New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 26, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
What's the money for?
Hikes in Appraisal District budget draw fire
Members of the Central Appraisal District board heard both criticism of and praise for the proposed budget from taxing entity representatives Tuesday night.
And following a suggestion from one of those who criticized the proposal, the board scheduled a July 2 budget workshop.
Calling the proposed $609,600 budget “grossly excessive and not at all in line with the product being delivered,” Garden Ridge Mayor Paul Davis, in a letter to the board, said that any (budget) escalation is not acceptable.
The budget proposal is $106,750 higher than the current budget, with the largest increase in the rent or
purchase price of office space for the District.
Also included in the proposed budget are provisions for two new appraisers and a clerk, and a salary increase of about 5 percent doled out on a merit basis.
“I’ve heard criticism,” said Glyn Goff, New Braunfels ISO tax assessor-collector. “Because the tax assessor is going to hear this. But you have to look at it unit price wise. It does make a difference. You get what you pay for.”
Goff said he believed the Appraisal District still needs to work the kinks out of the system. “I think you’ve tried, you’ve got to try harder,” he said.
“We need to get this thing worked out and work it out together. We need a system that is good for us and good for our people.”
But there was more criticism than praise Tuesday. Gloria Clennan, Comal County tax assessor-collector, told the board her group is “not happy with the budget.”
Clennan said her office budget of $285,000 pays for her salary and 12 workers. “I really do not understand,” she said.
“It is hard to understand why it is so expensive for the one thing they have to do and we did it all ourselves. It seems to me to be a little wrong.” Tony Cortes, a member of three of the boards within the Appraisal
District (Guadco Municipal Utility District I and 2 and the Edwards Underground Water District), said Tuesday that the District’s board members should be “working" board members.
“I doubt very seriously if any of you have taken the time to go over line item by line item and figure out how they got to that number,” Cortes said. “That budget means absolutely nothing. That budget doesn’t mean anything to anybody.”
Cortes suggested a two-board-member committee study the budget items. “Sit down and take an item and break it apart and find out what’s
See APPRAISAL, Page 16A
San Antonio man hurt in head-on collision
By DANA OVERSTREET Staff writer
A San Antonio man is in undetermined condition in Northeast Baptist Hospital following a Tuesday afternoon head-on collision north of New Braunfels.
Department of Public Safety reports indicate that Allen Stelly, 27, of Port Neches was driving a 1976 Oldsmobile on PM 306 about 5.7 miles west of PM 483.
“He was on the wrong side of the road for no apparent reason,” said a spokeswoman at the DPS office. His car collided with a 1973 Dodge pickup driven by 35-year-old Richard Iehourcade of San Antonio.
Stelly suffered a cut, and the report states that Lahourcade was “fairly seriously injured.”
The accident occurred at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Also Tuesday, a Port Worth woman was not injured after hitting a fence on Solrris Road.
Comal County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Bowles said the woman was eastbound on Solms Road when she had to swerve to miss a longhorn bull standing in the road.
“She lost control and hit a fence,” Bowles said She was not hurt, but about 20 feet of fence was torn up.
fumbling Astros, Page 11A
New Braunfels. Texas
June 26, 1985
Vol. 94 No. 125
36 Pages -3 Sections
One hostage freed; French may mediate
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) -American hostage Jimmy Dell Palmer flew to freedom today, 13 days after he was captured by hijackers of a TWA jet. Shiite militia leader Nabih Berri freed Palmer for health reasons and proposed that the other 39 hostages be placed in a Western embassy until Israel releases 735 Arab prisoners.
Berri said the remaining American hostages might also be sent to Syria if no Western nation would hold them in an embassy and promise not to let them out of lebanon until the hijackers’ demands for freedom of the prisoners hi Israel are met.
Palmer, 48, of Little Rock, Ark., flew from Beirut aboard a Middle East Airline Boeing 707 to Iarnaca, Cyprus. Wearing a red polo shirt, Palmer smiled as he walked down the steps of the airplane without aid.
“I feel fine,” he told waiting reporters. “I’m just happy to be out of Beirut and with the American people ... I’d like to say, Hi,’ to my wife and family. I’m so happy to be home.”
The scheduled flight was delayed 45 minutes until Palmer arrived in an airport bus, with six Shute Amal militiamen.
Palmer told The Associated Press as he waited to board the plane' “I can verify that we were very well See HIJACK, Page I6A
Reagan's patience said wearing thin
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Reagan administration, its patience running out, says it will give diplomacy a few more days to gain release of the 40 American hostages and then consider isolating lebanon to put pressure on the radical Shiite hijackers.
Gripped in Hie deadlock, the White House raised the prospect of an economic blockade to deny food, petroleum and other imports to areas in and around Beirut controlled by Moslem fundamentalists.
Tuesday’s annoucement by Ierry Speakes, the presidential spokesman, marked a toughening of the U.S. position. A week ago. President Reagan told the nation he had no option but to “wait it out.”
Shute Moslem leader Nabih Berri announced Unlay he was freeing one of the 40 American hostages. 48-year-old Jimmy Dell Palmer of Little Rock, Ark Palmer was later escorted by Shute Amal militiamen to Beirut
airport to get on a Middle East Airlines jet flying to Iernaca,
Berri, who heads the Shiite Amal militia, proposed that the the remaining 39 hostages be transferred from the plane and secret hideouts in Beirut to a Western embassy. He did not specify which embassy, but stressed the hostages will only be moved “on condition the embassy will give a promise they will not leave lebanon” until Israel has freed 735 lebanese it holds.
A State Department spokeswoman, Sondra McCarty, had no comment on the freeing of Palmer. She also declined to comment on Berri’s proposal to move the hostages to an embassy.
We really have nothing to say about this now," she said
For the time being, Speakes said Tuesday, Reagan will stick to diplomacy. That decision followed a meeting by the president with his .security advisers.
See REAGAN, Page 16A
Fireworks plant blast kills 21
HALLETT, Okla (AP) - Most of the 21 people killed in an explosion at a fireworks plant were teen-agers apparently hired to meet demand for the Fourth of July, but severe burns make identification difficult, authorities say.
Five other people, including the owner of the Aerlex Fireworks plant, were injured in a series of massive blasts Tuesday which were felt 13 miles away and hurled bodies and debris hundreds of yards.
Reports that victims may have been under 18, forbidden by law to work at plants like the one making aerial fireworks used in civic
displays, sent state labor Department officials to the scene along with other investigators.
The cause of the blast had not been determined, but Bob White of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said authorities were checking reports of carelessness outside the building as a pickup truck was loaded.
The plant had passed an inspection two months ago, he said.
Dr. Joseph Pierce, a Creek County medical examiner, said he believed most of the victims were teen-agers, “but it’s awfully hard to tell. They were burned so badly, almost beyond
Highway Patrol Ll. Jim King said a number of 17- and 18-year-olds had been hired for the holiday crush.
They worked until late at night, and then started again real early in the morning to make all of the fireworks,” said Mary lewis, whose trailer less than a mile away was shifted off its foundation by the explosion.
"It was a real popular spot for teen-agers to work, and make some good money,” she said, adding that the factory, about 33 miles west of
See BLAST, Page ISA
Southwestern Bell employee Bobby Hanover appears to have taken the Boy Scout motto to heart as he works on phone lines under his
umbrella Persistent showers the past few days have slowed Bell employees as they have tried to work on the lines.
was 73. Sunset will be at 8 38 p m. and sunrise will be at 6:36 a.m.
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A 30 percent chance of rain is in he forecast again today. Jtherwise skies will remain :loudy to partly cloudy with lemperatures reaching the upper-10s and dropping to the mid-70s overnight. Southerly winds will stay between 10-15 mph. Wednesday’s high was 88 and the low
Amendment would boost program: Mauro
By LILLIAN THOMAS Staff writer
The Texas Veteran Housing Assistance Program will receive an additional $500 million in bonds if the voters approve Amendment 7 in November, Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro said Wednesday.
Mauro spoke at the Comal County Democratic Club luncheon, enumerating the success of his ‘aggressive and efficient management of the state's 22.5 million acres of public land."
Mauro also oversees the Texas Veterans Land and Housing Assistance Programs. The housing assistance program allows eligible veterans to borrow $20,000 at less
than IO percent ti) purchase their first homes. And the Veterans Land Program makes loans for the purchase of IO acres or more of land.
The programs are totally funded by the selling of tax-exempt bonds, not tax money, Mauro reminded his audience “(These) programs have loaned over $530 million directly to Texas veterans since January 1JB4,’ Mauro said. "generating more than $3 7 billion in related economic activity.” The programs had a 14.000-name wailing list when Mauro look it over. And the board was slow to close loans. With his introduction of business-like management principals into the office, Mauro said these problems have been curtailed. Mauro also mentioned his
management of the public lands for the stale School Fund and University Fund. "We discovered that the public lands had never been audited,” Mauro said. So for the cost to the taxpayers of a $500,1)00 audit, we found $29 million in unreported (a1 and gas royalties," he added. “And what is really remarkable, this is in the middle of an oil and gas slump. ”
That original audit was a pilot program. Now the Texas legislature has approved a full-blown audit program that will require computerizing all state physical assets along with what the property is being used for and what its optimum use could be
Out of the 22.5 nullion acres, that See MAURO, Page ICA
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