New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 7, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, August 7, 2005
Resignation puts voters in control
Not everyone can run, but all residents in the area can register to vote, look at the issues, talk to the candidates and cast their vote to decide who should serve on the council.
list more than two months after she won a difficult campaign for the District 6 council seat, Lynn Limmer resigned last week, claiming family concerns would prevent her from serving.
The news was shocking to some and saddening to many. But Limmer’s decision also provides an opportunity for city residents to help decide the future of their city.
With Limmer absent two weeks ago, city council voted 3-3 to block an effort to overturn the drainage ordinance passed in May. Developers have protested the ordinance because it requires them to pay a fee and mandates most new development link into city' drainage structures.
When Limmer ran for office, she said drainage issues and street repairs were the most consistent themes she heard from residents.
With the District 6 seat empty, the future of the drainage ordinance and other important issues facing the community are in limbo. The person elected to the seat will likely decide which way the city goes in critical issues.
Several well-known politicians, including two who lost seats just months ago. have expressed an interest in the seat. But no one is a preordained winner and all residents in the district can choose to serve.
An open seat in District 6 was unexpected, but it also provides an opportunity for residents to dec ide their own futures. District 6 is the smallest district in the city by land mass, but includes some of the most important areas in town. It encompasses the downtown area, most of the Comal River and moves all tile way past Interstate-35 to County line Road.
If you happen to live there, you hold your future in your own hands. If the city’s future is important to you, maybe you should run for office or work to elect someone who has beliefs similar to yours. Not everyone can run, but all residents in the area can register to vote, look at the issues, talk to the candidates and cast their vote to decide who should serve on the council.
Today in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Sunday, Aug. 7,the 219th day of 2005. There are 146 days left in the year.
Today's I lighlight in History:
On Aug. 7, 1942, U.S. forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in the Pacific during World War II.
On this date:
In 1782, George Washington created the Order of the Purple I leart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and non-commissioned officers.
In 1789, the U.S. War Department was established by Congress.
In 1927, the Peace Bridge between the United States and Canada was dedicated during ceremonies attended by the Prince of Wales and Vice President Charles Dawes.
In 1934, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling striking down the government's attempt to ban the controversial James Joyce novel “Ulysses."
In 1947, the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki, which had carried a six-man crew 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean, crashed into a reef in a Polynesian archipelago.
In 1959, the United States launched Explorer 6, which sent back a picture of the Earth.
In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Lyndon Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces.
Serving New Braunfels anil (.'omul County since 1852.
New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852;
New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958.
Gary E. Maitland
Editor and Publisher
HOW TO CONTACT
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Letters to the Editor
Two election victories don’t account for a whole lot
Oops! If Molly Ivins got it wrong, so did Betty Clifford in her guest column July 26. The New York Times has not “vindicated Karl Rove.” A newspaper can’t do that. We must let Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, finish bis job.
It is not Molly Ivins or liberals who haven’t gotten over the fact that President Bush has been elected twice. Those who elected him throw that fact in the face of any dissenter, on any issue. Iraqi War not going well? “Bush was elected twice." Energy bill not passed? Social Security changes stalled? “Bush was elected twice.” Well, so was President Clinton, and he had dissenters. Dissension is the American way!
Ms. Clifford has sunk to a new low for Bush worshipers, blaming 9/11 not only on President Clinton but all liberals. (And she has the nerve to say Molly Ivins has united with enemies of this country!) Maybe Ms. Clifford didn’t say what she intended; it’s hard to decipher such garbled writing. What does anything beyond paragraph one have to do with her topic? I ler column was an unsavory goulash of leftover rhetoric. Oh, well, Bush was elected twice.
Connie Srote New Braunfels
Low turnout of firefighters at funeral lacked brotherhood
Danny Halbandier passed away July 13. Danny worked for the New Braunfels Fire Department for 20-plus years and the Sheriff’s Department for 20-plus years. I Ie retired about IO years ago.
I always thought that the fire department and sheriff’s department had a sense of brotherhood to show their respect by attending his funeral. Out of 60 paid men in the fire department, only four showed up; out of 15-plus retired men, only four showed up. Nobody from the sheriff’s department showed up.
Danny was my friend and he deserved better than this. I hope this will never happen again. You know the old saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
May Danny be happy.
Andrew Schwab NBFD, retired
People should learn to properly pronounce Castell Street
Casten Street, which parallels Seguin Street and intersects with West San Antonio in New Braunfels, is often mispronounced and misprinted.
It is Castell as in to “tell" someone a secret. My information as to the earlv-day origin of Castell Street comes from “I listory of New Braunfels and Comal County, Texas, 1844-1946” written by Oscar I laas.
In 1842, an association of German princes and noblemen was established by Count Castell for the purpose of assisting those Germans willing to emigrate to Texas. The association was in part to protect the immigrants from fraud often practiced on them. Although Count Castell never came to New Braunfels, the founding fathers did name a street for him.
I continually hear and read the street of Castell incorrectly pronounced Casteel’ as in ‘steel mills.’ I understand why.
As the city has grown, the old count has long been forgotten, whereas, Carter Casteel and her family are as current as today’s newspapers. Former educator, county judge, current attorney and state representative, Carter Casteel is well-known and highly-respected; however, she has yet to have a street named for her. Someday she might.
In the meantime, when you visit the farmer’s market on Friday afternoons, please think and say Castell.’
Colleen P. Willard New Braunfels
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■ George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500
■ Kay Bailey Hutchison
Russell Senate Office Building Room 284
Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: http://hutchison.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.)
SAN ANTONIO OFFICE:
145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753
■ John Cornyn
Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: http://cornyn.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.)
221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701
Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020
SAN ANTONIO OFFICE:
600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569
■ Lamar Smith
Rayburn House Office
Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address:
http://lamarsmith.house.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.)
SAN ANTONIO OFFICE:
1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947
■ Henry Cuellar
1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: http://www.house.gov/cuellar SAN ANTONIO OFFICE:
1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671
HOW TO CONTACT " \
■ Rick Perry
State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin 78711
Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849
■ Carter Casteel
254 E. Mill St.
New Braunfels 78130 Telephone: (830) 627-0215 Toll Free: (866) 687-4961 Fax: (830) 627-8895 E-mail address: [email protected]
■ Jeff Wentworth
1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800
WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: (512) 463-0125 Fax: (512) 463-7794 E-mail address:
jeff. Wentworth @senate.state.tx. us
■ Judith Zaffirini
SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Drainage ordinance or not, the city will ultimately pay price
4) None of the above.
The answer is number 4: None of the above.
For many months, the debate over a “drainage ordinance’ has been slugged out in committee meetings and in council debate.
Developers seem perplexed and even outraged over how then Mayor Adam Cork and the previous council changed the ordinance as one of the final acts as an out-going council.
Earlier this year, the drainage ordinance committee, after a year of meetings, proposed a drainage ordinance to council that proposed a drainage fee, but it was optional. A developer could opt to engineer and create his own drainage system for his development. Out-going Mayor Cork and several council members successfully changed the ordinance to increase the proposed fees and to make the fees mandatory in most cases. Developers and the homebuilders association say they are now stuck with a regressive, costly and ineffective drainage ordinance.
Some at city staff now seem to he saying that some changes do need to be made to make the ordinance legal, but not necessarily in the way the developers and homebuilders association want.
After the city election in May, developers successfully lobbied the current council to reconsider the drainage ordinance and got it placed on the agenda for a vote. But the new mayor, Bruce Boyer, and the council split 3-3 on whether to change the ordinance. Consequently, the ordinance remains intact. But it can be brought up again for a vote.
Mayor Boyer is an attorney who is part owner of a title company. Coun-cilmember Valerie Hull has a business that sells products to builders. Council member Gale Pospisil has an appraisal company. All three voted in support of removing the ordinance language that makes the assessments on developers and builders mandatory.
Councilmembers Sonya Munoz-Gill and Beth Sokolyk and new council
member Kathleen Krueger voted against changing the ordinance.
The homebuilder’s group says it will probably file suit if an acceptable alternative to the new drainage ordinance ii not forthcoming from this new council But now they might just wait to see whi replaces Lynn Limmer, who resigned last week from the council.
With the council split 3-3, the voters of District 6 will probably determine the future of the drainage ordinance. This district seat special election now takes on a significant citywide importance.
You can rest assured that both sides in this power struggle will be active in finding and financing a candidate. If you appreciate local politics as a spectator sport, then you are in for some excitement.
But what is disappointing is even alter all this time and political power wielding, no matter which side wins control of the council, the city will remain without a comprehensive plan to help the existing neighborhoods tha are experiencing chronic flooding.
Drainage ordinance? When you read that term, what do you think it means?
Let s simplify this with a one-question quiz.
Which of the following statements best describes what the current drainage ordinance (or the drainage ordinance that was originally proposed) will accomplish?
1) Ensures that the city government will identify areas and neighborhoods that historically have flooded and solve those flooding problems in a timely matter.
2) Establish standards that ensure new housing developments will not create flooding problems for homeowners in that development or in nearby homes or properties.
3) Make sure that the economic burden of providing adequate drainage for a new housing development will not be passed on to taxpayers.
Doug Toney is editor and publisher of the Herald-Zei tu ng.