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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 2, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels THURSDAY August 2, 2001 14 pages in 2 sections 14 pages in 2 sectiiHerald-Zeitung Vol, 150, No. 226Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 centsBack to school K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung NBHS secretary Gaye Walker (center) hands out Student - Parent 2001-2002 handbooks Wednesday morning. Packets are available at the Library through Friday. Completed forms are to be returned Aug 8 through 10. For a schedule of upcoming student registration, see page 4A. County approves new districts By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Comal County’s redistricting committee unanimously approved a new redistricting plan that will realign county offices and voting precincts in ways officials hope will simplify elections. The new plan, passed on an 11-0 vote Wednesday absorbs the 26,000 new residents who have moved to Comal County since 1990 and distributes the county population evenly between the four commissioners. Ta accomplish that, Pct. 3 Commissioner Cristina Zamora’s district which includes much of New Braunfels, had to grow by a population of 5,000 voters. The population of the new districts will range from Zamora’s 19,001 people to Pct. 4 Commissioner, Moe Schwab’s 19,704 people, dividing the county’s 2000 census population of 78,021 four ways.What’s Next ■ Public hearing on new voting districts and precincts, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Commissioners’ Courtroom, third floor, Comal County Courthouse Annex. ■ Commissioners vote to adopt new plan, 8:15 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 30. ■ 60-day-waiting period while U.S. Dept, of Justice reviews plan. ■ New plan tentatively becomes effective January 1, 2002. She took pieces from each of the county’s other districts, most notably Jay Millikin’s Pct. 2 and Schwab’s Pct. 4, to accomplish that. Her district, formerly 60 percent Hispanic, will become 55 percent Hispanic — still a majority, albeit a slimmer one. Zamora said Wednesday night she was satisfied with the plan and felt it protected the rights of the voters. “I feel it is a very fair and equal plan,” Zamora said. “I feel that a minority will be able to feel represented the way these lines are drawn.” But, as proposed the new plan will do more than increase the population of Zamora’s district. For the first time, it realigns Justice of the Peace and Constable districts so their numbers match the commissioners’ district they are located in. For example, Pct. I Justice of the Peace Diana Campos becomes Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace because her office and residence are located in Zamora’s district. Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace William Schroeder becomes Pct. I See DISTRICTS Tamayo picks up where he left off Ex-city manager back at helm By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer Interim City Manager Hector Tamayo plans to spend his first week on the job learning new names, recognizing old faces and trying to pick up where he left off more than seven years ago. “It’s different,” Tamayo said his first day back in the city manager’s office. “There are a lot of new faces. And I have to remember a lot of names. But some of it is the same. Everyone has been super supportive and TAMAYO    I    hope    it remains that way.” The New Braunfels City Council hired Tamayo to serve as interim city manager after Mike Shands decided to retire. Although Shands offered to stay on as city manager until October, the council decided to hire Tamayo as an interim manager and allow Shands to act as a consultant for the city. Tamayo officially took over for Shands Wednesday, August I. When he retired in 1994, Tamayo was the city manager. He said the biggest change, after nearly seven years, was adjusting to a firm schedule every day. ‘The biggest challenge is trying to get my feet planted,” he said. “I’m not used to a regular schedule — I’m used to getting up when I want, wearing what I want. But I am adjusting and am getting back on a scheduled routine.” Once he gets things orga nized in the city manager’s office, Tamayo plans to hit the streets of New Braunfels. He wants to visit the parks, the fire departments, watch city workers doing their jobs. “I want to get out in the field,” he said. “That’s where 90 percent of the employees are. I’m going to visit each fire station, go by the parks and make sure the pool is clean and safe. I’ve got to get reacquainted with the traffic projects and street construction. There are a lot of little things — all the usual things a city manager does.” Tamayo is well acquainted with the city manager’s position. He started with the city as the administrative assistant to the city manager, and served as interim city manager while city council searched for a replacement on several occasions. He held the position before he retired, after 22 years in New Braunfels city government. Tamayo’s philosophy is simple: he believes in teamwork. He said he believes departments, volunteer boards and city council should all work together. He will act as city manager until the council hires his replacement, Tamayo said. “I think it will be about 120 days,” he said. That’s how long it was when I worked before, but they’ve hired a search firm, so it may be quicker.” Whatever the length of time he serves as the chief executive officer of New Braunfels, Tamayo hopes to do a good job for the city and the city council. “I think I’ll do a good job,” he said, leaning comfortably back in his chair. “As I said before, I like teamwork. And this is a good team.” Inside Abby.......................... ......5A Classifieds................... ...4-6B Comics........................ ......8A Crossword.................. ......5A Forum.......................... ......6A Local/Metro.................. ......4A Movies.......................... ......5A Obituaries..................... ......3A Sports......................... ..1-2B Today........................... ......2A Key Code 76 Shoppers get tax break this weekend By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer It isn’t quite Christmas in August, retailers say, but its close. Local stores are stocking up on clothing and shoes, planning for additional staff and ordering supplies to be ready for the annual sales tax holiday that starts tomorrow across the state. At the New Braunfels Wal-Mart and Target stores, man agement is nearly doubling the on-duty staff for the weekend — preparing for huge crowds. “We’re going to get hit pretty hard,” Target hard-lines executive John Williamson said. ‘We’re going to have additional people here to help our guests; people to help clean up. It’s going to be big and it’s going to be crowded.” The three-day sales tax holiday, given by the state comptroller’s office and approved by the legislature, means cus tomers will not pay sales tax on a variety of items — from diapers to clothes. The sales-tax free days provide an economic shot in the arm to retailers throughout the state. According to professors at Southwest Tbxas State University say the holiday will greatly benefit retail shops. “I think the impact will be significant,” Economics Professor Dr. Paul Gowens said. See WEEKENDS CHRIS PACE/HerakJ-Zeitung Target employees Paul Adams and Brandle Murphy stock merchandise Wednesday afternoon. Merchants are preparing for this weekend’s sales tax holiday. Gator wrangling It wasn’t a fox in this henhouse By Ron Maloney Staff Writer . A five-foot alligator who made a bid for breakfast Wednesday morning in a Rusch Lane chicken coop ended up in a new home for his trouble. But he’ll enjoy square meals, a good place to nap and plenty of company at the Snake Farm, which is adjacent to where he was captured. Nora Rivera said her brother, Roberto, heard quite a commotion in their backyard at around 6 a.m. Roberto figured he had a snake in his chicken coop, trying to steal itself a few eggs. “My brother Roberto found it. He has chickens in the back and he feeds them before he goes to work. They were going crazy.” When he came in, he woke her up and told her there was a crocodile in the back yard. Was it frightening? Not to Nora. “It was little, it was like, five, six feet. It wasn’t that big,” she said. “They said it was still a baby.” Of course, she isn’t the one who roped the leathery, would-be escapee and marauder and held it for the appropriate authorities. While Roberto contemplated that very move, she called her sister, Carrie. When Carrie answered the telephone, she couldn’t believe it. “It was wild. I was still in bed, and I couldn’t find my See GATOR/7A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Robert Rivera’s new title may be “gator wrangler.” Rivera caught this poacher rousting his roosters Wednesday morning. The animal, a protected species in Texas, is suffering from nutritional problems. Snake Farm owner John Mellyn (right) wants to fatten the small 5- to 8-year-old alligator up to a healthier size and keep him at his state-licensed facility. ;