canyon Lake area will operate on schedule although some are closed because of winter Both Brandes and Brite said their agencies could still face shutdowns if Congress continues the budget debate for a long time because of the federal debt ceiling and the need to meet financial obligations Raises to bring New Braunfels employees pay in line with other cities By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND Staff Writer Many city employees are grossly underpaid according to a recent city survey City council started to rectify the situation Monday night by giving a raise to many city workers The pay hikes total about through the end of this fiscal year the end of June The increases go into effect at the beginning of December Finance Director Sharon Day sent surveys to 30 employers Most were cities near the size of New Braun fels Also included were New Braunfels Utilities and the two local school districts Sixteen completed the surveys Our custodians made to said City Manager Mike Shands Labor ers made gross Thats where we need the help those are the folks having the hardest time Entry level 911 dispatchers and firefighters in New Braunfels got the lowest salaries in die 16 comparably sized Texas cities polled Police patrol officers got the thirdlowest The stressful lower level positions like the police dispatcher had the highest level of Shands said JLfw enforcement workers have an extra burden in the summer months Shands said In much of the summer were equivalent to New Braunfels City Employees Pay Compared To Other Cities Position Custodian Accounting Clerk New Braunfels Pay New NB Starting Lowest Pay Average Pay Highest Pay Dispatcher Clerk Sanitation Firefighter Police Patrol The following employers completed pay surveys done by the city of New Braunfeis Cedar Hill Cleburne Comal County Comal Independent School District Deer Park Duncanville Euless Flower Mound Friendswood Grapevine Haltom City McKinney New Braunfels Independent School District New Braunfels Utilities Peartand Round Rock San Marcos Sugar Land Universal City and University Park The new city pay scale works in a series of steps Many city employees have already been on the work force for five or 10 years and would be paid more than the starting salary listed above said City Manager Mike Shands a city at least twice our he said But we build for the average time and for the peak go on The city staffs its police department for the average load and compensates for the summer with overtime That adds stress to an already stressful job we still come out way below average in our pay Shands said Others penalized by the pay scale are workers who stay in New Braunfels year after year because of home and family They see their cost of living go up and their pay slay virtually the same Shands said Those are the ones whom we ultimately also he said The city work force is about as efficient as it can get said Mayor Paul E Fraser Jr The staff is what 1 call lean and mean theyre profes he said They get the job done and they get it done with a modicum of Shands and Fraser agree that part of the effi ciency and part of the reason why most city workers do more than ther fair share is the fact that the city staff is almost without middle man agement One has to look long and hard not to find a city employee that is not carrying more than their share of the Fraser said You name a spot and 1 dont see anybody that is not going at double The city council voted for the pay hike with one council member Ray Schoch J think its evident that the staff is underpaid but J would like to pass that through a professional he said Citizens would be more likely to approve of the raise if an outside firm had made the recommen dation he said and an expert should be dealing with the complicated strategies involved Schoch wanted to approve the as a lump sum then hire a consultant to recommend how to spread it around The city council agreed with him to a point They added a provision on the pay raise that the city hire a consultant to look at its longterm per sonnel plans Not all city employees will get a raise I dont get any of this Shands said We still have about 30 employees that are not going to get any raises Some of them are already average so they just If 1 had a command like this in the Marino Corps Id be tickled to Fraser said Theyd be able to make the threemile run and not break sweat Everyone wants to fly the property rights banner these days See Opinion Page 4
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