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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 14, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels SATURDAY June 14; 2003 16 pages in 2 sections mammee* ___    lo    pages    in    c    secHerald-Zeitung Vol. 152, No. 182 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 centsPolice, fire still shorthanded, despite new posts By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer All four of New Braunfels’ firestations would remain open under the $25 million budget approved this week by city council. • The budget puts three new police officers on the streets and six new firefighters in uniform. While NBPD Chief Russell Johnson and fire/EMS Chief John Herber are elated with staffing additions, they stressed Thursday their departments are still lacking manpower. Johnson originally asked city council for ll new patrol officers and two new detec tives, citing inadequate staff’ for a city the size of New Braunfels. After staff cuts in April, NBPD lost four police officer positions and an assistant police chief position that went unfilled. The same thing happened to the fire department. Herber asked council for nine firefighters but got six. He is six firefighters short, because three unfilled positions were lost in the April reduction in force. There are 36 officers working patrol for the NBPD, which means six officers per shift, at most. ‘I would like to see a minimum of eight (per shift) actually working patrol,” Johnson said. That would allow police to beef up traffic patrol. Currently, officers work traffic between other calls. It would take two more officers per shift, a total of 12 new employees, to be able to dedicate officers to traffic control. “We’re a long ways away from there,” Johnson said. Flexibility remains a problem at the fire department. Fire station five is an “either/or” station. It’s See SHORTHANDED/4A Paperwork snag could mean legal action in plat spat By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A permitting dispute that involves retired Spurs super-star George Gervin could result in criminal or civil legal action — if a Spring Branch developer doesn’t get his paperwork into the county soon. The developer, Guillermo de Alba Brewster, said a week ago that engineering problems had put him behind schedule. Friday, he said all the documents from his engineering firm are in, and he has nearly finished the application process. “Tm keeping very dose contact with the county engineer, who has been very understanding and cooperative. We had a couple things that weren’t ready Wednesday that we got in Thursday. I’m doing my best,” Brewster said. “I keep up with my responsibilities.’ Gervin and bus wife, Joyce, are involved because they bought nearly 26 acres of the land to build a new home on. They can’t get needed permits because the land hasn’t been platted. June 5, County Judge Danny Scheel gave Brewster one week to complete the application. County Engineer Tom Homseth said Thursday that Brewster had not submitted a complete plat application for the property he owns, which is adjacent to the Spring Branch Meadows subdivision off U.S. 281. There is progress; we’ve received some papers, but we don’t have a complete plat application,” Homseth said. Scheel said Thursday he believed the developer had enough time to comply with the rules. He has ordered Dint net Attorney Dib Waldrip to move forward on legal action. Waldrip said his office is See SUBDIVISIONS Ex-councilman Kendrick undergoes cancer surgery By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer Former District 4 City Councilman Robert Kendrick is sitting up in the intensive care unit at Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston. He is recovering from surgery for the next few days after parts of his stomach, pancreas and gallbladder were removed. Some of the tissue will be examined for cancer cells. “The tests will be in in approximately IO days, and if that is clear, then it appears that he is pretty well home free. But he will have to undergo radiation for awhile,” Betty Dunkin, family friend, said. Complaining of stomach pain June I, his wife, Betty Kendrick, encouraged Robert to go to the emergency room at McKenna. “He thought he had some bad food,” Dunkin said. Tests from McKenna showed cancer in the stomach area. He left June 8 for further testing. -Cancer was again found, and he was scheduled for surgery Thursday. The Kendricks weren’t certain about the cancer until Wednesday. “We were in shock because we had no clue,” Betty Kendrick said. See CANCER/4A KENDRICK (Above) Herb Caldwell, the self-proclaimed mayor of “Helmville,” enjoys playing with his grandchildren Adam (in Herb’s arms), Andrew (left) and Eric Boyce. Much of his family lives in the same cul-de-sac. (Right) Caldwell will soon retire from his position as maintenance supervisor for county buildings after 17 years. He plans to spend his free time babysitting his grandchildren.‘Herbvffle’ Patriarch of neighborhood ends 17 years with county By Ron Maloney Staff WriterMayor of Herb Caldwell is moving on. Comal County's building maintenance supervisor is hanging up his tool belt after more than 17 years of overseeing cleaning and maintenance of the county’s buildings — to be with his grandchildren. Comal County’s loss will be a very big gain for “Herbville.” “Herbville” is what county employees who know Herb — and there are few who don’t — call the little cul-de-sac of Kingswood Circle, J located not far from New Braunfels High School. Folks around the courthouse call it “Herbville” because Herb and his wife, Betsy, live in the home at the end of it. They fondly refer to him as the mayor of “Herbville.” On one side is his daughter Donna Vestal’s family, with three boys and a girl. On the other is his daughter, Cindy Boyce, and her family, which includes five boys. ^ have five grandchildren on one side and four on the other," Herb said. Between his house and Cindy’s is the house his son, James, owns but leases to Herb’s nephew, Jason Weber and his family, with four boys. Herb has another son, David, who lives in Austin and a daughter, Sandra, who lives in Kerrville. But in “Herbville,” Herb lives a grandfather’s dream: more than two dozen grand-kids or grandnephews all living right next door and coming to see “papa” whenever they feel like it, which is pretty often. That’s because Herb, who DAVID INGRAM/Herakj-Zeitung    See HERB/3 AInside I Dear Abby ,... SA Classifieds..............4-8B Comics    2B Crossword.............2B Forum................6A Movies................    5A Sports  ........1,4B Today.................2A Stocks...........  5A 56825 00001 Rabble rousers fights earned him respect DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Merritt Schumann has been in the life insurance business in New Braunfels since 1953. He became active in politics in 1946, while still in high school. At one time, he thought he would be run out of town for his political views. By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer It was 1956. As a young school district board member, Merritt Schumann successfully fought to integrate New Braunfels’ public schools. He fought to have an outside firm re-evaluate homes so the school district could equitably tax them. Those stances did not earn him much favor. He received letters denouncing him. When he ran for reelection, he was defeated Yet Schumann, 75, stayed involved in politics, government and all things civic. After graduating from the University of Texas in June 1950, Schumann spent three years at sea on a destroyer during the Korean War. He came back to New Braunfels in 1953 and went into the life insurance business. He immersed himself in civic activities, accepting a stint as superintendent of church school at First Protestant Church. He held that position for 25 years. He joined the Noon Lions Club in 1953 and has been a member ever since, earning the Melvin Jon*** Club Award, one of the club’s highest honors. Schumann became active in politics after joining the Jaycees, or Junior Chamber of Commerce. That sparked his interest in running for the school board in 1956. “Most people thought I was too young ” he said. He was 28 at the time. He tackled unpopular subjects with vigor, becoming involved in re-evaluating appraisals of taxable properties for the school district. See RESPECT/3A ;