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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 13, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Sunday February HERALDZEITUNG Page 7A I COMMENTARY LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Residents weigh in on convention center Editors Note Because of the volume of letters received regarding the convention center and bed tax revenue the HeraldZeitung was unable to print all of the letters Please look in upcoming editions for more Petition organizers missed opportunity Dear Editor I am new to the New Braunfels area and find the cur rent public dialogue concerning a convention center interesting and informative as to how city government works here Originally I thought there was opposition to building a conven tion center because it would raise city taxes that could be better spent building or improv ing our streets etc I then learned that the money for the convention center would come from taxes that must be spent on bringing visitors or tourists to New Braunfels and cannot be spent for street improvements I then thought there was oppo sition to a convention center because the Chamber of Commerce was going its own way and trying to spend tax dol lars for something it wanted but was not wanted by the city I then learned that a Comprehensive Plan for city developmentwas prepared more than 300 New Braunfels residents a little more than two years ago These citizens deter mined that a convention center was a high priority for New Braunfels It seems to me that the Chamber of Commerce by pushing for funding for a con vention center is being very responsive to the publics per ception of how the tax dollars should be spent The Chamber funded a feasibility study for a convention center This study shows that a conven tion center would benefit New Braunfels by bringing in tax dol lars from visitors and such tax dollars would help fund other Oder Ends felmjary 15 Get Two Sprint PCS for the Price of One Get a mailin rebate on any two Sprint PCS Phones with the purchase of any plan starting at Thats like getting two phones lor the price at one Sptwi PCS Pkmt by QCP Plus two people can share minutes from one service plan with Sprint PCS AddaPhone for an additional a month OHfl l COMMUNICATION SOURCE needed community projects in New Braunfels The City Council has provided numerous opportunities for pub lic input as well as for various Councilmembers to express dif fering views on the convention center As far as I can tell only supporters of the convention center project have attended any of the Council meetings or at least have spoken before the City Council While a petition drive is a very acceptable way to deter mine public opposition to a city project opponents to the con vention center have not taken advantage of numerous opportu nities already provided them in order to voice their objections Their lack of participation in the political decisionmaking process until the last minute leads me to the conclusion that many of the people opposing the convention center would oppose anything that might bring about change in New Braunfels I support the convention cen ter project and applaud the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce in their efforts to improve the city and to provide ample opportunities for public input prior to making any deci sions affecting the city and how its tax dollars are spent Charles O McKinney New Braunfels Museum supports convention center Dear Editor The Hummel Museum Art Gallery is one of the arts organi zations that benefits from the occupancy tax However we are in no way part of the group behind or support ing the petition against the new convention center We were not contacted as to our thoughts on this issue and we do not agree with the tactics used We do not want people to confuse us with being part of that group The Hummel Musuem Art Gallery attracts more than 50 percent of the visitors from out ofstate and the majority of people who visit the museum come between the months of October through April consid ered offseason for tourism in this area We strongly believe that a new convention center would increase occupancy which in turn would benefit all of the art organiza tions The museum has been able to expand its art programs and art education to the youth of our community due to partial fund ing through tax Summer art classes art after school classes and an outreach art program that provides art instruction in a private school are among these programs Increased funding would allow the museum to improve these programs and expand programs that the community has expressed a desire and a need for A new convention center will not take money away from these programs it will assure the continuance of such pro grams because of increased spending in New Braunfels We believe that progress and growth are what will make this community better for all its cit Jizens Why vote against some thing that will make the quality of life better for New Braunfels Sincerely Doreen Schaeffer Executive Director Get the facts first Dear Editor First just some background My business is BAREFOOT Properties Inc dba New Braunfels Resort Accommodations 283 S Union Avenue New Braunfels I have been in the tourist industry in New Braunfels for 14 years I represent more than 160 resort property owners the majority of whom do not live in New Braunfels but pay property taxes here I live just outside the city limits so I cant vote for mayor or city council I own the house where my busines is located so I am now looking to the City Council person for this district to make my voice heard I believe I am in District 6 I am a member of the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce The Chamber of Commerce is there to work for me and not the other way around and they certainly dont tell me how to think I do how ever look to them for factual information because they are professionals trained in promot ing and bringing tourists dollars to this city I have heard remarks made at City Council meetings which refer to Chamber deals and council being told how to vote on which is not even close to the truth Chamber members attend workshops to become better informed on the issues that affect our industry and everyone in this city I would invite resi dents signing a petition against the convention center proposal to go and visit with Chamber staff Chamber members to seek facts I want you to see what we see for the future of New Braunfels Lets not let a small number of individuals ruin what could be a wonderful new chap ter for New Braunfels I have not heard anyone with the cre dentials of PKF Consulting speak against the convention center This city would have died a slow death years ago if the residents with a vision did not push forward We need the convention center Lets get excited and be positive Please arm yourself with all the facts before signing anyones petition Sherrie Perry New Braunfels This isnt wliat I thought they meant ty singles cruise Yes but the brochure did mention the groat workout facilities Next time dont chance it Use a professional travel agent Well save you time maybe your vacation ROADRUNNER TRAVEL 6201060 Without a trnvnl agont youre on your own SopJiietilnir5 Museum 401W Cell 6291572 62W100 826 Hwy 8110 Jack Reinarz CIC President Ruby Badlng CIC Administrative Manager Marigale Eilers CIC General Manager Jennifer Kroesche CISR Personal Lines Coordinator Glenda Eilers Personal Lines Coordinator Aaron Schmidt KmOnnlpr SUM ft f Tina Triesch CISR Commercial Accounts Coordinator SnetlUGrissom Connwcial Accounts INSURANCE 830 6257511 457F Unda New Braunfels Texas Lori Rose Personal Lines Assistant Yvonne Kara CISR Personal Lines Assistant
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