New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 3, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
To contribute to the United Way, call 620-7760
Canyon, Smithson Valley girls to start district play. See Page 5.New Braunfels
10 pages in one section ■ Tuesday, December 3,1996
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of John Athort (tomes Jr.
Vol 144, No 276
Birthday wishes from tho Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Cassie England (11 years old), Jack Ehman (60 years old, belated), John Albeit Gomez Jr., Rudy Guerrero Sr. (belated), Chyann Beach (I year old, belated), Stacey La wry and Chase Cochran (belated).
Happy anniversary wishes go to: Larry and Jeanette Ormond (30 years).
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
Potion Count Mold — 4,906 Mountain Elm —10 Ragweed —trace Grass —trace
(Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter of air. Information provided by Dr. Frank Hampel.)
Comal River —194 cubic feet per second, down 3 from Monday.
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Wen — 623.35 feet above sea level, down .01 from Monday.
Canyon Dam discharge —159 cfs Canyon Lake inflow — 229 cfs Canyon Lake level — 906.82 feet above i level. (Below conservation pool.)
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NSU reports pumping 5.352 million gallons of surface water Monday, and no well water was used.
In a sometimes heated discussion, the City Council conducted a three-hour workshop Monday night with the ethics committee to review a proposed code of conduct for all city employees, boards, commissions and council members.
The 11 -page proposal is the result of eight meetings over the summer and early fall of the ethics committee, which is made up of seven appointees by the council.
The council must approve the proposal in three separate readings to be adopted. The ordinance would require an additional 120 days before it would be implemented.
Officials reviewed sections of the proposal concerning limits for city officials on accepting gifts, seeking additional employment, municipal campaign participation and other potential conflicts of interest.
Officials also spent much of the time discussing rules on accepting gifts but did not set a monetary limit. Instead, they agreed to leave the proposed wording that prohibits accepting gifts that “might reasonably tend to influence.”
“My policy has been, if in doubt, don’t,” Mayor Jan Kennady said, “lf I have to give up free Wurstfest tickets for six years, I will. You have a little feeling. You know in your heart when it’s better to pay for whatever you’re doing.”
Much of the debate also centered on whether council members should abstain from voting on funding requests from non-profit boards that they also serve on.
Councilman Ray Schoch said he believed the council should be able to vote on such items since they serve on non-profit boards as volunteers.
“I don’t think it’s appropnate to restrict a person if they are not compensated for it,” Schoch said. “(Non-profit boards) need good people to make them successful.”
Still, many of the ethics committee said they feel the position would discriminate against other agencies who also are making funding requests.
No specific ordinance exists within the city that addresses a code of conduct.
The city council plans another ethics workshop on Dec. 11 to discuss the ethics commission.
■Creates a seven-member ethics commission, appointed by the council, that would help investigate complaints by holding hearings and making recommendations and reports to council.
■The city attorney would provide staff assistance to the commission that would have jurisdiction of complaints involving the mayor, council, appointed mem bars of city boards and commissions, city manager, municipal court judge and prosecutor and city attorney.
■ lf a violation is found, the commtesxyv mqy recommend a reprimand, tem porary suspense Hmovai
from office or other sanctions for council consideration.Regulation of the Internet spurs debate. See Opinion, Page 4.
District attorney-elect to resume push to consolidate county offices
By DENISE DZIUK
District Attorney-elect Dib Waldrip will again make his case for consolidation of the County and District Attorneys’ offices Thursday morning to the Comal County Commissioners Court.
Waldrip, along with County Attorney-elect Bill Renner, went before the commissioners in November to discuss their plans for consolidating the two offices. However, the discussion turned heated with talks of deals, misrepresentations and political games.
The next day the court voted unanimously to table the approval of a resolution asking the Legislature for the authority to consolidate offices.
“I think we’re past all the rhetoric,” said County Judge Carter Casteel. “I think now we’re going to look at the cold hard facts, and is it in the best interest of the
Casteel said Waldnp would appear before the court at 9 a.m. Thursday as part of the workshop agenda.
She said Waldrip would make a presentation regarding consolidation options, addressing concerns voiced by the court, including the quality of services and potential savings.
“I really am hoping for a good exchange of information,” Casteel said. “He’s committed to trying to make it work, and I think he’s going to address the consolidation issue and the concerns we have ”
The item is just a discussion item, and no action will be taken. Casteel said depending on how that discussion goes, the item could be placed on a later court agenda for action.
“It just depends on what happens that morning,” Casteel said.
Thousands take flu shots
By DENISE DZIUK
It’s not too late to join the nearly 2,800 Comal County residents who already have received their flu vaccine, local health officials said.
The Center for Disease Control is predicting a bad year for the flu, said registered nurse Shel McWilliams of the Canal County Health Department, and vaccines are still available.
“I think people are hearing that and getting their flu shot,” McWilliams said. “I also think people caught the flu last year and don’t want to get that sick again this year.”
McWilliams said although there have been no confirmed reports of the flu in the county yet this season, IOO clinically diagnosed cases were reported in San Antonio.
“So that’s just a given that if it’s there, it’s here too,” McWilliams said
‘I think people are hearing that and getting their flu shot. I also think people caught the flu last year and don’t want to get that sick again this year.’
- She! McWilliams Comal County Health Department
The number of cases usually peaks in late December or January, McWilliams said. Last year, 1,700 cases were reported in school-aged children alone in December, and the total cases were 2,018.
Turn to Flu, Page 2
By ABB LBW
Local business owners and city officials expressed concern that the New Braunfels Municipal Airport be kept in the possession of die city as its officials respond to a state investigation.
Officials from the Texas Department of Transportation have required the city to change a sublease at the airport that has created an
We hope that
It can bo resolved
oly for one tenant for fuel and avionics equipment sales, officials said.
The city has until Dec. 20 to satisfy the request by TxDOT's aviation department or lose ownership of the 900-acre airport
it will HhId our land and reimburse
a $874,616 grant
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provided corporate air service for many industry officials in the New Braunfels area since the city obtained owner-
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; flew Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, said the airport bas been a key in attracting many large bust-, nesses to the area.
“We hope that it can be resolved’ because the airport is a key to our futile,* aud “I think it will help our existing companies maintain and grow, and ifs a good attraction piece.”
Denise Rodriguez, human resources administrator for Coleman Company, Inc., said exeo> utives from Colorado have depended oty the airport for annual meetings.
‘They preferred flying into New Braunfels then to San Antonio and have to drive here,” said Rodriguez, whose company has about 200 employees. “They only meet for coe hour.” Mayor Jan Kennedy said the city is woriring with state officials and tenants to meet state requirements in an effort to retain the airport as an asset to the business community.
“The airport has a bright future with (the North American Free Trade Agreement) and fee growth in the area,” Kennady Cid. “We aeed to get things in order as (TxDOT and FAA) have instructed us to do. “
City officials have declined further comment on the matter, citing anticipated litigation with New Braunfels Aero Services, which*has a lease with the city for much of the airport land The city wants to remove an exclusionary clause with one of New Braunfels Acre's subcontractors whose lease allows him exclusive rights tp sell avionics equipment and fuel.
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City officials said they are keeping tighter controls on the New Braunfels Municipal Airport after pert City Council and administrators
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Officials from the Texas Department of Transportation are requiring the city to change its lease with a tenant who has exclurive rights to sell fuel and avionics equipment.
TxDOT has given the city a Dec. 20 deadline to comply or turn over ownership of the airport and pay back a $874,616 state grant
City officials would not comment on specific individuals who were involved with the airport leases, citing anticipated litigation and the pending TxDOT investigation.
The city hired Darrell Phillips in January as fee fint airport manager and dto hand avilion lawyers Mark Brewster and Richard Span from a San Antonio firm to review all the contracts at the city.'
In August, the City Council wrote a set of rules for the first time to govern use of the airport, including ample wording that restricts discriminatory lenses that create monopolies on ser-vices.
The city has five direct contracts for the 900-acre land, which in turn have been subleased
several times ovar.
The city of New Braunfels has five leases for the airport land: an agricultural lease to Steve Link, an aviation lease to Ventura, two leases to Baylis E. Harries, Jr. and the largest one to New Braunfels Aero Services. Most of New Braunfels Aero’s lease has been subleased to Harriss.
TxDOT officials also said they are investigating the lease contracts of Harriss, who they suspect secured a majority of the contracts to create a monopoly for himself. Harriss did not return repeated phooe calls this past week to his office.
The city created the Airport Advisory Board in 1969 to make recommendations to council an operating and maintaining the airport. The five-member board is appointed by the council and meets on an as-needed basis.
The airport is self-sufficient and is paid for by the airport enterprise fund whose revenue comes from rental of land leases, I percent of gross sales from commercial operation, fuel flowage Turn to Airport, Page 2
Turn to Ethics, Page 2
By ABE LEVY
Children's Museum to opon now exhibit
The Children's Museum in New Braunfels is having a grand opening for its new exhibit, “Growing Up in New Braunfels," from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the museum.
Roach for a Star neede toys, cash
Reach for a Star is looking for donations of toys, cash anc time to help give to local children.
We will be wrapping on Dec. 21, starting at 10 a m., and Dec. 22, beginning at noon, at Red McCombs Universa Motors.For more information, call 629-9387 or 608-9406.
Family Outreach seminars continua
Family Outreach of Comal County continues to have its “For Kids’ Sake" seminars. They will run twice a month for the next two months.
CHMT Fund donations (ought by newspaper
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung’s Cheer Fund kicked off its 15th campaign to provide food for local needy families on Nov. 17.
The fund last year provided Christmas food and gifts to 200 families in New Braunfels and Comal County.
To donate to the Cheer Fund, call 625-9144 and ask for Carol Ann Avery.
■ Roger and Patsy Vann — $50
■ Ben and Allene Fbedel — $25
■ Ewing Moore — $25
■ Today’s total — $1,647.48
Cookbooks on sal* to fund scholarships
Cookbooks to benefit the Joe Hales Memorial Scholarship Fund are now on sale for $6 50 apiece at Carl Schurz Elementary School. •
For more information, call Linda Bingham at the New Braunfels Independent School District.