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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 21, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEWiUk I vHerald-Zeitung ---- — ---J— ---I—■    ——-—--    ——-—        ... ——-—— Vol. 149 No. HO 18 pages in 2 sections April 21, 2000 Friday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Candidates sound off at forum By Heather Todd Staff Writer Candidates in the District 3 and 4 city council races cited managing city growth and the future of a $32.72 million bond proposition as top priorities facing New Braunfels during a candidate forum Thursday night. More than a dozen local residents attended the forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters - Comal Area, to pose key questions to candidates running for office in the May 6 election. Residents can participate in early voting 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Comal County Courthouse annex Room 101 through May 2. Special voting hours will be offered 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 29. District 3 candidate Don Talley, a special agent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said he supported propositions 2,3,4,5 and 6, but was not in support of proposition 7, which proposes to widen Walnut Avenue. His opponent, Gale O’Hara Pospisil, a residential real estate appraiser, said she felt strongly about street and drainage improvements (proposition I) but did not support widening Walnut Avenue. District 3 candidate Debbie Flume, a self-employed businesswoman, could not attend the forum. In terms of managing the city’s growth, Pospisil U'j I?pTTAM said city council needed I—I Ivy IM to listen to city staff and    q input from residents and    vy    v./vJ use the master plan as a mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm guideline.    ■ Information on an Pospisil also said the    upcoming candidate city needed to have a    forum sponsored by plan for infrastructure    local media/4A improvements and look at the need for higher education services and facilities. “As we grow, we need to take a serious look at what can be done in the area of higher education,’’ she said. Talley said, “We need to revise our building, architecture and zoning codes so we can have an impact on what the community is going to look like.” Talley said the biggest challenge facing the local community was future development. When questioned about how the city could save money, Talley said he would like to see the general fund balance maintained and use the interest to fund capital improvement projects. Pospisil said the city should look at privatizing some city services to save money. In a written statement, Flume said she supported propositions funding law enforcement and fire department improvements, the activity center and Special Election I, which eliminates using hotel/motel tax money on a convention center without another public vote. In the District 4 race, candidate Mary Cameron Wall, director of managed care at Alamo City Medical Group, said the biggest challenge facing New Braunfels was growth and improving infrastructure. “I support proposition I. We need these things in this community,” she said. Pryor, a life insurance agent, said, “This bond issue is the biggest challenge right now. It’s going to determine a portion of the future of this city.” Pryor also said he supported funding street and drainage improvements. Pryor also said the city council’s first priority should be to follow through on the decision of voters on the bond propositions. “The master plan is a guide, but the voters are going to See FORUM/3A Inside Abby................................5A Classifieds.......................3-8B Comics...............................7A Crossword..........................5A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies..................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports............................1-2B Today.................................2A Television................................7A Key Code 76 Schlitterbahn prepares for season opening By Ron Maloney Staff Writer It’s self-billed with good reason as “the hottest, coolest time in Texas,” it’s right in downtown New Braunfels and it’s opening April 29 with its customary splash. It’s Schlitterbahn, that kind of quirky, funky and homey Henry family water-park resort that was called “America’s favorite” this past year in a major amusement trade journal. Schlitterbahn sits on two parcels of land along the Comal River totaling about 60 acres with more than 40 attractions and about 220 guest rooms and cabins. Beginning April 29, it is open weekends. Beginning May 20, it opens daily for the summer months. And this year, the waterpark that brought attractions with stylized German names like “BlastenhofT” and “Surfenburg” to nationwide recognition is revisiting its humbler 1979 beginnings with a restoration of its landmark replica Belfried Tower, guard tower of the Solms Castle in Braunfels, Germany. But it isn’t just a restoration — a new tubing river will replace the tower’s original four waterslides and help cre ate a quarter-mile tubing ride. Schlitterbahn officials say it will become the “centerpiece of a highly-themed addition designed to look like a medieval German castle.” This week, Schlitterbahn is in the middle of its annual windup. For Terri Adams, park general manager, this is the biggest grind of the year, bui you’d never be able to tell. She’s full of energy and enthusiasm — and she’s excited about Schlitterbahn. She should be. Adams has poured a 22-year professional career into Schlit-See SCHLITTERBAHN/3A The landmark replica Belfried Tower is being restored and will become the centerpiece of a themed addition designed to look like a medieval German castle. K. JESSIE SLATEN/ Herald-Zeitung Commissioner candidate releases IRS filings GOP opponent refuses challenge to do the same By Erin Magruder Staff Writer Democratic candidate for Guadalupe County Commissioner Pct. 3 Rick Svatora has been revealing a lot about himself lately. Svatora voluntarily filed copies of his income taxes from the past four years with the Guadalupe County Elections Office and challenged his opponent, Republican incumbent Jim Wolverton, to do the same. But Wolverton said he would have no part of the request. “I have no idea why he’s doing it,” Wolverton said Thursday. “This is not required, it’s only required on a judicial level. “My salary with the county is an open record, and anyone who wants to know is welcome to obtain it,” Wolverton said. “And if my Democratic opponent chooses to publish his (income taxes) at the elections office or on the front page of newspapers, that is totally up to him.” Guadalupe County Commissioners are paid an annual taxable income of $45,000 per year. Svatora said accountability to the voting public was his reason for making available his personal and corporate IRS filings for the past four years. “I believe voters should know as much about their candidates as possible before the election,” Svatora said. “If I am elected, I will continue to release my tax records .... If you are asking for the confidence and trust of the taxpayers, I think they need to know you can manage your own money as well as theirs.” As of press time Thursday, Svatora’s tax records were not available to the Herald-Zeitung. Svatora and Wolverton, who is nearing the end of his first term in office, will square off in the November general election in the predominantly Republican county. Svatora has worked for the past four years as the legislative director for State Senator Rodney Ellis, who represents Houston. Svatora was unchallenged in the March 14 Democratic primary. Wolverton overtook Republican primary opponent Robert Thomas in the primary by winning 57.5 percent (1,594 votes) compared to Thomas’ 42.5 percent (I, I ll votes). Precinct 3 covers the western edge of Guadalupe County from the edge of New Braunfels and San Marcos to Cibolo and Schertz. More than eggs cooking this weekend Swap meet, play and egg hunts slated during holiday From Staff Reports Linda Haberman spent much of Thursday boiling eggs for Saturday’s American Legion Easter egg hunt — about 60 dozen of them. She’s counting on ■ Easter service times/ 8A, 9A plenty of people, but the Legion’s is only one of at least two Easter egg hunts in New Braunfels this weekend — and it won’t be the largest event in town, holiday or not. The largest secular event this weekend has nothing to do with the holidays. The New Braunfels Swap Meet will take place today, Saturday and Sunday at the Comal County Fairgrounds on Common Street. This eighth annual meet, operated by Barney and Louise Calvert (620-5950), will be a flea market and showcase for old cars, motorcycles, automotive memorabilia and parts featuring up to 1,000 vendors from as far away as New York, Florida and California. “We’ve got a big event going on out here,” Barney Calvert said Thursday afternoon while parking cars. “We have a combination of everything automotive you can imagine. There’ll be cars — probably IOO for sale in the car corral, not to mention the ones in the vendor spaces — parts and related items. Anything that goes along with a car can be found here. There’ll be a few old motorcycles, service station signs, antique gas pumps — anything you can think of.” The swap meet opens at 8 a.m. each day and runs until.. .well.. .whenever. “Some people are out here even after dark, using their generator-powered lights,” Calvert said. Admission is free to the public. There is a $3 parking fee. See WEEKEND/3A Historical gathering planned today By Erin Magruder Staff Writer Little more than 155 years ago on Good Friday, German immigrants first crossed the Guadalupe River into New Braunfels. The date was March 21,1845. Weary from their long journey — in which disease and other hardships took the lives of many — and without a church in which to worship, the devoutly religious settlers gathered under an elm tree to remember the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus. The immigrants stood underneath the great tree — which now would be located in the middle of Coll Street near downtown New Braunfels — on die most solemn of days for Christians. But the immigrants also celebrated great joy on this day. They were thankful for the warm earth beneath them and the vast, open green before them that was fed by the life-giving river. It was indeed, a Good Friday. And the settlers created a rich legacy of good people, good commerce and the promise of a good life only befitting the “City of a Prince.” All New Braunfels residents will have the chance to once again gather in fellowship today at the annual community service from noon to I p.m. at the New Braunfels Presbyterian Church, 373 Howard Street. And although the elm tree has long since been cut down, the universal message of Jesus will be in the hearts of residents today as it was in the hearts of the founders so many years ago. K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung The New Braunfels Swap Meet is at the fair grounds starting today, with all types of collectables and antiques, such as these ‘Yesteryear’s” items. Gas prices being what they are, owner Richard Moths has these two guarding the pump. ;