New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 9, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 148, No. 101
26 pages in 2 sections
April 9, 1999
Serving Comal County since 1852
City council candidates talk issuesBy Betty Taylor Herald-Zeitung Correspondent
Candidates for New Braunfels City Council expressed their views Thursday during a political forum conducted by the New Braunfels Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
About 60 residents gathered at the Comal County Senior Citizen Center to hear hopefuls in both the District 5 and 6 city council races and the mayoral race.
Most of the forum focused on city growth, preserving natural resources and youth programs. A more controversial topic focused on the so-called “Enterprise Zone'* along Farm-to-Market Road 306.
The May I election pits incumbent Juliet Watson against David L. Nigh in District 6, Clif Courtney against Lee M. Rodriguez in District 5, and Robert M. Kendrick and Stoney Williams for mayor.
Watson, a life-long resident of New Braunfels, was elected to the District 6 seat in May 19%. She said the city^s historic homes and neighborhoods were worth preserving, and that it also was important to keep a low tax rate.
“One of my big projects is protecting our rivers and lakes," she said.
Watson said she had been working with state senators Jeff Wentworth and Judith Zaffirini on Senate Bill 1772. The bill would allow 2 percent of the state hotel/motel tax to be used for
cleaning the Comal and Guadalupe rivers.
Watson also was concerned with transportation issues and said the widening of Interstate 35 would alleviate many transportation problems.
Nigh, an attorney, cited his involvement with the Gruene Music Fest, Communities in Schools and Glowfest when addressing the audience.
Nigh said he had three major concerns, but the transportation issue also involved the status of Walnut Avenue.
“We need to widen that street,” he said. “We are working to do that in the master plan.”
Nigh agreed with Watson and said preserva-See CANDIDATES/5A
JoAnn Yates writes down a question for New Braunfels City Council candidates before Thursday’s forum, sponsored by the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, began. About 60 residents attended the event.
Residents react to master plan revisions, discuss plans for proposed outer loop
By Chrm Crews
A proposed outer loop around New Braunfels and economic development plans for the next 20 years stood out Thursday night as city council heard public comment on the final revision of the proposed master plan.
Mike McAnelly, project manager for the city* consulting firm, Wilbur Smith Associates, said the plan was meant to be general and provided beedom for future councils to act.
“There are still a lot of specifics to be determined as you go forward with implementing this plan,” McAnelly said.
McAnelly said the plan needed to be flexible in responding to changing conditions and needs and
should be updated each year with major revisions.
More than 300 residents worked on one or more of the nine subcommittees to develop the comprehensive plan, created to plan for the city t needs for the next 20 years. The group used a growth forecast that projected a population of more than 100,000 in New Braunfels by 2020.
Mayor Jan Kennady said a special meeting of the council would be called on April 19 to vote on accepting the plan as presented. Kennady said council likely would accept the plan as a resolution rather than as an ordinance that would be legally binding.
Ironically, the vote will come two years and a day after the project to create a new master plan began with a “Future of New Braunfels” seminar on April 18, 1997.
Top, Paul Martinka voices his opposition to the economic development section of the proposed master plain at Thursday’s public hearing. Above, A full house packed city council chambers at the municipal building.
The proposed Hill Country Loop generated questions from the audience about the possibility of the right-of-way going through their property, causing a drop in values. The revised plan for the
Back to the future
SB 1772 on hold for now
Hotel/motel tax proposition awaiting appropriations bill
By Marqaret Eomomtm
A Senate bill that could bring a share of the stated hotel/motel tax revenue to New Braunfels for river cleanup is pending in a committee after a hearing Wednesday.
Senate Bill 1772, introduced by Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and coauthored by Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio), will remain in the Senate intergovernmental affairs committee until release of the appropriations bill, scheduled for sometime next week.
lf approved by the Legislature, SB 1772 would allow for 2 percent of the state hotel/motel tax collected in the city to be returned to New Braunfels for river cleanup.
Zaffirini said because the bill could cost the state more than $100,000, the committee could not approve it until the state appropriations act was passed.
“It was left pending. It was not killed,” Zaffirini said Thursday.
Legislative policy now requires that bills that affect the state budget by more
iAiCMTVAJTkoru t*ian $*00,000 be held until lawmakers WENTWORTH ^ sure the funds are available, Zaffirini said. She explained this practice was put in place by former Ll. Governor Bob Bullock as a way to stop passage of bills without adequate state funding.
Zaffirini said, “One possibility that was discussed (by the committee Wednesday) was to reduce the 2 percent to I percent as one option to reduce the impact on the state budget, and it seemed to be acceptable to Councilwoman (Juliet) Watson.”
The idea for the bill was initiated with Watson, who testified before the committee on Wednesday. Watson proposed the resolution, that was approved by city council earlier this year.
Mayor Jan Kennady, city manager Mike Shands and sev-
See SB 1772/5A
Thursday’s Gams San Antonio 92
Next Beme: at Phoenix, 9 p.m. Saturday
OSO bond election legal notices
— Pages 8-9B
Kay Cods 79
Morton named interim chief at McKenna
By Marqaret Edmonson Managing Editor
The resignation of McKenna Health System president and chief executive officer Ray Harris on Wednesday led directors to appoint Bill Morton as an interim replacement.
Morton, a former chairman of the board and president for Mission Valley Textiles, has served on the McKenna Memorial Hospital board of directors for six years.
“I look forward to working with
the staff and physicians at McKenna, who have made it the fine organization that is it and a team we will continue to be successful and meet the growing healthcare needs of the New Braunfels and surrounding areas,” Morton said. Doyle Krueger, chairman of the
health system board of directors, said the board was pleased to have someone with Morton’s background and experience.
Harris, contacted at home Thursday morning, said he decided to pursue private interests and he had several opportunities in the area.
Harris became president and CEO of McKenna Health System in August 1997. After 30 years in the hospital business, Harris said he believed it was time for a change.
During his tenure, Harris oversaw the $11 million expansion project and implementation of Heritage Health Plans.
Tim Brierty, administrator of McKenna Memorial Hospital and chief operating officer of the heath system, will report to Morton, spokeswoman Jennifer Malatek said.