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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 17, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 4A g HeraldZeitung Q Sunday August Opinion To talk with Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson about the Opinion page call 625 9144 Ext 220 Opinion Onllitfj contact submit tetters and guest columns efectronlcally by way of online services or Internet or to simply contact staff members the newspapers address Is QUOTABLE Last words are for fools who havent said Karl Marx philosopher D I T O R I Chafin represented what trustees should be New Braunfels Independent School District board of trustees bid farewell Tuesday to board member Leo Chafin Chafin who served two terms on the board from 1991 to 1997 decided not to seek reelection in the Aug 9 election He left the board after one of the most difficult years the NBISD board has faced in recent history But however diffi cult the past year has been Chafins commitment to educa tion and children was apparent The last 365 days have not been much he told trustees Tuesday I dont want you to just forget the I want you to remember the past and dont make the same The board also would do well to remember Chafins inter est in educating the children of the district Before he served on the board Chafin spent 17 years at New Braun fels High School serving as the vocational adjustment coor dinator During his time on the board Chafin served as board president in 199596 and vice president from 1993 to 1995 Trustee Carlos Campos said One thing you learn from Letxis that he has a great love of this district of this County Judge Carter Casteel had just one piece of advice for the board members she had sworn into office Tuesday night I only hope that you can follow the example of Leo Chafin and his wife Casteel said Serving on a school board can be trying at best and often times trustees are challenged to stand behind that which they believe even if it is not the popular stance A trustee truly interested in serving for the good of the children will place them first and all of the other political issues aside Chafin represents what all good trustees should strive to be solid dependable and committed That is what the voters should want Today s editorial was written by HeraldZeitung Manag ing Editor Margaret Write us The New Braunfels HeraldZeitung welcomes letters on any public issue The editor reserves the right to correct spelling style punctua tion and known factual errors Letters should be kept to 250 words We publish only original mail addressed to the New Braunfels Her aldZeitung bearing the writers signature Also an address and a telephone number which are not for publication must be included Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the pre vious 30 days Mail letters to Letters to the Editor the New Braunfels HeraldZeitung Drawer 311328 New Braunfels Texas 781311328 New Braunfels HeraldZeitung Editor and Publisher Ext Toney Managing Editor Ext Edmonson Marketing Director Ext Borchardt Classified Advertising Manager Ext Reininger Business Manager Ext Lee Hall Circulation Director Ext Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman Ext Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels HeruUZeitung USPS 377880 707 Landa or Drawer 311328 New Braunfels Comal County TX 78131 1328 Periodical postage paid by the New Braunfels HeraldZeitung in New Braunfels Texas Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties three months six months one year Senior Citizen Discounts by carrier delivery only six months one year Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas three months six months one year Mail outside Texas six months one year Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by Tuesday through Friday or by on Sunday may call 830 6259144 or by 7 weekdays or by 11 on Sunday Pos MASTER Send address changes to the New Bruunjek HeraldZttitung Draw er 311328 New Braunfels Tx 781311328 Beware of elected officials with mandates Onlookers at the New Braunfels Independent School District board meeting Tuesday night were able to watch a relatively smooth transistion A passionate and at times eloquent farewell speech by retiring board mem ber Leo Chafin evoked both laughter and tears from the crowd that was packed into the meeting room on Mill Street See the editorial on this After the swearing in of reelected and new board members many in the audience and probably board mem bers as well were braced for a possible bloodbath over who would be elected president of the board A year ago Carlos Campos and Steve Weaver were elected to the school board They quickly formed an alliance with board members Sylvia Sanchez and Jaime Padilla After the dust cleared Superintendent Charles Bradberry and a majority of adminis trators and principals were gone many by their own choice A week ago Sanchez was reelected in her district along with atlarge incumbent Bette Spain who opposed nearly all the actions put in motion by the voting block Joining Spain as an atlarge repre sentative is Don Bedford Many if not most of Spains backers were also stumping for Bedford during the cam paign So Bedford joins Spain and board member Anne Miller as the polar oppo site of the side of the board Doug Toney That leaves Bill Biggadike who was elected to fill the remaining year on Padillas term Biggadike now has the most pow erful vote on the board So when it came time for electing a board president the ten sion in the room was obvious Act ing president Campos turned it over to Superintendent Ron Reaves Weaver immediately nominated Campos for president But Campos declined the nomina tion making a pitch for unity Spain was nominated and then Cam pos asked that the nominations be closed and Spain be elected by accla mation Don Bedford was elected vice president and Anne Miller elected sec retary all unanimously Campos also declined a nomination for vice president Some in the audience murmured and tried to dimminish the act by saying Campos knew he didnt have the votes That might be true but Campos deci sion was the right move and his gesture seemed wellintended The only acrimonious moment from the board came when Weaver a Cer tified Public Accountant was nomi nated for treasurer Bedford voted against Weaver AfteMhe meeting Bedford told a reporter that he campaigned on oppos ing the thenmajority on the board He said Twothousand five hundred peo ple voted for me and I won by almost a twotoone margin I think I have a Whoa pardner A mandate The election night count was votes in the two atlarge races Each voter could cast two votes in the races That means at least people voted for the atlarge candidates Bedford received votes or about percent of the votes That was the largest plurality of votes for any candidate narrowly edging out Biggadikes percent advantage in his district 4 race But the voters registration office said voters were eligible to vote That means 13 percent of the eligible voters elected Bedford to office We can blame only the voters for the low turnout But one thing is for sure The low number of votes cast were not enough to create a mandate for any candidate The last thing this school district needs is another board member armed with a selfproclaimed mandate opposing any idea no matter how good it might be as long as it comes from his selfdetermined nemises on the board Differences of opinions on issues should and must be publicly debated But what most citizens probably want are board members with open minds who will listen to all viewpoints before determining how they will vote Debate the ideas Ponder the posi tions and seek solutions together Without public debate and respect for other viewpoints the board loses its ability to compromise or better yet to create through consensus an even better solution than previously offered from either side Only a year ago newly elected school board members arrived with their own mandate The school board and community continue to be bruised from the manner in which they sought those changes If a real mandate had existed last year it stands to reason that this past election would have turned out differently Last Tuesday night it seemed that everyone on the board except Bedford realized the time for chest pounding and posturing for the sake of political grandstanding should end Bedford and all public office holders should remember that the only mandate they have from the public is to consid er the views and needs of all their con stituents not just those who voted them into office The voters do not want or expect a bunch of 70 votes What we expect is a thoughtful debate of the issues in which all reasonable views are con sidered Votes should be about not grudges Until we learn to debate and resolve our differences with civility we cannot move forward Doug Toney is editor and publish er of the iX Bikers get freedom of choice and guess who gets bill By JOHN KANELIS Associated Press AMARILLO Texas motorcyclists soon will get to shuck their helmets and let their hair fly in the wind as they cruise down our highways Ah freedom of choice We get to use our own good or bad judg ment on whether to protect ourselves against serious head injury There will be a price though for those who choose to follow their lib ertine instincts The 1997 Legislature in a penny ante sop to those of us who dislike the notion of allowing cyclists to ride sans helmets that the helmetless motorcyclist must purchase a health insurance policy to help cover the cost of caring for serious injury Or the cyclist can have the insurance requirement waived by taking a motor cycle safety course Just how much financial security would the insurance policy provide Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Sunday Aug 17 the 229th day of 1997 There are 136 days left in the year Todays Highlight in History On Aug Robert Fultons North River Steam Boat popularly known as the began head ing up New Yorks Hudson River on its successful roundtrip to Albany Virtually none Then what Well wed all better be ready to pay through the nose for those rendered permanently disabled because they think riding with out a helmet purely is a matter of per sonal choice A Baptist St Anthonys Hospital official in Amarillo snickered when asked about the time it would take for a serious headwound patient to run up a tab as a result of an acci dent You have surgical costs You have room rates that often exceed a day You have lab fees You have med ication to ftght pain and to ward off infection Just how quickly does one use up In a proverbial heartbeat Then after the insurance runs out the motorcyclist likely would become a ward of the state Then the careless biker becomes OUR burden Yours and mine The Department of Public Safety tried this year to counter the argument On this date In 1863 Federal batteries and ships bombarded Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor during the Civil War In 1896 a prospecting party discov ered gold in Alaska a finding that touched off the Klondike gold rush In 1940 President Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister William Mackenzie King met in Ogdensburg where they agreed to set up a that helmets actually cause more injuries than they prevent by citing National Institutes of Health data show ing that people are many times more likely to suffer a serious head injury without a helmet than with one That didnt wash with dumpthe helmet lawmakers who said that hel mets inhibit peoples peripheral vision and impair their hearing It was a cre ative campaign perhaps the first in the history of civilization to portray motor cycle helmets as a hazard Doctors police officers and social service workers testified to the con trary Lawmakers led by state Sen Jerry Patterson RPasadena persuad ed enough legislators and the governor to enact a law that ultimately is going to cost people their lives and make no mistake their livelihoods And when it comes to peoples abil ity to make a living thats where we all should get concerned Because every Texan who must go on public assis tance because of a debilitating head joint defense commission In 1943 the Allied conquest of Sici ly was completed as and British forces entered Messina In 1962 East German border guards shot and mortally wounded 18year old Peter Fechter who had attempted to cross over the Berlin Wall into the western sector In people were killed as Hurricane Camille hit the Gulf Coast injury caused by the absence of a helmet is going to cost us all It will cost us in increased health insurance premiums It will drive up the costs of emergency room care It will require more social service money that will have to come from somewhere But heck were Texans We who dont like government telling us we HAVE to do something stupid such as wear a motorcycle helmet while we blaze down the road unprotected at 70 mph or faster We have the right to do something EVEN MORE STUPID by golly which is to operate a motorcycle without a helmet Bikers who decide its just as safe to ride without a helmet as it is to ride with one should know that Ill be pray ing for their good health Ill also say a prayer that I wont get stuck with the bill when tragedy strikes John Kane Us is editorial page edi tor for the Amarillo Distributed by Associated Press In 1969 the Woodstock Music and Art Fair concluded near Bethel In 1978 the first successful trans Atlantic balloon flight ended as Maxie Anderson Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed their Double Eagle II outside Paris Ten yews ago Rudolf Hess the last member of Adolf Hitlers inner circle died at a Berlin hospital near Spandau Prison at age 93
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