New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 15, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
High noon for Unicorn gals, Page HA / Draft sign control ordinance, Page 3A
New Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 134, No. 31
Four Sections, 46 Pages
Firefighters say policies vague, problems exist
By SARAH DU KF, and JIM WEBRE Staff Writers
New Braunfels firefighters, while c laiming they could lose their jobs if they speak openly about problems in their department, say they want changes starting at the top New Braunfels Fire Fighters Association members have remained silent and admonished one of their own for talking to a reporter recently, but the association nevertheless has retained an attorney in the belief they will need legal help in presenting their grievances to city hall.
Saying they fear losing their jobs for criticizing Fire Chief Jack Wilson, the firemen asked not to bt' identified.
A rift iii the department began iii
early January when Wilson ordered shift changes for 19 fire fighters and, since that time. the association has hired an attorney to resolve problems with management Wilson said the shift changes were ordered because the men needed cross training He added that shift changes are common in the department Firemen said inconsistencies in regard to policies within the department have become so great that they feel there are actually different fire departments ui New Braunfels.
“It seems like each shift is its own department,” said one Centra) Station firefighter who said he feared for his job security if he was identified in news accounts.
Specific complaints among fire
See FIRE, PageZA
s tammtisch A A loaf of bread. • •
City’s revised sign control draft draws mixed reviews
When it rains it pours. At least that’s what we say at the HeraUI-Zeitung ’cause it really does pour. New Braunfels Police said they got two reports of pea-size hail, one on South Seguin Street and one in Gruene, and by 11:30 p.m. water was a foot deep in some parts of downtown. No directly storm-related damage had been reported by the time we put the paper to its soggy bed. However, a major accident was reported by Comal County Sheriff’s Department on FM 311 about a mile north of Smithson Valley High School. No details were available by presstime....
Kudos to New Braunfelser Barry Allison. The Texas School Public Relations Association was so impressed with Allison’s idea to keep local children safe that it awarded him the 1987 Texas Bright Idea Award in Austin Thursday.
Allison, chairman of the Comal County Child Welfare Board and a big guy over at New Braunfels Utilities, won the award for the Safe Haven program. The program lets school children know that, if they’re ever lost or need held, NBU officials are people they can count on. It’s a nice idea and makes the world a little more friendly for children.
“The Bright Idea Award is given for the most outstanding new idea, strategy, project or program designed to promote public education in Texas through effective communication,” said TSPRA Vice President Bob Sharp.
Both the New Braunfels and Comal school district nominated Allison for his idea Congratulations Barry. Not only do you come up with ideas to keep our children safe, but you keep those computers going at NBU....
Friday the 13th, then Valentine’s Day, and now ifs Farm Bureau Week in Comal County. Will the fun never stop? This week is part (rf a statewide observance which focuses attention on efforts of county Farm Bureaus to enroll new members, according to James Stolte, president of the Comal County Farm Bureau.
County Judge Fred Clark signed a proclamation making the week official. The 1,362 members of the Comal County Farm Bureau are involved in the business of feeding the world and they deserve a little recognition for that. The organization represents farmers and ranchers in their struggle with the government and it also helps out a lot of young people involved in agriculture. Texas Farm Bureau give $16,000 annually in scholarships to young people iii FFA. FHA and 4-H ....
People who have been saved by the belt, so to speak, have formed the Texas Safety Belt Survivor’s Club. The organization is made up of people who cheated death or maybe just used their brains and buckled up. Individuals interested in joining should call 1-800-252-8255 for an application....
Shirley Dixon wrote to tell us that although she has generally had little other than disdain for day care centers, she has found one in New Braunfels that gives her little girl what she needs - a healthy environment and lots of love and attention with kids in her age group Shirley likes Happy Days Day Care. [.est we be accused of mentioning one and not others, moms and dads, if y’all like your kids’ day care center, let us know the reasons why and we'll mention it here....
SPORTS............ I MSA
By DAVID MAY Staff Writer
An unnofficial and informal sampling of proponents and opponents to the sign and billboard ordinance drafted last November brought varied and predictably opposite responses than those given at the time the proposed measure was made public.
Members of both factions, including city council member Barbara Tieken, agreed that much of the dispute that erupted among citizens during city council meetings last year, and both council-appointed sign arid billboard advisory committees, the first of which designed the controversial draft, could have been avoided had the city perhaps been more open in conducting citizen input concerning a new sign and billboard ordinance.
City staff has drafted a new ordinance which council will go up for public hearing arid first of three public readings at its next meeting Feb. 23
Staff was charged with designing the new propoed measure, which is considerably briefer and more liberal than the original draft, following council's abolition of the original committee and second appointed committee after what Mayor Ed Sciantarelh called ‘the cat fight" that erupted among the two factions.
Copies of the current proposed ordinance were given to former council member Mary I,ou Rushing, who first called for such a measure, Tieken, and New Braunfels
See draft ordinance text. Page 3A
Council of Garden Clubs Secretary Peggy Morris, all of whom favored stern signage control for New Braunfels.
Likewise, opponents of the first draft, including Pete Lmgharnfelter. owner of Oasis Outdoor Advertising and who served on the original sign committee from its inception. Harry May, owner of May Hi-Way Display, and businessmen Bob Pacharzina and Dennis Rhoades also received copies for review.
In no particular order, responses, somewhat paraphrased, were as follow:
Rushing: ‘Other communities are working diligently to preserve their natural beauty and it seems like their are a few special interest people in this community who are dead set against any proposal we may have to maintain our beauty “I expect we'll see it as a destruc tive force. As soon as I>oop 337 and our scenic anc) historic districts get cluttered up with signage so much that you won’t even be able to see the sun set everyone will see what we were talking about.
“This draft is not what we had in mind when we first brought the proposition up Staff was put in a no-win .situation. The community had a good ordinance (first draft i and it was shot down."
See SIGN. Page 3A
Every year New Braunfelser Seresa Ogden giver her husband, Scott, something special for Valentines Day This year it was a picnic in Landa Park, complete with a loaf of bread, head of cheese, a bottle of wine and even violinist Tom Engler of Seguin tor effect
The Garbage Business
Profits. That’s the reason private firms vie for the right to pick up what people throw away.
Bv DAN A OVERSTREET Staff Writer
City officials concede they have been approached by private firms wanting to sign contracts to pick up the city garbage When the subject came up at last year's city council retreat, city scions saw a chance to cut costs; so it is only natural that New Braunfelsers consider the option.
But according to one city administrator, there are tales of discontent as well as success stones surrounding privatization of garbage collection. Everything from rate increases sooner than expected to poor service has been alleged. But some find the contract system works fine Perhaps the big difference in city-operated refuse collection and private companies is people When a private iirm is in the position of answering to a public constituency, government officials will have to hope the contract they negotiate will mean the city lias performed within the letter and spirit of the city charter requiring our municipal administration to provide for public health and safety.
New Braunfels City Manager Joe Michie wants to dispel rumors that all city sanitation workers will soon be out of job if tile city council decides in favor of privatization of garbage arid refuse collection here.
“My mind is not made up at this point whether or not it is feasible,” said City Manager Joe Michie. “We have not completed our analysis on that and city council hasn’t reviewed it.
“We don’t have any predetermined idea that we’re going to do it," Michie said. “Requests for proposals have been prepared, (but) they need work and changes. We are going to put It out to garbage contractors to see what their prices are going to be, then we can make a decision.”
The city manager said he expects to present the final draft (rf the requests for proposals from garbage services at a March council meeting.
Michie first introduced the idea of contracting with private companies at a council retreat last year. ”! was going over with council the various ways the city might could save money — ways we might could look at fees and aet some priorities ai the kinds of services the city should provide and look at the possibility of contracting out Borne of the services the city was doing and possibly saving some money.”
Although the sanitation department operates at a profit, that extra
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Jesse Mala and Tom Sanders of City of New Braun* . Sanitation Department go about their jobs on Lee Street. What vw ad happen to these and the other men who keep New Braunfels clean would depend on what kind of contract the city council negotiates if private contract garbage collection services become a reality
money still isn’t enough to keep the department at the level it should lie. Michie said.
“With our rate increase, we do make money out of the garbage collection,” he said. “We are making money and producing revenue at the expense of not replacing our equipment and keeping our equipment up
“If the numbers on this (private service) don’t work, we’d certainly be foolish to get out (rf it,” Michie said.
“We have nine trucks and four (rf those nine really do need to be replaced,” he said “They range in cost from $100,000 to $125,000 each. It is an appropriate time now, since we need to replace garbage trucks, to look at the possibility of saving
the city a big capital outlay for equipment.”
Michie said the city is in this jam because it hasn’t regularly bought new garbage tr ucks through the years. “My concern is in the next four to five years, coming up with $900,000,” he said. “We have not been buying garbage trucks regularly like we should have We’ve let things go and put off capital improvements because of budget problems and now we’re looking at a big outlay or contracting it out.”
Since 1978, the city has spent $130,011 for two trucks and three packer bodies I the back portion of the truck). At the tune of purchase,
See GARBAGE, Page til
Winkler bows out
By SARAH DUKE Staff Writer
After serving on the New Braunfels City Council for IO years, Max Winkler announced Saturday that he will not seek re-election.
‘i’m not going to run again. I’ve had a wonderful experience and made a lot at friends and I don’t have any enemies,” Winkler said. “The reason (for not seeking reelection) is that I've had IO years of service and I just feel that there are many con* cerned people that wiU step in and continue the effort.”
Winkler has been an advocate of controlled growth and is a strong supporter of the sign ordinance currently under scrutiny by the council. "I strongly, emphatically endorse that ordinance," he said.
Pointing to the fact that surrounding cities have banned or otherwise controlled billboard and sign construction, Winkler said New Braunfels is being “swamped” with signs from out-of-town advertisers. “we’re swamped with unsightly evidence of their presence coming into town on (Texas) IS," he said.
“I think the sign ordinance should pass before I get off the council,” he
said. “I hope we'll be able to get that through with no problem."
Winkler said he was disappointed that an earlier attempt to paw a sign ordinance bogged down amid controversy from the business community. “I'm sorry that we had that controversy," he said. “(The sign ordinance committee) had done an excellent job af compiling an ordinance. Unfortunately, It was voluminous."
gee WINKLER, Page SA