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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, April 06, 2004

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 6, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas STSr^ r* KOC rn , 1U»>0571 i.i5/16/ri5 rt!J- MADELL DR LL PASO TX 7990.5 ff,filli||,||fl|f|l|t,|||M|f||| herald-Zeitung CONTEST LICENSE PLATE The Herald-Zeitung license plate game starts today, lf you see your license plate number inside, call the newspaper by 5 p.m. to win. SPORTS POLE VAULT Pole vault duo looks for a return to the state championship track meet. Pages 5A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 126 10 pages, 1 section CL 500 WWW/1 '56825 000011 o Chance of Storms High Low 76 57 Details .... 6A DEAR ABBY 8A CLASSIFIEDS 4A COMICS 7A CROSSWORD 7A FORUM    4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 8AVoter turnout heavy during early voting By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A Comal County election official Monday reported heavy early voting in the first day of the three local Republican runoff elections. Elections Coordinator Linnell Hinojosa reported 209 voters cast ballots at the Comal County Courthouse. Early voting continues from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, in Room 104 of the Comal County Courthouse. Because of Good Friday, there will be no voting on Fri day and there will be no branch or weekend voting locations for this runoff, Hinojosa said. On the ballot are three local elections, as well as a runoff race for state railroad commissioner. In County Court-at-Law 2, appointed Judge Charles Stephens is seeking to keep the post in a contest with New Braunfels attorney Randy Gray. In the Precinct I commissioner’s contest, incumbent Jack Dawson is facing opponent Bob Wickman. In Precinct 4, constable candidates Doug Dunlap and Shane Rapp square off to determine who will replace Constable Ben Scroggin, who was redistricted into Precinct I. The runoff election will be April 13 and is open to any Comal County voter who did not vote as a Democrat in the March 9 primary. If Monday’s voting is any indication, I linojosa said voters could turn out in record numbers for a ninoff which typical ly draws about one-third of the voters who cast ballots in the primary election. “This is very good for a first day for a runoff election.’’ Hinojosa said. Front and Center Casted tells farmers: Get organized By Scott Mahon Staff Writer State Rep. Carter Casteel told local farmers Monday to get organized if they want to fight city hall over annexation. “There’s no point arguing whether the city should or shouldn’t annex,’’ said Casteel during a town meeting at the New Braunfels Civic Center. “The way to win is not to make enemies, but to find a solution, lf you get organized, you’ll discover how powerful you can be.’’ Casteel called the informational meeting to .address the mounting concerns of farmers. “A lot of you contacted me over the past year, and I became concerned about your future in light of annexation,” she said. “So I thought we should get together and talk about options.” Also at the meeting were Guadalupe County Commissioner Judy Cope, District 6 Councilman Ken Valentine, Planning Commission members Acie McAda and Cheryl Casteel, Comal County commissioners Jan Kannady, Jack Dawson and Jay Minikin, and City Attorney Charlie Zech. Casteel said she invited representatives from the Texas Legislature, the Texas Farm Bureau and the Texas Department of Agriculture to the meeting. "IVey Burke, an attorney for state Rep. Anna Mow-ery of Fort Worth, said the annexation of rural farm and ranch land is an issue all over the state. “The cities are holding die cards right now,” he said. See CASTEEL Page 3A MANDY REARY/Herald-Zeitung Farmers listen as Casteel tells them to get organized if they want to fight annexation efforts. NBISD trustees listen to public about changing tax year By Dylan Jim6nez Staff Writer lust three New Braunfels school district taxpayers addressed trustees Monday about changing the tax year to be in line with all other Texas school districts. To get more information to the public, trustees called another workshop to discuss the issue. The district has met several times to discuss whether to make the change but took time Monday to hear exclusively from the public. The district’s tax year is unique among Texas school districts and the district currently levies taxes against values that are more than a year old. Moving the tax year ahead six months would bring in about $645,000 of extra income this year because taxes would be assessed on more current (and therefore higher) property value assessments. Changing the tax year would allow district officials to decrease the tax rate 1.2 cents. TWO of the three people who spoke to trustees asked that the district clarify the move to change the tax year. "My request is that you set a workshop where you explain every detail of this,” said Anita Stipnieks, a former district employee. She said the district has not done an adequate job of informing the public. Information on changing the tax year is available at the public information page of the district’s Web site, But trustees agreed Monday to hold another workshop April 13 and President Jorge Maldonado urged public attendance. Getting the tax year in line with the rest of the state would make it easier for school district officials and district auditors to track district money, district officials say. The tax year also would be in line with the rest of the taxing entities in the county. In Monday’s public hearing, Steve Taylor, local lawyer who has collected delinquent taxes for the district many years, agreed. “T he confusion alone would be enough to move the tax year," he said. Lights out possibility at Tamiga Acres By Ron Maloney Staff Writer BULVERDE — The power is still on at Tamiga Acres mobile home park, but it could well go out today. Comal County Criminal District Attorney Dib Waldrip told theTessye Maurer family Monday night it has until today to see that $158,000 is deposited with district court to pay for needed septic work at the _ park.    Dib Waldrip The park is now home to about 30 families. “The bottom line is the (money) is not in the registry of the court to ensure the work that needs to be done can be paid for,” Waldrip said, adding that he had no confidence the Maurers, who own the park, would be able to make sure it happens. One of Maurer’s sons, Michael, said the family has a buyer for the park who See TAMIGA. Page 3A City votes to limit tax rate By Scott Mahon Staff Writer The New Braunfels City Council voted Monday to limit any tax increase to 36.38 cents, or .73 cents less than last year's tax rate, which was 37.11 cents. That would be three percent above this year’s effective tax rate of 35.32. The effective tax rate is the rate that would generate the same amount of tax revenues as last year when levied against the most recent tax roll. Monday’s vote was unanimous. Although a tax rate of35.32 cents would fund the proposed 2005 general fund budget, council said it wanted die option of increasing the rate if necessary. But by voting not to increase the tax rate more than 3 percent above this year’s rate, council avoided additional public hearings required by law. During past budget workshops, council considered increasing the tax rate to as much as 42 cents per $100 valuation: however, City Manager Chuck Pinto said Monday the proposed 2005 budget could See TAX. Page 3A MANDY REARY/Herald-Zeitung State Rep. Carter Casteel talks with local farmers Monday about how to be prepared to fight city council over annexation. The informational meeting was held to address concerns farmers may have about the issue. 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