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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 29, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4 — HERALD-Zeitung — Friday, April 29, 2011 FORUM Herald-Zeitung Nrw ftmunffti and ( nmal < minty tint t IH52 New Bfsunfsf$ Zeituna was founded 1852, New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged m 1957 and printed in both German and Fnolish until 1958 Editor and Publisher Managing Editor Circulation Director Business Manager Advertising Director Doug Toney Autumn Phillips Jeff Fowler Rosis Willingham Jamie Gregg TUE NFL PRAFT.. Frrp¡5 ...............—---—--T~“ Guest Commentary ‘Yes’ for civil service takes away local control DUNN On May 14, tlu* citizens of New Braunfels will vote to determine if our city will continue to totally manage our police department or it that management will be determined by State Civil Service under Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 143.1 low will your vote affect the city and will voting “yes" for Police Civil Service bring about changes that have unforeseen effects? What does the voter need to know in regard to the existing circumstances that affect our Police Department? Under the present local management, according to documented reports, our police officers receive competitive pay and benefits. Adequate equipment is presently a priority for our police force. It is also my understanding that current policies allow police personnel to file appeals against decisions they believe to be unfair. Changing from our present management plan and agreeing to put Police Department Civil Service into practice means that locally elected officials who live and work in our community will no longer regulate many aspects of our police administration. New Braunfels is a unique community. Will changing to Police Department Civil Service allow the New Braunfels Police Department to fulfill the unique needs of our community? Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code is an intricate legal system, which regulates almost every feature of police administration related to employees. It should he noted that other cities that have adopted Chapter 143 Police Officer Civil Service have had an increase in administrative duties. If that happens, the city might need to hire another administrator, increasing the city’s financial liability. Under Civil Service liiw, the city might also have to hire arbitrators and separate legal counsel. Also of great importance is the fact that Chapter 143 allows the Texas I legislature to amend the law, without regard to the financial or other impact on New Braunfels. Changing from our present management plan and agreeing to put Police Department Civil Service into practice might impact hiring of personnel. It is my understanding that at the present time, the New Braunfels Police Department uses a validated entry exam, physical agility test, background investigation, oral interview, medical exam and psychological exam when hiring police offi- POLICE OFFICER CIVIL SERVICE: BE AN INFORMED VOTER Under the current management 1. Local officials regulate all aspects of our police administration; 2. Police Officers receive adequate pay, equipment and have opportunities for appealing decisions; 3. Promotions are supported by performance in the field. Under Police Civil Service, Chapter 143: 1. Local officials will no longer regulate many aspects of our police administration and the authority of the Police Chief will be replaced by Civil Service dictates; 2. The Texas legislature can amend the law without regard to the financial or other impact on our city; 3. Promotions are based on civil service test scores, placing poor "test takers” at a disadvantage and eliminating pay for performance; 4. Additional financial costs may include an administrator, arbitrators, and legal counsel. cers. Existing considerations for hiring new personnel also includes past job performance, work history and experience. These measures might not differ greatly from what civil service requires, except 1 am not certain about Civil Service provisions for conducting an oral interview, and the entry test is a Standard Civil Service Entry Exam. The promotion process for employees might also be affected if the city adopts Police Department Cavil Service. Chapter 143 law requires that every employee holding the same rank with the same seniority must receive the same pay. Cavil Service does not allow “Merit Pay” or “pay for performance ”. If Police Department Civil Service is adopted and applied, promotions will be based only on test scores. Will this have a negative effect on personnel who are not good “test takers ? If the majority of residents vote “yes” on May 14, the authority of the Police Chief to manage day-to-day operations will be greatly reduced. Management decisions will instead be dictated by Civil Service. C )n May 14 the voters will determine who will be managing the New Braunfels Police Department. It is your duty to decide whether you will vote “no” and keep management of our Police Department as it is, or vote “yes” and bring State-Mandated Civil Service to the New Braunfels Police Department. — Dr. Charlotte Dunn has lived in Conuil County since 1957ami is a retired from Comal Independent School District. Letters to the Editor Not all laws, taxes limit life, liberty, pursuit of happiness Beverly Nuckols stated in an April 27 letter that, "Those who hope to govern should remember every time we make a law or take a tax, we limit life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This is an absurd statement coming from an educated person, especially one who is running for a position of public trust. To think that we could live in America, with the population that we have, most of it concentrated within cities, without enacting laws or levying taxes is ridiculous. T here may well be some bad or unnecessary laws and some instances of overtaxation at times, but to say that any time we make a law or implement a tax infringes upon our liberty and pursuit of happiness is a stretch. We are actually able to pursue happiness because of streets, highways, libraries, etc. that are built with taxes and to do so safely because laws have been enacted to protect us while we do. I’m sure that she does not really think that all taxes and laws are detrimental to our liberty, perhaps only those that she does not personally favor. Rogers Williams New Braunfels We need to see Trump's birth certificate Now that the issue of Obama's birthplace has been resolved, it is time to turn our attention to other notables. First and foremost, Donald Ttump should be made to prove that he is a human being. We know that aliens are adept at creating reasonable copies of the human organism, but in Trump's case they clearly couldn't get the hair right. Mike Nash New Braunfels American politics: The insane reality of delusional thinking Today in History Today is Friday, April 29,2011. On April 29,1861, the Maryland House of Delegates voted 53-13 against seceding from the Union. In Montgomery, Ala., during an address to a special session of the Confederate Congress, President Jefferson Davis asked for the authority to wage war. In 1429, Joan of Arc entered the besieged city of Orleans to lead a French victory over the English. In 1798, Joseph Haydn’s oratorio "The Creation" was rehearsed before an invited audience. In 1916, the Easter Rising in Dublin collapsed as Irish nationalists surrendered to the British. In 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the Dachau concentration camp. Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun and designated Adm. Karl Doenitz president. In 1961, "ABC's Wide World of Sports" premiered, with Jim McKay as host. In 1974, President Richard M. Nixon announced he was releasing edited transcripts of some secretly made White House tape recordings related to Watergate. In 1992, deadly rioting erupted in Los Angeles after a jury in Simi Valley, Calif, acquitted four Los Angeles police officers of almost all state charges in the videotaped beating of Rodney King. United States mifntm Government PRESIDENT ■ Barack Obama 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE ■ Kay Bailey Hutchison Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: http://hutchison.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: http://cornyn.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.) AUSTIN OFFICE 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMAN ■ Lamar 8mith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2409 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: http://lamarsmith.house.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: http://www.house.gov/cuellar SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 615 E. Houston St. San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 GOVERNOR HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government Americans used to pride themselves upon being a practical people, largely immune to religious and political dogmatism. Common sense and know-how were universally seen as virtues. Crackpots and zealots of the David Koresh, Jim Jones type have abounded, but rarely commanded a mass following. "It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It's the things we know for sure that just ain't so." This proverbial expression so perfectly sums up American pragmatism that it's been wrongly attributed to upward of a half-dozen wise men, ranging from Mark Itoain and Will Rogers to Yogi Berra. It actually appears to have been the tag line of humorist josh Billings, a sort of 19th-century Jeff Foxworthy. Today, Billings would be scorned as an elitist and chastised for incivility. Unfortunately, when it comes to politics, a sizeable proportion of our fellow Americans have abandoned reason for demonic conspiracy theories, magical thinking and miracle cures. Increasingly, one of our two great political parties appears to be governed GENE LYONS Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of "The Hunting of the President." E-mail Lyons at eugene-lyons2kiyahoo.com. if it moves units... Second Great Premise: Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough ... T hird Great Premise: Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is measured by how fervently they believe it." Maybe it’s hard times, and maybe it's an African-American president with an odd name, but several leading contenders for the 2012 GOP nomination express ideas that might lead to involuntary hospitalization anywhere outside a tea party rally or a TV studio. After all, it'd be one thing for me to believe I was secretly married to Juliette Binoche: quite another to fly to Paris to seek her out. Consider Donald TYump. This preposterous self-promoter has been near-ubiquitous, expressing Looney Toons notions about President Obama previously confined to emailers who write in all caps: "WHEN ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO GET AWAY FROM THE KOOL-A1D LONG ENOUGH ID START LOOKING INTO THIS MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE?" Confronted with Obama’s certified birth certificate by ABC's George by what Charles P. Pierce calls the Stephanopoulos, even noted flake Rep "Three Great Premises" of talk radio: Michelle Bachmann abandoned the "First Great Premise: Any theory is valid conspiracy theory of the president's origins. (I'm betting she already regrets this lapse into temporary sanity.) Leading Republicans such as Karl Rove and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer have argued that "birtherism" makes sensible voters think of the GOP as the Nut Party. So naturally TYump's emerged as the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination, assuming he seeks it. (T rump release his income tax records? I don't think so. The man bankrupted several casinos.) So while I don't think he believes the nonsense he spouts, what's he op to? Alas, the simplest explanation is that he's running. Prediction: Releasing Obama's "long-form" birth certificate will change few minds. You can't argue with crazy. Alas that’s merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg where GOP delusional thinking is concerned. Judging by my inbox, a large proportion of angry white men also believe that the burst housing bubble and financial meltdown of 2007-8 were caused by —wait for it—President Jimmy Carter. Syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell has popularized a version of this poisonous myth. Carter, see, signed the Community Reinvestment Act, supposedly requiring banks to make real estate loans to improvident ghetto dwellers who couldn't repay them. President Clinton, Janet Reno and Acorn then threatened lawsuits, forcing banks to make bad loans, selling them off to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and bankrupting the U.S. Treasury. I sometimes challenge'hue Believers. Never mind that no law ever encouraged bad loans, I say. Shouldn't Presidents Reagan, Bush I or Bush II have done something? Rep. Barney Frank, comes the response, prevented a vigilant George W. Bush from acting. And how did a minority congressman do that? Frank would resent being called a "minority," one guy answered. Uh oh, I think we've touched bottom. There's no point mentioning Ws advocacy of sub-prime lending to somebody with no clue how the U.S. government works. Also contrary to Republican mythology, the infamous Bush tax cuts did anything but increase revenue, as tax cuts never do. As Fiscal Times columnist Bruce Bartlett shows, federal revenues dropped from 20.6 percent of GDP in 2000 to 18.5 percent in 2007. The 2008 recession dropped them to 14.9 percent, where they linger today— the proximate cause of current huge budget deficits. Ah, but here's the tricky part. GOP delusional thinking's not merely impervious to reality. It's also not confined to the Republican Party. Every public opinion poll extant shows that large majorities of voters want no reductions to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Oh, and no new taxes. By a 2-to-1 majority, Americans also think that Congress should refuse to increase the National Debt limit, a madly irresponsible act People wouldn’t say that if they understood the consequences. Alas, sometimes the things you don’t know can also hurt you. ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Doug Miller EXT E1.216 P.O. Box 2910 AustinTX 78768-2910 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512)463-5896 STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 925 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: 888-824-6984 E-mail address: jeff. wentworth @senate.state.tx.us NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL 424 S. Castell Ave. P.O. Box 311747, New Braunfels, TX 781 SI-1747 (830) 221-4000 ■ Mayor Bruce Boyer bboyer @ nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4507 ■ Dist. 1 Councilor Richard Zapata rzapata @ nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4501 ■ Dist. 2 Councilor Mark Goodner email@example.com Telephone: Extension 4502 ■ Dist. 3 Councilor Mike Ybarra firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: Extension 4503 ■ Dist. 4 Councilor Sandy Nolte email@example.com Telephone: Extension 4504 ■ Dist. 6 Councilor Kathleen Krueger firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: Extension 4505 ■ Dist. 6 Councilor Steven Digges sdigges@ nbtexas.org Telephone:. Extension 4506...... Comal County Commissioners' Court 199 Main Plaza New Braunfels,Tx 78130 (830) 221-1100 ■ COUNTY JUDGE SHERMAN KRAUSE email@example.com Telephone: (830) 221-1105 ■ PCT. 1 COMMISSIONER DONNA ECCLESON firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: (830) 221-1101 ■ PCT. 2 COMMISSIONER SCOn HAAG email@example.com Telephone: (830) 221-1102 ■ PCT. 3 COMMISSIONER GREG PARKER firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: (830) 221-1103 ■ PCT. 4 COMMISSIONER JAN KENNADY email@example.com Telephone: (830) 221-1104
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