New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 17, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAY July 17, 2003.
12 pages in 2 sections
pages in c scentHerald-Zeitung
Vol. 152, No. 210Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Privatization of sanitation could cut city jobs
City: Inefficient waste management needs overhaul
By Dylan Jimenez
The future of about 45 New Braunfels sanitation workers was uncertain as the city considered privatizing the department.
City Manager Chuck Pinto planned to meet with the employees today to discuss what that
move would mean to them.
Council decided Monday to allow Pinto to negotiate with Waste Management to privatize the city’s sanitation services. Although the department, which collects residential and commercial trash and recyclable material, is not losing money, high overhead costs warrant examining its effi
ciency, Pinto said Wednesday.
Pinto said there is no way to tell how many city workers could keep their jobs if the department is privatized.
Some current employees probably would not qualify for new jobs, and the city would try to find other positions for them, he said.
“Our employees are critical,” Pinto said. “There are ways in negotiating these kinds of contracts that would allow (Waste Manage
ment) to take over the employees or hire the employees who are qualified to be in that private service.”
If the city does not privatize, the department still needs to be modernized and made more efficient, Pinto said Monday.
“Compared to the city, Waste Management is much more efficient because overhead is distributed over a larger group of resources,” said City Engineer Mike Short, who heads the sanitation department.Area was ‘fortunate’
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herakj-Zertung
Alicia Faber, 6,takes a break from swimming lessons Wednesday at the Landa Park pool. After wondering what kind of effects Hurricane Claudette would have locally, residents were able to carry on with regular activities, like the swimming lessons, once the rain tapered off.Comal County escapes major wrath of Hurricane Claudette
From Staff aho Wire Reports
Local officials said New Braunfels and Comal County experienced few ill effects from Hurricane Claudette, but coastal counties and communities south of San Antonio weren’t so fortunate.
The National Weather Service reported today would be partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms.
Wednesday, New Braunfels Fire Department Battalion Chief Frank Gonzales reported wires and branches downed by high winds and a few lightning strikes.
A mobile home in the 1400 block of Texas 46 South was heavily damaged in a 1:15 p.m. fire.
“On this particular fire, lightning
On the Web:
For information about hurricanes, log onto the National Hurricane Center Web site: www.nhc.noaa.gov
hit the trailer home, and the charge went through the electrical wires,” Gonzales said. “Most of the fire was in the kitchen area, and it spread into the living room.”
The resident was able to get out of the home, but Gonzales said it would be a complete loss.
Local utility officials reported no serious problems Comal County Emergency Management Coordinator Carol Edgett said Claudette was a “non-event” here. “Thank the Lord. We did beautifully
here,” Edgett said.
Tara Brinkkoeter, American Red Cross branch manager for New Braunfels, said her agency was ready to provide assistance either locally or to residents of other counties but was not asked.
“We’re fortunate that we had no homes flooded or any injuries that we know of. With the tree limbs coming down, that’s a bit of a surprise,” Brinkkoeter said.
Falling branches killed two people elsewhere in Texas.
No deaths were reported on the coast, but 13-year-old Clayton Dojahn of Jourdanton died when a mesquite tree fell on him while he was in his
Redistricting legislation at a standstill
By Sean Bowlin
Local lawmakers said redistricting posturing in the state Senate is creating legislative Umbo.
State Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, said Wednesday the House passed four or five resolutions and hopes to adjourn until noon Friday.
She said she hopes then the House will receive bills from the Senate.
“We don’t have anything yet,” Casteel said. “We’re kind of in a holding pattern.”
Casteel said rumors are circulating in the Senate that redistricting could be dead.
* SPECIAL SESSION
On the Web
Texas Legislative Council: www.tlc.state.tx.us
“But nothing’s dead until it’s dead,” Casteel said.
Rep. Edmund Kuempel, R-Seguin, said he knew the special session would be a tough one with all the additional bills proposed by Gov. Rick Perry. He said he didn’t know much about action in the Senate. “It’s been an unusual special session with the Senate not acting on any legislation in their chamber,” Kuempel said.
Kuempel said it’s time to sit back and wait on the redistricting bill.
Meanwhile, state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, is not waiting to re-draw district maps, Wentworth aide Margaret Rambie said.
Rambie said Wentworth drew a map of his See REDISTRICTING/^
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Rural residents, fire chief oppose land annexation
By Dylan Jimenez
Residents of rural areas the city proposes to annex worry incorporation into New Braunfels will change their way of life.
And New Braunfels Fire Chief John Herber worries his department won’t be able to respond quickly to fire and EMS emergencies in those areas.
More than a dozen homeowners set to be annexed this year asked'council to reconsider annexing about seven square miles of land this year.
The proposed annexation plan includes 2.72 square miles to the northeast of New Braunfels between Farm-to-Market roads HOI and 1102 and 4.65 square miles to the southeast, near Texas 46.
Residents of those areas told city council members Monday night they were concerned about restrictions on building, raising animals and using firearms.
“My 13 year old boy looks forward to farming the land that we farm today,” Pam Timmerman said. She is renovating a home built in the 1800s and said the city
■ Fires/buming on property — the city will not allow bums but is considering a review of codes to accommodate needs of larger tracts of land.
■ Shooting for recreation/tar-gets/hunting/pest control —
W.1I not be allowed, but staff is considering a review of codes to accommodate those needs.
■ Taxes — residents will pay city taxes of 37 cents per $100 assessed valuation, but agricultural exemptions already in place still wiil apply.
■ Fireworks — city will not allow the use of fireworks, but staff is considering a review of codes to accommodate residents with larger tracts of land,
■ Farm animals — farm animals are grandfathered for five years, providing size and use of land is same. Pigs and hogs are not allowed in the city because they are a smell nuisance. Only one animal is allowed per acre.
■ Building permits — required of all construction in the city, including mending fences and building sheds
■ NSU connection — residential applicants must pay an estimated $1,860 in impact fees for basic residential connections.
* information provided by the city manager.
Local elections prove money talks in politics
By DYLAN JIMENEZ
Money led two candidates to office and two propositions to the morgue during the New Braunfels citywide May election, politicos say.
District 4 Councilwoman Valerie Hull collected $8,660, while her challenger, former councilman Robert Kendrick, gathered $1,400, according to campaign finance reports turned in Wednesday.
Hull’s campaign treasurer was David Pryor. Hull’s purse allowed her to spend $4,500 before April, when Kendrick only spent $180.
“It just shows that money docs talk in politics,” Kendrick said.
Although he started late in the game, said he didn’t believe a relaxed effort cost him the election.
“That’s one of those things you can never second guess,” Kendrick said. “You’d like to think that you lost because your opponent outspent you IO to one, but you don’t know that to be the truth.”
District 3 Councilwoman Gale Pospisil — $10,260
Former District 3 Councilwoman Debbie Flume — $1,906
District 4 Councilwoman Valerie Hull — $8,660
Former District 4 Councilwoman Robert Kendrick — $1,400
■ Citizens for New Braunfels First —$1,190
■ Citizens for Community Improvements — $19,230
* All campaign accounts were closed Wednesday, with no balances.