New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 19, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2011Zeitung
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
*’ *■ ' !Man enters plea for Walmart parking lot stabbing
By Will Wright
With his trial date approaching, a man charged with stabbing a New Braunfels woman in a Walmart parking lot last summer decided to plead guilty on Monday.
Assistant District Attorney
Sammy McCrary said Juan Leandro Villarreal, 47, pleaded guilty to the aggravated robbery of a 64-year-old woman on July 25,2010.
pleaded “true” to two enhance
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*' v S
ment paragraphs alleging two prior felony convictions that make him eligible to spend the rest of his life in prison.
A life sentence is exactly what McCrary plans to seek at Villarreal’s sentencing hearing, tentatively set to begin before District Court Judge Jack Robison on May 12.
“I’m going to ask for him to go to prison for the rest of his life,” McCrary said. "We were set to go to trial anyway, but he decided he didn’t have much of a chance. Now there’s only the matter of his punishment. We’ll show all the evidence and show what kind of a person he is so we can get rid of him.”
The woman, who received six stab wounds, recovered. Villarreal, who ran away from police and was later found hiding in the wocxls in Landa Park, was arrested and taken to the Comal County Jail, where he’s been held ever since under $100,000 bond.
The Texas Department of
Public Safety lists Villarreal as a convicted sex offender. He was convicted of the aggravated sexual assault of a 2-year-old girl in 1989 and given a 20-year prison term. However, McCrary said Villarreal was on shock probation prior to that offense.
See STABBING, Page 2
► 2011-12 BUDGET
NBISD Board examines next year’s cuts, savings
By Will Wright
No matter what the Texas Legislature decides to do about financing public schools, the New Braunfels Independent School District feels it will be able to weather the blow — at least for this year.
During the NBISD’s monthly trustees meeting Monday night, Superintendent Randy Moczygemba presented an updated list of cuts — and savings — for 2011 -12, which now total nearly $4.4 million. The figure is more than double the district’s last estimate, which was calculated before more than 120 probationary teachers resigned or were terminated, and several more term-contracted professionals tendered their resignations.
The NBISD is still accepting those resignations, and will pay $5,000 to at least 25 employees who choose to resign. Moczygemba said three more have resigned since the offer was approved during last week’s special board meeting, bringing the total of early retirees to 16. Nine more must accept those terms by 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 6 for all to receive the bonus.
Moczygemba said all of the resignations, retirements and terminations will figure into class size ratios, which will increase at all levels next year.
The district’s next huge chunk of savings comes from reductions in special education, which are projected to save $621,438. That confused some board members, who worried of an extreme cut to that program. However, assistant superintendent Victoria Pursch said that wasn’t the case because the total mainly represents an accounting shift between federal and state funding to the local level, and that the only positions lost came through attrition.
“The NBISD has been spending more money in special education than is being earned by the district through the weighted funding formula for special education, so the $621,000 reduction is the first attempt to bring the special education spending in line with revenues earned,” Pursch said. “Some of these savings can be attributed to attrition and reclassification of positions to other special program funds. Services to special education students will not be negatively impacted.”
A smaller smattering of savings — $369,600 — will come
See NBISD, Page 2
‘It’s time to take action’
Laura McKanzie / Herald-Zeitung
New Braunfels City Secretary Patrick Aten reads names of possible appointees to the Wastershed Advisory Committee at Monday night's New Braunfels City Council meeting.
NB councilors to focus on drainage issues
By Greg Bowen
The New Braunfels City Council will focus on drainage issues in the coming weeks in a full-throttle effort to tackle the problem Mayor Bruce Boyer temied “a touchstone issue” for oft-flooded New Braunfels.
In a Monday workshop session on possible fees to fund drainage improvements, Councilor Mark Goodner bemoaned the lack of progress on drainage issues since the landmark series of public drainage meetings held in the aftermath of the June 9 flood.
“Let’s work on (drainage) only, for the next 30 days,’’ Goodner proposed. “It’s by far the most important thing we have in front of us. Our people are telling us: ‘Help us in this area.’”
Mayor Pro Tern Kathleen Krueger agreed, saying drainage is “the city’s most urgent problem.”
“We’ve had since June 9. I think it’s time for us to take action,” Krueger said. “I’m ready to do that.”
City Manager Mike Morrison said the council will likely have to take up other issues as well, but workshops on drainage matters will be scheduled for the next four or five consecutive Mondays and the regular meeting, too, will include drainage topics.
“There’s a desire on everybody’s part to move forward,” Morrison said.
During a break, Morrison noted that the city has been focusing on drainage issues
and has made progress.
He ticked off a list: Preliminary engineering has been done on the 19 drainage projects costing more than $56 million that were identified as much-needed during the public drainage meetings; flood-warning sirens have been put in place; a preliminary analysis has been done on upgrading city drainage standards, which citizens during the public hearings said fail to protect neighborhoods and parks from runoff from new development: the council has funded the North Tributary and Gruene Crossing drainage projects; and work continues on the South Trib.
Morrison also pointed out that much work had gone into the report that was being reviewed by council on Monday concerning proposed fees that could be established to help fund drainage work.
But, Morrison said, progress has been slower in other areas. For instance, a discussion on upgrading drainage standards hasn’t yet come before council and will be among “the conversations that we’re going to have.”
During Monday’s fees workshop, Mayor Boyer spoke of the need for strengthening the current drainage standards. Boyer said the city has to show its citizens that progress is being made on the standards.
Public Works Director Steve Ramsey reviewed for council a proposed stormwater utility fee, which would be assessed to
See DRAINAGE, Page 2
City Council chooses Watershed Advisory Committee members
By Greg Bowen
Mayor Bruce Boyer appointed City Councilor Mike Ybarra on Monday to head the city's new Watershed Advisory Committee, which will help guide drainage-system improvements in New Braunfels.
“I thought it was important to have one of our city council members in charge of this committee,” said Boyer, who added that Ybarra acted as a mediator of sorts in recent drainage negotiations and has experience on the planning and zoning commission.
Chosen by council vote from among the 30-some applicants to the nine-member committee were:
• Landscaping contractor David Will, representing landscape planners, architects and arborists.
• Sharon Levett, representating biological and environmental interests.
• Real estate broker Craig Hall, representing developers.
• Retired pastor Frank Dietz, representing agricultural landowners.
• Civil engineer Rick Myrick, representing engineers.
• Civil engineer Stephen Hanz, representing the business community.
• Bill Kotylo, president of Standard Casualty, and Mike Norris of Management Professionals Inc., representing homeowners’ associations.
• Retired school administrator Ron Reaves, represening citizens at large.
“We have a very talented group here,” said Chairman Ybarra.
The committee members will serve staggered three-year terms.
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► MAY 14 ELECTION
CISD board hopefuls raise more than
By Will Wright
There will be a newcomer to the Comal Independent School District’s board of trustees later this spring, as Dale Dehlin and Nancy Pappas compete to succeed District 4 incumbent Donna Holmes.
According to campaign finance filings, there’ll be a lot more spent on this seat compared to the lone trustee’s race in the New Braunfels Independent School District.
Both Comal trustee candidates have raised a total of $1,300 in cash and in-kind donations for their contest, compared to only $302 raised by NBISD board hopefuls.
Each district will hold trustees elections on Saturday, May 14. The NBISD has already canceled the election for its District 4, where no one filed to challenge incumbent Joe Hassmann. CISD called off its District 3 race when no one opposed board vice president Frank Baker.
David McDaniel and board president Rigo Montero will face off for NBISD s District 2 position, where the incumbent, Montero, has raised $302 compared to none for McDaniel. The Comal ISD race is already much more active financially, with Pappas leading in cash and the number of contributors.
Through seven contributors including herself, Pappas has raised $595 in cash, compared to $200 for Dehlin. Dehlin, who tossed in $100 for his own cause, also counts an in-kind donation of $500 for printing expenses.
Pappas has spent $233.55 to date, compared to none for Dehlin. Both finance reports were reported and sworn before the April 14 deadline.
Early voting for each race with be held from May 2-10 at the Comal County Elections Annex at 345 Landa St., which is the old Lifechek Drug Store building. The general election will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.
Vol. 158, No. 136 12 pages, 1 section