New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 14, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Dave Kramer. Editor and Publisher Jim Webre. Managing Editor
Herald-Ze/fung, New Braunfels. Texas
Tuesday. April 14,198?
The Herald-Zeitung welcomes correspondence. AH letters should be signed and include an address or telephone number The newspaper reserves the right to edit.
Letters should be sent to Forum, New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328, or brought to our offices at 186 S. Caste!!.
Editorial on target
“Harold” is to be complimented for an excellent editorial in the Sun day April 12 issues of the Herald-Zeitung. The editorial. “Tort reform question of money and emotion.” is right on target Everyone will agree that it is a complicated issue, but as “Harold” stated in the editorial, it should not be decided on the kind of advertising Texans Against Tort Reform is using
Everyone will agree that tort reform won t prevent drunk driving but as the editorial stated, “one can only wonder what this child is doing in the truck's path, alone and atter dark in the first place ” I too have seen many times recently that conv mer leal on TV. This type of adver-tisment is ludicrous
There recently appeared an aru cie in a well read magazine that stresses the need for tort reform The author of the article, a member of the legal profession, a graduate of Harvard Law School magna cum Laude, among other things, stated “our legal system, the prime sup port of our freedoms, is burdened by too many laws, too many lawsuits and too much greed ” It should also be noted that former Chief Justice of the I S Supreme Court Warren Burger said some time ago. “Hostility towards the legal profession has grown in the past decade, and ii lawyers do not regulate themselves, the govern ment will "
Oettrge E No wot ny Yew Braunfels
Easement sale enrages
I would like to bring to your atten Hon a matter which should be of im mediate interest to all of our townspeople who are not fortunate enough to own river propers but yet do enjoy our local rivers tor family recreation City council is currently considering selling off the Faust Street bridge river easement to a private citizen I am enraged'
The Faust Street bridge ease ment to the Guadalupe River is us cd dailu by many many citizens in our town who enjoy fishing off the Mission Valles Dam Denying our own townspeople the right to our river by selling the easmrny is a
sin. and I urge the city council to reject such an offer
To the editor:
I would like to thank you for the effort which you gave to the feature about our New Braunfels Middle School vocational education that program
reduce the number of dropouts provide meaningful programs to meet the needs of students Through your article, you were able. I thought, to focus on students' achievements and goals I cannot begin to stress the long term importance that your article will have tor students Thank you again for your interest in our students
\pita Stipnieks Director. Secondary Education Balloon finders wanted
Dear editor On March 2u. our school. Nor thwest Crossing Elementary iii Be\ ar County held a ballon launch, sponsored by Weekly Reeder Books We launched approximately Hon helium tilled ballons each with an attached note asking the finder to please w rite back and tell us something about himself and where the ballon was found We are happy to tell you that five of our ballons were found fly residents of your area They were found by Mr and Mrs Earl V\ Williamson of Spring Branch and tiy Tracy Hilham. Mrs Marie O'Connor, Mrs Yvonne Schmidt, and Mr Jack Chadwick allot Bulverde Each of them sent an in foresting, informative letter We have a large map of Texas on a bulletin board, w it ti pins marking where eat Ii of our ballons were found Surrounding the map are copies of the letters sent by the various ballon finders Thanks to good neighbors our students are learning about com munication friendliness and Texas We want to let you and your readers know how much we appreciate the letters, and how much we would like to hear from others who have found ballons fait have riot yet had a chance to respond Thank sou
\ancy Holler /’ H Hep resent at ixe
HEV I WHAT HAPPENED \
TO TUE EDITORIAL- / CARTOONIST
( HEV/!! WHERE THE HECK I are Sou goiwg
Tare we ll. , adp \ "cZEVfyoou FAUS J
EDITOR'S NOTE: Cartoonist Dote Williams will discontinue his regular features tor the Herald Antling etft\tive Wednesday, April 15* with a anal Townspeople cartoon In Pete's words. ‘Due to an increasing workload in my (regular1 job, I am just not able to do quality cartoons any more at this time Pete will continue a part et tht‘ editoriat content of the new spaper through a series of caricatures and graphics on an as needini basis
Why I stopped appearing on ‘60 Minutes
\s a writer and as an observer I'm ill at ease tieing observed Tm uncomfortable with Hi** degree of well knownness that has come to me since I began appearing on "Ho Minutes as a commentator Strangers e\p«*et more from me than I'm willing to give when they Mop me on tile strtH-t or come up to me in a restaurant We're desperate tor heros in Mnerit a and p**nple quickly endow public tigures w it ti virtues they don't have
Recently in support of st ricking friends who belong to the Writers Guild of America of which I am also a member I declined to apjiear on **o Minutes' until the* issue-' were resolved It has brought me the kind of attention usually reserv cd for the families of hostages Everyone it seems wants to interview me
Earlier this week CBS made a public an nouncement that it would no longer pay me My pay is absurdly high tieing somewhere in tn-t ween baseball player's and that of th** President of tfa* I mted States It was a move on (‘Bs part that I expected it could hardly do other wim*, hut I was surprised that it put out a press release* announcing it While I hat! made no et fort to contact newspapers with my spiry it would have t**en pointless for me to take my stand if no one knew atxiut it By making the an
nouncement. CBS made millions of people who might not otherwise have known it aware that I would not tie appearing on **o Minutes until the strike was over The CBS announcement pi odin ed a second avalanche of phone calls for me \s I write this it is Wednesday April h since 7 ii Hits morning I have had 41 phone V alls from repiners I wo * amora crews appaered at my kitchen dooi \ photographer is sitting in a car across the street from my hous** this minute waiting for me to emerge In my professional lite as a reporter I have asked enough people enough questions to have formed Hie opinion that most va thoM* who wouldn t talk were hiding .something I haw* nothing to hide and I vt* answered questions I would flow ever tie pleased it reporters sjient less time v ailing mi* and more time finding out wtiat tti** differences are between ( KS arui Hie Writers Guild Whv so much emphasis on me and so little vin Hie issues
\n a report el myself I have questions Why won t the negotiators make clear what s going on or isn t anything going on Why doesn t i Bs want tti** issues arbitrated tty a federal mediator It app*ars as though < Bs is afraid tit an impartial judge of the issues The chief negotiant! fin ( Bs had lo ask what
fit* cal levi one of the giay h»-.« is St - an answer when I asked to t>e admitted tv lf <■ meetings as an observe! lf tie doest; t haw the power to s.iv yes or no to a petty qu«-stioi Vt h Hum me wtiat power (Ivies h«* have to vimmit < Ifs ti, anything Is he a negotiator with no power to negotiate It s v rues joke on the psq «• waiting without paychecks for a solution ITve second cruel jose or "< st. Km* writers was the announcement t v ( Bs Hits wt-ek that it paid former President lorn Wyman who was fired a lump sum of S4 million sever aru *• pav and will Continue to p.iv him v4«* IOO veal (rom the lest of his lift it ( Bs lives that long Imagine what thev d pav him it ti** vt t«*en sui v ess ful
How aril Stringer ( Bs Nows presi lint and Ism Hewitt HU Minutes producer ore on my side but can't admit st I hoi ta ■ n i s|d«-because then mb rest is news j-tog!attuning not money I hoi tx»tr live Hit it w. D Dot Hewitt would wink tor or» tenth ot .vt,at f;. s paid and Howard Stringer to* work tor ora ti ith of wha' Don Is paid They st my lia r is even though thev ie veiled at na af 'n. ontii I flop*
our friendship survive i this *, \- tut CHS
stopping my salary it meat t t * Jig my
business rn Hie t Bs a .«f« ’»•:
Guest ColumnInnovative ways to be efficient and save taxpayers’ money
By 8 DAVIS JACKSON
Would it make sense to you it a businessman said he was losing money because his sales increased" Doesn t that seem backwards9 Yet that is how City Hall explains our city' s budget deficit Finance Director Jim Jeffers says the reason the i its A expenses exceed its revenue is not bureacracv but because the city grows too fast T he city manager and council seem to blithely accept thisoxymorn and propose a tax increase, the media dutifully reported it arid none dare actually think about its meaning But how can it be true 9 Growth means more people houses, jobs and businesses T hey pay the same property taxes, sales taxes, utility bills garbage collection fees auto registration tees, permit lees and other items a> we pay w ho were here before them So they are paying for whatever sen ices they use As a matter of fact, they are contributing a surplus I bis is a technical point but easily understood by business people The component of taxes winch paul for fixed costs before the growth, is also rn the rates paid by the taxpayers add ed from growth But we set that rate based on prev urns volume, so the fixed cost portion of rates paul by new tax payers is surplus Attached is my analysis of the changes in the (Tty s budget from 1985 H4 actual»to I HHT HR proposed I used the March ll computer runs presented to council at your budget workshop The conclusion clearly emerging from this analysis is that growth has helped narrow the deficit. it is greatly expanded managemenbt and regulatory ex peditures that have widened our deficit There is now a ll percent larger remaineder left over from General Receipts after paying for our health and safety functions than rn 1984 and that the general receipts subsidy required try Parks and Recreation ex penditures has shrunk 2 5 percent But the subsidy required for Administrative expenditures has nearly tripled since iyK4 rising from $;5*>o, 128 to $1,018,492' Administrative expenditures have risen from by 72 percent in these* four years, while health and safety rose* just 52 percent The city s expanding deficit is indisputably fueled by bureaucracy You are being asked by staff to increase taxes so the budget will balance I doubt the citizens will appreciate paying more taxes so an ever larger bureaucracy can find more ways to run our lives By the way regulatory fees was the only major category of receipts to drop since 1984"
Regulatory expenditures went up 85 percent making it more difficult to do business in New Braunfels because of
additional delays permit applications, rulings inspei lions studies, etc Fees paul by businesses declined I percent while other receipts grew iii percent
Dus is tti** anti business syndrome at work lf you smother business with taxes and regulatory interference you will get less business Not only is that plain common sense it is also now proved by our own city budget’
Here are some suggestions tor reducing expenditures while still delivering essential services Some involve merely asserting better control over the city’s financial procedures wfille others are daring ideas of how we might do things differently
The March 31 budget proposal contains two errors wfilch would Im* a disgrace to any businessman First is presenting departments with incomplete comparative data tor prior years The parks and budget split into new categories this year, making it hard to discover that Hu-overall parks budget rises by SIM otto If> percent
.second ts the release of the budget report with a i '.bo,two error tnt it A $40.UM) Hem w as entered as $4oo oui and not spotted until after the report's releast* Is tins in dicative of the care with which expenditures are approv
T he budget seeks $1 3 million for ‘other services and charges This is where studies, consultants and expense accounts hide What does the City get for this $1 5 million9 How much in salary and allowances are employees paid"
You are supposed to set policy , w ithout useful informa tion you cannot do that effectively Decide on the iii foramtion you desire about thge city's financial results and then demand ttiat the city's accounting producres tie arranged to provide that data
1 Save parks maintenance by contracting with area high school bands to pick up trash in the parks The kids are always seeking fund raisers and this would lie a steady one The city could save some full time pay and benefits costs
2 Save on liability insurance by transferring the (Tty's assets to a separate trust and then conducting the (Tty s business as a corporation w ith meager assets Drop our liability coverage and rely on bankruptcy to ward off ex cessive judgements People tend not to sue when there is nothing to collet
3 Sell NBD in a public stock offering Well run. pro (Bable utilities command handsome prices in today s stock market The cash proceeds would provide a cushion and an alternative to hurriedly boosting tax rates to pay tor things which long term growth in out tax base might solve in due course
4 Instead ot paying police officers to drive around in patrol cars and paying garbage* truck drivels tee drive around iii garbage trucks have the police oil leers drive garbage trucks The garbage collection routes M*em just as effective as any other patrol design and probably would enhance citizen contact with police Instead ut a patrol cruising by and missing you a police officer would stop at your driveway twice a week
Rig the trucks to carry a motorcycle and lattice so th** officer can respond to emergencies and we will have a more productive force We would use* their driving time lop accomplish not only patrols hut also garbage collet Hon
5 ( Mter a discount to people who submit their insurant e papers as evidence of market value for assessing proper tv taxes This saves appraising expenses and rentiers ac curate value Hartdy anyone carries less insurance Hum a property s replacement cost'
»> offer regulatory functions as optional services rather than mandatory rules Instead of compelling clee trie tans to buy permits and get their jobs inspected, otter to certify their work as meeting your code But charge a hefty tee tor this service NOU will find reputable electricians and builders declining your service People don’t ne**d you checking on Gene Rutherford Penny Wingfield Cecil Coleman Reno Engel and the like we trust them to do what's right Bear in mind that the building codes are designed to pro lect us (rom unsafe buildings, yet in a tree market no one has an incentive to build an unsafe structure'
A tree market holds each accountable for (us ow ii work and ruins those participating in shoddy jobs Desire to In* employed and feed their family next year prevents men doing poor work today Tenants will not wnat to leaM* space in an unsafe building employees won t want to work there, customers won t want to shop ttiere. the banks won t want to loan money for it and the insurers won t want to write coverage on it So we won t have any unsafe buildings it you just leave people alone'
Consider that building codes actually create an incen five tor unsafe buildings by enabling builders to transfer* responsibility tor their work It a contractor can tool or bribe the inspector, and get substandard work passed, then the contractor can later say. “Gosh, it s not my fault, my work met code specifications' ”
The actual result building codes achieve, as w ith many government functions, is opposite the intended goal Saving us from a bogus threat, they encourage the very danger they purport to curb
7 Arrange tor the* jxicpie certain functions ic pay to! ambulances literary and j* from cat ti s«-f \ i,« ar I In I while pay mg more* (co t
mt« i ••'test in
*\atopies are who tee net it*
Ihev v an gain
v ti. ion
«• pius nemtM't
arr at in action*
make* am ig economic tee service a w.iv Hm*
s»*rv ic »* and
txMikstnre hoie ti attic ships Have* * aint so on and prizes
hoi instance d«x > money from dead (eat interest in maintain wbleb keeps patients .cliv** tin medical profession t an taxi over profit from it
Similarly turn the literary
o|e**l atcel I la* Iii! • ce! .iddlt : .t would Im* attractive ofter tibia annual contests in writing jxxti with college scboiai ships oi « vc* only literary ineinte**rs can enter t
As (oi parks mamb o,mc t otter , emu series land si*ap«* rights in a portion ut the park ii return for their doing maintenance chon . I ta* chance to display their work in highly v isibie spots w it bout tim mg to buv eel lease additional Lind seems an atttractive bargain y ou would spruce up the pal ks at nee c cest
I here must In* countless othei possibilities (oi saving taxpayers dollars lev creative sharing ce! opportunities between government and citizens \uto mechanic classes repairing city vehicles si*moi citizen volunteers answer mg phones for the polit e high schceol c ompute) and ac counting classes doing tin* city s and appraisal district s keypunc h work and so cen
liaising tuxes should tee* a last resort and one agreed tee by taxpayers, rather than the automatic and only answer proposed
II you install an attitude cd serving Hie people of get ting the job done of teeing oriented tow aret r esults instead of procedures ot having fun sharing lift with citizens then creative ideas can flourish the c ity s budget will become productive and efficient
But it we continue the approach that city hall knows best and is going tee run our lives see we just have to knuckle under and pay whatever budget czars demand then we will suffer an expensive unfriendly government so w rapped up in its fog of conventional procedures that it forgets to serve rather than rule
I have offered you atxcut a dozen ideas VS uh 25.000 pee pie in New Braunfels there are probably too duo ideas waiting to be heard lf you create an em I roil ment which welcomes and tries new ideas, you will receive them We will all profit
Jackson is a cert dial public accountant