New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 4, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
, December 4, 1997
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“Television is a medium, so called because it is neither rare nor well done.”
Ernie Kovacs comedian
Management audit would help CISD
The interest in management of the growth in Comal Independent School district has been extremely high. It should be.
Superintendent Jerry Majors wisely has asked the Texas Comptroller’s office to audit the operations at CISD.
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts office agrees each year to perform a limited number of management audits of school corporations. These specially trained auditors take a look at a school district from top to bottom.
Majors mailed the request on Nov. 18.
A management audit is an excellent way to have objective, trained eyes examine an operation and make recommendations. The recent defeat of a bond issue and the politics that surrounded the effort caused some lines to be drawn in the sand.
Often, critics become so comfortable in their role as “experts" that they lose their ability to see the positives of the leadership they are challenging. And on the other side, people used to defending each decision sometimes find it difficult to evaluate their progress.
An independent audit can help create common ground.
Comptroller John Sharp s office could conduct the audit without cost to the school district.
To hire a qualified, competent consulting group to perform the same task for CISD would cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.
The only downside to this plan is if Sharps office decides not to perform the audit.
The residents of CISD can have an impact on whether Sharp s office selects CISD.
Sharp s a politician. The more voter interest, the more likely the audit.
If you want this audit, write to Sharp s office and let him know. This is most likely a situation in which the school districts with the most letters to Sharp win.
Take a few minutes and wnte your support for the audit. Address your correspondence to:
Comptroller of Public Accounts PO. Box 13528 Austin. TX 78711-3528 (Today's editorial was written by Herald-Zeitung Editor and Publisher Doug Toney.)
Editor and Publisher Ext 301 Managing Editor Ext 220 Director of Marketing Ext 208 ... Classified Advertising Manager, Ex: 214 Business Manager Ext 202 Circulation Director Ext 228
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Pus TXCC* rut Send address changes lo the Sr* Hr aunt* k Herald-/* Hung, PQ Drawer 311328, Sew Braunfels, Tv "8131-1328Don’t feed fund-raising kitty, don’t get votes
AUSTIN — Numbers, numbers. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison now has $4 million stockpiled in her war chest for the election of 2000.
According to published reports, she raised more than $ 1.9 million in the first six months of this year for a race that will not take place for another three and half years. Through the end of June. Hutchison had raised more money than any other senator, including 30 colleagues who are up for re-election next year, according to The Dallas Morning News.
On the other hand, Hutchison and Sen. Phil Gramm were not among the six Republicans who last week urged President Clinton to pressure Congress to restore food stamps to poor legal immigrants, particularly to the disabled, the elderly and children. Even though Texas is among the hardest-hit of all the states by this cut-off, neither Hutchison nor Gramm favors granting any help to legal immigrants. Texas has 121,000 legal immigrants who are no longer eligible for food stamps because of the welfare “reform” bill. Of these, 28.000 are seniors or handicapped, and about 13.000 are children
Six weeks after the seniors and handicapped had their food stamps cut off. Gov. George W. Bush changed his mind and set aside $ 18 million to help them out, after food banks in the Rio Grande Valley reported that they were swamped Bush said the federal government was shirking its responsibility, but neither Hutchison nor Gramm was willing to help move the feds.
lf you divide $4 million by 13.000. it comes to 5307, which would be enough to cover food stamps for all those kids for about four months, by my figuring Just a thought. Not that we expect Hutchison actually to do such a thing. Why should she? They're not her kids. And I bet that none of her contributors is a handicapped, elderly, legal immigrant or a poor child What do they expect? You don't feed the
fund-raising kitty, you don’t get the votes. That’s how politics works now.
It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to get something like-the $50 billion special loophole for tobacco companies in the last budget deal. You have to give as much as the telecommunications industry in order to write the laws affecting you yourself. We all understand that’s how the game is played now.
Nobody holds it against Hutchison or Gramm. Except I’d just as soon not hear either one of them carry on about how much they care about “the children of Texas” any time soon.
The Dec. 8 issue of The Nation contains a report, “Hunger on Main Street,” on the growing strain on food banks. “Last month, we suddenly had a ton of young singles,” said one volunteer. “I thought we w ere seeing the tip of die iceberg headed toward our Titanic.” Childless, unemployed adults are now limited to three months of food stamps in three years. In Portland, Ore., in the area of single-room-occu-pancy hotels, the number of singles coming to food banks has jumped by 50 percent.
Emergency food demands are also running high in rural areas. Christine Valdimiroff, president of Second Harvest, a national umbrella organization for food banks and soup kitchens across the nation, say s. * ‘ Poverty is increasing at a faster rate outside the urban areas.”
In addition to cutting off food stamps to legal immigrants and to childless adults, the welfare “reform” bill also reduces food stamps to families. Among those most direly affected are the working
Bill Minutaglio of die Morning News, who has done a consistently excellent job of covering die effects of welfare deform in Texas (not a subject that many other papers here have followed at all), wrote a wrenching report from the Valley on Nov. 9. *lt includes the following item of unintentional hilarity: David Beshear, spokesman for the Texas Workforce Commission, opined: “I’m not sure that welfare reform ever envisioned the problems we have in the Valley. It’s a tremendous challenge to put people into jobs where there are no jobs.”
But precisely because conditions in the Valley are so drastic (18 percent unemployment in Hidalgo County X they tend to obscure die effects of the new law on Texans in other parts of the state. The media live in a state of denial about poverty in this country that’s just as acute as any denial by an alcoholic, so it is dangerous to foster the easy dismissal, “Oh, it’s just a bunch of people who can go back to Mexico” (a phrase actually used in some recent discussions on die subject). Gramm’s endlessly repeated mantra that immigrants should come here “for work, not welfare” is one of those pat put-downs that prevents us from seeing what is actually happening. Obviously, most of the working poor are not immigrants at all. and even those who are legal immigrants pay their taxes just like everybody else.
This is not one of those stories like Afghanistan or Bosnia that’s too far away for you to care or do anything about; if you volunteer just one day at a local food bank, you’ll see what’s happening for yourself. And since this is the season when many of us donate to local food banks, please keep in mind dud baby food is especially welcome.
(Molly Ivins is a columnist for the Forjt Worth Star ^Telegram.)
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Letter to the Editor
Taxpayers* group applaud! chang!! In Cl SO direction
A new direction for Comal 1SD — that is what brought a gamp of concerned tax pa* cr* together on Nov 19 .Almost 60 people attended a meeting at the Guadalupe V aliev Telephone Co-op conference room to discuss their concerns of the future of CISD I he meeting room was at overflow capacit> bv the 7 p m stair time The Lions Club was gracious enough to offer its reserved auditorium space to the newly organizing group Our thanks to them
From the beginning, the meeting faced problems of space, sound system and lack of follow mg the agenda The meeting turned into a forum for persons to * era their anger and to express their feelings of w hat they wanted to sec in CISD The group, obviously of di v enc beliefs, directed their anger and ideas at each other However, this might not have been a "bad thing.”
The participants were asked to fill out "concern forms” listing the things that they were most upset with and also any possible solutions that they might have. The information that was received from this croas-section of CISD was very enlightening Most were concerned with the credibility of CISD. tax dollar spending, quality of education and school size Even with people on opposite sides of these issues, “year round schooling” seemed to come up as a possible solution Although the discussions (often heat
cd I consumed the majority of the meeting, positive results were achieved. Those results will be prioritized and will be on the agenda for the next meeting of this
The top five concerns will be on the agenda at the next meeting to be discussed and reduced to one or two for possible action The membership will try to reach a volution for selected concerns, lf a “plan of action” can be designed at that time, the group will proceed to the next step lf they fed that further research or planning is needed, committees will be appointed to do so. Once the “plan of action” is approved, the membership will present their plan to the Board of I rustces for consideration. The group feds that if CISD will consider these ideas, it might help solve some of the problems with which the district is faced
CISD already has started to make some decisions that will help change the direction of the dustnct and to help instill credibility to the administration and board members At a recent school board meeting. Birdie Bettelsen, representing the majority of the new taxpayers group, presented their case as to why the building committee should be abolished. At the previous board meeting, the board indicated that it would not abolish the committee but would reschedule the building comminee’s meetings to a more convenient time However, because of concerns (rf public perception, the board members voted 7-0 to abolish the building committee Now, all seven bond
members will be more involved with the spending of our tax dollars.
Dr. Major also nude announcement of some dramatic changes He has requested a “performance review” of CISD by the State Comptroller ’s Office. He also said that CISD will be meeting with Comal County officials to discuss the possibility of conducting future elections in county facilities and using the electronic voting equipment that is available. Dr. Major also put his teaching staff “on notice" thai beginning in February , administration will be analyzing all programs for efficiency and effectiveness.
The founders of this (yet-unnamed) taxpayers group applaud the recent actions of CISD administration ani board of trustees We feel that with the help of the patrons of CISD, the diligence of the board of trustees and the ability of the administration, perhaps CISD can head into the future with a new direction.
lf you would like to join our group, please bring your ideas on how to produce quality education at a reasonable cost, come to our next meeting which will be from 7 lo 9 p m. on Dec. IO bi the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Co-op Auditorium. We also need your help on selecting a name for our group. We hope to see you there! For further information, please contact John or Linda (Birdie) Bettelsen at 899-7530 or Glen Wenzel at 606-5723.
John and Birdie Benelson Canyon Lake
Today in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 1997 There are 27 days left bi the year Taday’s Highlight in History:
Ob Dec. 4, 1783, Gen George Washington said farewell to his othorn at Fraunces Tavern in New York Ob this dale:
la 1816, James Monroe of Virginia elected the fifth president of the
la 1875. W11 Lam Marcy Tweed, the “Boss” of New Yolk City’* Tammany Hall political organization, escaped from jail and fled Ate country la 1918. President W ilson set sail for France to attend die Versailles Peace Conference
la 1942, President Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which had been created to pros ide jobs during the Depression
la 1942, U S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time rn World War ll la 1945, the Senate approved U.S. participation in the United Nations.
Ut 1965. the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Ll Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr James A. Lovell aboard la 1977. kan-Bedd Bokataa, tutor of the Central Africaa Empire, crowned himself emperor bi scctemony behaved
to have cost more than $100 million. Bokassa was deposed in 1979; he eked in November 1996 ai age 75.
la 1999, the bodies of four American nuns slain in El Salvador two days earlier were unearthed Five national guardsmen were convicted of murder.
La 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of W eaten hostages in I Hhawnn, was released aller nearly seven yews in captivity.