New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 11, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
6 A ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ Sunday, June 11,1905
E T T E
Taking on NBU
Last week your paper ran a story on my statements to the NBU board. I know the reporter heard the last of a series of conversations I had been having with the people at NBU, and so can’t be expected to have known the whole story. The article did not cover my primary objection to the line in question, therefore I feel compelled to write to you in an effort to make it clear.
I know that NBU would like to make this seem like an easement dispute. That was the least of my concerns, but let me revisit that issue. The land I bought last week has been surveyed twice in the last 6 months and I am aware of the exact property line. I am also familiar with all easements in the area, and NBU had no right to be on this land without permission of the owner. When I saw the destruction NBU had done, the first thing I did was to contact the lady who was to sell me the land. NBU had not contacted her at all, much less got permission, as Roger Biggers claimed in your paper. His statement that “We don’t go on people’s property without getting permission” is what we in Hays County call a lie. This kind of focus shifting is perfectly consistent with the behavior I experienced at this utility, which brings me to the point I was trying to get across to the board.
The line on Hunter did not need to be constructed. On the other side of the road is a PEC line coming from the same substation and going right up to the same customer. NBU knew for two years that they had a problem with the service to this customer and they were about to lose his business. This line was a convenient way of holding on to a customer in an area they don’t have the structure to serve. Given that Hunter is a historic and scenic road, I felt that this was a waste of money and damaged the area.
No hearings were held. NBU’s general manager would not even hold up the construction until the neighbors could come and speak to the board. With good reason. Their plan could not hold up to scrutiny. In three hours I found an electrical engineer who could explain a better way. I would have flown him in at my expense. The most efficient solution would be for NBU to sell this customer to the PEC, who were in a position to provide service with existing structures. But NBU is a typical bureaucracy, they wield more power by having a bigger budget. The reason they didn’t want any input or review is that it would have stopped their power grab.
I said I would call a lawyer when dealing with NBU in the future. This is not because I desire the cost or trouble of litigation. It is because NBU has no grievance system and has no objective oversight. That’s where the good citizens of New Braunfels come in. You own this corporation. I am asking you as a neighbor to call of your dog. Please demand that NBU develop a system of review and input. Please work to develop cooperation between PEC and NBU
in rani areas. And if this board won’t do it, throw them out.
Ben Jones Hunter
Rim Outfitters do cars about health of river
I am writing in response to Fonda Wetsel’s letter to the editor in the June 4 issue of the H-Z. I, too, would like to commend law enforcement officers for their presence on the river Memorial Day weekend. The increased number of officials was very helpful in combating many of the law-breaking tourists.
The other aspect of her letter I would like to comment on is the part challenging outfitters to clean the river. I am in my second summer of work at Jerry’s Rentals. We do whatever we can to keep the Guadalupe clean. We have two huge receptacles on the river’s edge. We also have 4 bins lining the river for tourists to throw trash in. We provide mesh WORD bags for tubers and rafters to put trash in. We have employees at Gruene armed with trash bags to pick up cans and garbage on the beach. We have several signs posted saying, “No glass or Styrofoam on the river.’’ We also send at least three large rafts down once a week manned with two employees each to pick up garbage off the banks. We use the least number of people so the big rafts can hold more trash.
Last summer we proclaimed a formal challenge (see the H-Z) against other outfitters to clean up the river as well. This friendly competition to see who could pick up the most trash was issued on the. part of our river.
Tourists bring in much revenue to New Braunfels in the summer. There is nothing wrong with capitalizing off our natural resources. The river outfitters enjoy the river as much as homeowners and tourists and don’t see it as a means of just raking in money or, as Mrs. Wetsel says, “putting air into anything that will float for the dollar.” We also do not appreciate the disrespect tourists show to our home. That is why we do river clean-up and use other preventative measures to keep our river clean.
I challenge Ms. Wetsel to continue her support for the law enforcement, to continue her support for river beautification, and to understand how very hard river outfitters are trying to keep the river clean. If she or anyone else would like to join us one week for river clean-up, we would welcome their assistance.
Amy McKinnon Jerry's Rentals
Batter fill up the gas tank before going to polls
Please excuse the delay in getting this letter to you. I just got back from my long trek to the polls.
Who is responsible for putting the Clear Spring area in a district so far away by land? I suspect it was some Republican who found out there are still Democrats in Clear Spring. Actu-
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ally, I just couldn’t afford the gas to drive that far so I didn’t vote. Could you tell me if it is closer to get there through New Braunfels or would I be better off going through McQueeney and Schumansville?
I sincerely request that whoever is responsible for this, to take immediate steps to get us in a district with a more accessible polling place or else get started with that bridge we’ve been hearing about for so long. Perhaps a pontoon bridge could be set up just for elections.
Erwin Sell New Braunfels
Scheduling another forum mleees the point
Judge Casteel: Reference your scheduled public forum held at Lone Star School, Tuesday, June 6, in response to charges that county government had been “unresponsive” to the needs of the Hispanic community. Did you bother to verify this allegation before going out and scheduling this public forum? I, as a member of the Hispanic community, would not be presumptuous to make such a broad statement. I, as an Hispanic, could not, nor would I pretend to be the voice of the Hispanic community.
Your efforts in scheduling another public forum at Lone Star School in a couple of weeks totally miss the point! Why burden the community with additional meetings? It is absolutely essential that the community be attentive to what
is going on with local government and attend regular meeetings of the City Council (second and fourth Mondays monthly), New Braunfels Independent School District, Comal Independent School District, and New Braunfels Utilities meetings, which meet during the evening hours, and Commissioners Court, which meets every Thursday beginning at 8:15 a.m. Why not have two meetings in the morning and two meeting in the evening? How about a compromise with the community?
Your scheduling of public forums, as County Judge, sends a message of individualist government, not for the people and of the people, but at the people! Your forums are in response to the effect not the cause.
Future forums based on self-serving motives, held by you as judge, or other single-elected officials will not become a thing of the past—they are a thing of the past.
Your remark about rescheduling the next forum on another night of the week or making sure it’s well publicized is not the point. A word of praise to the Herald-Zeitung. Doug Loveday was absolutely correct, and he and the new-paper should be congratulated. Keep your confidence! There is a good part of this community that keeps up with local news through your publication. Based on Ms. McWilliams, Comal County Office of Public Health representative report, 500 people, almost all children, had their shots updated during a local immunization drive. I asked about media dissemination, and she said, “The Herald, radio, fliers, and cable TV.” I
read five dailys and listen to our local radio station for news in the community-
I attended the District I Town Meeting held jointly by City Councilman Juan Luis Martinez and County Commissioner Christina Zamora. I reside in District I and topics discussed are of interest to me and ate tailored to District I residents. I read the notice about the Town Meeting published in the Stammtisch Section of the Herald, through Wednesday’s edition. Though not a large group, there were more than four in attendance.
I want to be able to have access to local government. City Council holds their meetings in the evening where all citizens interested in the community have the opportunity to attend as many meetings as possible. Council chambers always has a good cross section representation in the audience where action agendas regarding the interest of the community are addressed, and the citizens have the opportunity to address the council. It is here that die community, not only the Hispanic community, has the opportunity to make its voice heard.
It was also apparent by the attendance at the organizational meeting of the Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Comal County. The Herald-Zeitung was the only source announcing the scheduled place and time of this meeting. The Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TMACC) said this was the largest group they had ever addressed during an organization
Usually there are less than IO people in attendance. There were over 60 people present, only four being from outside New Braunfels and Comal County. (Three from TMACC and the fourth being the vice president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Seguin).
The editorial, Strangely Silent, written by Managing Editor Ekxig Loveday, saying, “it was a shame the public chose to stay away,” also missed the point. I am not negating that you, Judge Casteel, are influential in the community. I say “that it is local government, as a body,” which is the vehicle the community must utilize in responding to our wishes, be it angry, confused, yes, Doug, even satisfied. Now do you get my message?
Let it be known that no one single elected representative can make a difference. It is a governing body who will make the policies which affect the day to day living in New Braunfels and Comal County.
Thankyou, Nora Morales
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