New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 15, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2004
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Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852,
Vol. 153, No. 134 12 pages, 2 sections
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DEAR ABBY CLASSIFIEDS COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 38Tuesday’s voter turnout wasn’t a record
■ Runoff turnout by precincts/3A
8 Editorial: Anyway you look at it, turnout low/ 4A
By Hon Maloney
Tuesday’s turnout in the Republican primary runoff — 9.9 percent of the county’s registered voters—wasn’t quite the record officials first thought.
Comal County Elections Coordinator Linnell Hinojosa said 6,088 of the county’s 61,187
registered voters cast ballots in the runoff.
The highest runoff turnout — 13.3 percent — came in the 1996 county runoff when 5,463 of 51,000 registered voters cast ballots in a pair of hard-fought, high-interest races.
In one, retired Department of Public Safety Trooper Bob Hold
er took out incumbent Sheriff Jack Bremer. The other looked more like an alley fight than an election. Precinct I Commissioner Jack Dawson outran — barely — former Comal Independent School District trustee and newspaper publisher Douglas Kirk on the way to his first term.
Hinojosa, who has marveled at this year’s Republican runoff turnout, said Wednesday she had forgotten that one eight years ago.
“I really thought this was the largest until I Ripped back to 1996,” Hinojosa said.
That was the same election in which Comal County Republi
can Party chairman Don Hensz took his job.
“That was almost a different time and a different world,” Hensz said.
Still, the turnout in this election surprised county and Republican Party officials.
“Based on early voting
See TURNOUT, Page 3A
Fund-raiser helps special athletes have chance to competeClassy to dassie
New Braunfels auto enthusiasts gear up for annual car show and swap meet
AT A GLANCE
■ New Braunfels Special Olympics Taco Cabana fundraiser
■ 5 to 9 p.m. today
■ Taco Cabana, 811 1-36 N.
■ $ 1 donation; $10,000 in prizes; 10 percent of restaurant sales go to Special Olympics Boosters
By Dylan Jimfoez
New Braunfels Special Olympians just want to participate.
Tonight, people can help these 30 local athletes get to state finals competition by coming out to Taco Cabana.
Ten percent of the restaurant’s sales tonight will go to the New Braunfels Special Olympics Boosters.
Its very important,” said Usa Laubach, project director. “It’s been our biggest
fund-raiser of the year.” People can eat and buy $1 tickets for a chance to win part of $10,000 in prizes.
This year marked the formation of the first New Braunfels Special Olympics Booster (Tub. Organizers, concerned about less school district funding, created the club. Community and business participation has been strong this year, Laubach said.
Boy Hatzfeld, Taco Cabana general manager, said the restaurant offered the fund
raiser to all nonprofits, but the Special Olympics fund-raiser was the most successful.
“They do it up right,” he said. “These are the biggest ones we ever have.” Community help this year has allowed the team to buy new uniforms, letter jackets for juniors and even organize an end-of-the-year banquet, making the Special Olympians feel more like other high school athletes, Laubach said.
“What is really awesome is
when they realize it is about them,” she said. “They get extremely excited when they get to participate in the events and in fund-raising.”
The Taco Cabana fund-raiser helps Special Olympians fund the last and one of the biggest athletic competitions of the year — track and field meets in May. These statewide competitions could take a local student to U.S. and even worldwide Special Olympics competitions.
See OLYMPICS Page 3A
4B Board to pay city $12,000 for services
By Scott Mahon
The New Braunfels Infrastructure Improvement (4B) Corporation approved a contract Wednesday that will pay the city $12,000 a year.
Chairman Matt Harrison said the contract, required by law, will reimburse the city for services the city's chief financial
^officer and city attorney provide the 4B board.
State amendments to the board’s enabling legislation require 4B boards to pay cities for the work of city staff.
Harrison said Jeff Matt Harrison 1 iinson, the city’s chief financial officer, provides accounting, financial management, record-keeping and budget services for the board.
The contract also requires the board reimburse City Attorney Charlie Zech at the rate of $150 an hour for legal counsel.
“We think Charlie’s fee is reasonable, considering what it would cost the board to hire another attorney for legal services,’’ Harrison said.
Harrison said because state law required the contract, city officials suggested a “reasonable” annual sum.
“Chuck Pinto’s original thought about the contract was if we have to do this, then it needs to be a reasonable amount," he said.
Pinto pointed out the 4B board is a separate corporation and not a part of city government.
“Technically, the 4B board is a separate corporation,” he said. “We came up with a minimal amount that the 4B board would reimburse the city because the board and the city work together.”
In May 1995, New Braunfels approved a sales tax for economic development and created the Infrastructure and Improvement (4B) Corporation to oversee use of those funds.
The board receives about $2.2 million annually revenues from sales taxes.
Donna Reyes, left, confers with her grandmother, Eunice Byrd, right, while AARP volunteer Mary Budd prepares Byrd's taxes for free Wednesday afternoon at the New Braunfels Public Library. Volunteers will help last-minute tax filers today at the Comal County Senior Citizen Center.
Procrastinators have until midnight to file taxes
By Scott Mahon
Like millions of others, Josie Reyes waited until the last minute to file her federal income tax return before tonight’s deadline.
“I know I have to pay this year because I’m self-employed,” said Reyes, who went Wednesday to the New Braunfels Public Library for help, “and I felt I needed help with my return this year.”
The IRS expects about 30 million returns will be filed today, and another IO million returns will be filed after the deadline.
Steve Stephens was trying to get his deceased grandfather's tax
return ready Wednesday with help from the AARP Foundation.
“I filed my tax return in February," he said, “but I didn’t feel comfortable filing my grandfather’s tax return by myself, so I thought I’d get some help.”
AARP tax help will be available from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. today at the Comal County Senior Center at 655 Landa St., said Gordon Shelton.
“We help mostly seniors and low-income people,” said Shelton, who has been an AARP tax help volunteer two years. “Some people just procrastinate, but others know they owe money to the IRS, so they put it off until the last day.”
To help people file on time, the
New Braunfels Post Office at 686 South Seguin Ave. will have a collection box specifically for tax returns.
“We will close at 5 p.m. today, but there will be a collection box in the lobby, and anything deposited before midnight will be postmarked April 15,” said Carl Kamish, postmaster. “We also will be helping people in line all day.”
The Canyon Lake Post Office will close at 4:30 p.m. today.
“We'll be assisting people as much as possible,” said Frank Christensen, postmaster. “But we have to close to get mail to the New Braunfels Post Office. The last mail
See TAXM, Page 3A
■ Put all required Social Security numbers on the return
■ Double-check your figures
■ Sign your form
■ Attach all required schedules
■ Taxpayers must sign and date their returns. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income
■ People expecting a refund should consider direct deposit of the refund to their bank account. Choosing direct deposit is the best way to guard against having a tax refund misplaced or stolen.
■ By April 15. taxpayers should either file a return or request an extension, which will give them until Aug. 15. The extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay