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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A HERALDZE1TUNG Saturday December 30 2000 OPINIONS FORUM LETTERS NKW HERALDZEITUNG New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852 New Braunfcls Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 Doug Toney Editor and Publisher Margaret Edmonson Managing Editor 830 6259144 EDITORIAL Clennan made sure tax office met countys demands Comal County Courthouse closed its doors on 2000 late Friday afternoon and across the street Gloria Clennan closed the door on a chapter in the countys history Clennan is retiring from her job as tax assessorcollector after a quarter century of serving Comal Clennan a Democrat had hoped to stay in office four more years but she was defeated in the November general election by Republican Sherman Krause Krause will become the new tax collector in a ceremony Monday at the courthouse For 24 years Clennan oversaw the countys voter registration motor vehicle registration and tax collection During that time Comal Countys needs have changed as much as the county itself The population grew exponentially and technology demanded the tax assessorcollectors office grow and change as well Clennan made sure the tax office met those demands and met the needs of her constituents And she did it by remaining true to herself The Democrat did not follow the advice of her Republican friends who told her to switch parties I eant change who I she said shortly after the Noy 7 eleoiin Clennan served the county well for many years We wish her only the best in the years to come TODAY IN HISTORY BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Today is Saturday Dec 30 the 365th day of 2000 There is one day left in the year Todays Highlight in History On Dec 30 1922 Vladimir I Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics On this date In 1853 the United States bought some square miles of land from Mexico in a deal known as the jGadsden Purchase In 1911 Sun Yatsen was elected the first president of the Republic of China In 1936 the United Auto Workers union staged its first sitdown strike at the Fisher Body Plant No 1 in Flint Mich In 1940 Californias first freeway the Arroyo Seco Parkway connect ing Los Angeles and Pasadena was officially opened In 1944 King George II of Greece proclaimed a regency to rule his country virtually renouncing the throne In 1947 King Michael of Romania agreed to abdicate but charged he was being forced off the throne by Communists In 1948 the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me Kate opened on Broadway In 1972 the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam In 1993 Israel and the Vatican agreed to recognize each other In 1998 weak but radiant with pride Nkem mother of the Houston octuplets went home LETTERS To THE EDITOR Smith staunch supporter of veterans Dear Editor Mr John T Ragusa has exposed himself as a man who clearly doesnt know who his friends are and sure doesnt know how to treat them In the process he has also exposed himself as ignorant of the legisla tive process misguided in his pursuit of vit riol and uninformed about the facts Iti his attack letters in the HeraldZeitung targeting Congressman Lamar Smith Mr Ragusa attempts to smear the congressman as somehow antiveteran and antimilitary Look at the record Mr Ragusa Congressman Smith consistently has been one of supporters of a strong national defense in Congress Thats why hes regularly garnered the highest ratings from a variety of military and veteran orga nizations He has fought long and hard for veterans as well as military retirees insist ing that this nation stand by the promises it has made to those who have defended us all Hes been willing in fact hes been eager to take on the hard fights for those caus es He hasnt always come out on the win ning side but hes worked consistently to try to make the prodefense and proveteran side the winning one Mr Ragusa faults Congressman Smith for not being a member of the Armed Services i Committee or Veterans Committee Smith is a member of three House committees one more than usual for congressmen and holds two chairmanships There are 17 House committees the congressman does not sit on Does Mr Ragusa propose to fault him for that as well Congressman Smiths record has always been both consistent and persistent champi oning legislation supportive of a strong national defense and the men and women who do and have served in uniform He stepped in when the Veterans Department wanted to close the Kerrville VA Hospital and not only stopped that misguided effort but worked to make sure the Kerrville VA has been expanded to continue to serve vet erans in that area Just in the past few months hes worked for laws that require the Veterans Department to help veterans file their claims for disability benefits and hes worked for several bills to make sure that military retirees of all ages get the health care they were promised and to allow retirees who also have disabilities to be compensated for both Hes worked hard to turn around demoralizing actions that have had a nega tive effect on our active duty forces by mak ing sure that our soldiers and sailors have the topflight equipment training and ser vices they deserve and they need As a combat veteran Im proud to call Congressman Lamar Smith my friend Manuel Camareno New Braunfels trails should be No 1 priority Dear Editor In your paper you reported about the Master Plan for the New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department A good story but not the whole story Some of the story was left out I hope your oversight was unin tentional You reported on proposed plans by the parks department based upon its research of what is needed in the community What you left out was the research The parks depart ment research came as a result of a phone survey of New Braunfels residents The con clusions of that survey need to be made public before the Master Plan is adopted My reading of the survey reveals some interesting information For instance when adults were asked what they do mostly in city parks facilities was ranked No 2 and biking No 7 out of 30 choices they were given And there is more When these same adults were asked what activities they were most interested in moved up to first place and biking up tothird place The survey also asked very specifically whether these adults were interested in a system of trails Not counting those who had no opinion nearly 70 per cent said they were very interested or some what interested Even more revealing and significant when asked to indicate a definite need in the recreation arena restrooms loomed large but trail system ranked second out of 31 options A full 49 percent chose this as the most important And final ly when these citizens were asked their first priority for recreational development hik ing and biking trails ranked Numero Uno Comal County Trails a nonprofit grassroots citizens planning committee has long suspected that New Braunfels citizens are aching for a good safe reliable system of trails for multiple use and for people of all ages and capabilities We have advocated educated proposed projects and worked to achieve results for nearly two years We have pub lished a vision map of a prospective net work of trails sponsored symposiums on biking and pedestrian possibilities even attained funds for the restoration of hiking trails Panther We will continue to advocate on behalf of the very citizens who responded to the parks department survey with a clear mandate that trails are their first priority So why arent trails the first priority of the parks department We wonder But we dont just sit and wonder we act To those of you who feel the same way as those who responded to the parks depart ment survey to those who would really like to see a network of trails in our community suitable to the needs of all citizens to those of you who want to make it happen we invite you to join with us Together we can get things done Contact Comal County Trails 2431 Quail Ridge New Braunfels TX 78130 Peter Olsen New Braunfels Proposed alcohol ban would hurt New Braunfels BY MEL POLK Special to the HeraldZeitung We keep reading about how all of New Braunfels supports the proposed alcohol ban Bratwurst Tourism pro vides jobs and tax revenue to our town The people who come here to enjoy our rivers buy everything from gas to doughnuts to lip balm to bathing suits to newspapers ad infinitum The girl who works behind the counter at the Pit Stop doesnt support the beer ban nor does the Mexican food restaurant or the owner of the pizza place or the woman who provides maid at the hotel Anything that encourages tourists to take their dollars takes money out of these peoples pockets This is why the cham per of commerce doesnt support it In fact the supporters of this ordinance are small but vocal group of riverfront property owners and their allies Councilman Robert Kendrick is one of these folks How much does the worth of his river front property increase if there are no more tourists Whatever the number I say it is not worth even one citizen losing a service job Just slightly more than of the petitioners signatures on the beer ban were qualified voters In a town this size that is a really small number Now the Kendrick coalition wants to rewrite the petition to include whatever neces sary to accomplish a beer ban This is not the same petition people signed their names to or that was voted for by city council What Kendrick is doing now requires that the desig nated number of new signatures for his new resolution and certainly a new vote from the council Tourism is the engine that drives our local economy It is responsible for a large part of the million per year sales tax revenue that goes directly to the citys coffers That is million that the residents wont have to come up with What a great thing for the people of New Braunfels Mr Kendrick would have you believe that this ordinance will magi cally transform all of our tourists into wellbehaved families who dont like to drink beer The truth is that 85 per cent of the river tourists are families families who like to float down the river and like to drink a cold beer If they cannot do it here they will simply take their tourist dollars to a friendlier venue costing New Braunfels revenue and jobs whilerais ing the property value of folks like Kendrick and the Kruegers How do we solve these behavior problems First the behavior problems have been grossly exaggerated Stoney Williams mayor of the city said in a council meeting that in 15 trips down the river this year he did not witness any of the offensive actions described by the Kendrick coalition I think that I could spend 12 hours with a video cam era on a Saturday at Wurstfest and find something that was offensive to some body But if I were to chase anyone around with a video camera for the whole day at some point they might have some offensive words or gestures for me to record regardless of whether they were drinking beer It seems that these video people are part of the prob lem rather than part of the solution Secondly do not blame the police for the lack of enforcement Even with all the revenue these tourists generate the city does not appropriate nearly enough money to handle enforcement provide adequate bathroom facilities or ade quate trash disposal Imagine this is a business that grosses million per year To maintain and grow this revenue we need to invest back into our company and some management time Who would not do that All these problems very solvable without passing ordinances designed to drive the tourists out of New Braunfels Thought planning and reinvestment just like they teach in business school is all that is required to solve our problems Lastly what is good for the tourist business is good for the working people of this town Thats not what youve been hearing from the fortunate few who retired here and would prefer to keep the river views private and free of tubers or any other recreation enthusi ast For the vast majority of the people who make their home and living here the beer ban is an ordinance that bene fits a few at the expense of many Please join me in calling on the city council to put a stop to this ordinance now Mel Polk is a New Braunfels resi
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