New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 24, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
ARCH 24, 2004
x vriLD - ZEITLIN GCuellar eyes Comal in ballot recount
By Bon Maloney
U.S. Congressional candidate and former Texas Secretary of State Henry Cuellar said Tuesday 140 disputed mail-in ballots in Comal County would be cen
tral to his recount bid.
Cuellar, who lost the March 9 Democrat primary race in the newly redrawn 28th U.S. Congressional District to three-term incumbent Giro Rodriguez by 145 votes, said questions remain unanswered in Comal, Bexar
and Zapata counties.
In Comal County, losing Precinct 3 Commissioner candidate Ramon Chapa Jr. made allegations that incumbent Cristina Zamora’s campaign cheated with mail-in ballots. In Bexar County, someone
applied for mail-in ballots for at least 41 dead voters and made “arbitrary” decisions about the handling of other ballots, Cuellar said. In Zapata County, irregularities were reported when election equipment broke down.
After the primary in New Braunfels, Republican Precinct 3 commissioner candidate Greg Parker said a Zamora campaign worker failed to sign return envelopes that showed she’d helped 140 voters secure mail-in ballots. Parker said the elec
tion code called for the tainted votes to be thrown out.
Zamora has denied any wrongdoing.
Cuellar said Tuesday he intended to contest those ballots.
See RECOUNT, Page 3A
Council to set tax rate in May
By Scott Mahon
After voting Monday to change the city’s tax year to line up with the county’s, New Braunfels officials said they will proceed with the budget process as if nothing changed.
Council already began work on a budget for fiscal year 2005, and as in previous years, will set the tax rate in May, said City Manager Chuck Pinto.
"Council approved changing the tax year and fiscal year, but it will take an ordinance to change the fiscal year,” Pinto said. “In the meantime, I recommend we continue tile budget process as if nothing has changed in order to give the community the opportunity to go through the entire process and to be sure everything is in the open.”
The city sets its tax rate against a certified tax roll that is 18 months old, but changing the city’s tax year will mean levying taxes against the January 2004 tax roll, rather than the January 2003 tax roll.
“We’re literally skipping a tax year,” Pinto said. "And we ll start levying again as if we’re a brand new entity. In fact, we ll not even have to calculate an effective tax rate.”
It will also mean taxpayers will not pay city taxes for the period July to Dec. 31 this year.
The city’s current tax rate is 37.11 cents per $100 valuation, and the proposed 2005 budget calls for a 42 cent tax rate.
The effective tax rate is 35.23 cents, which is the rate that would raise the same amount of tax revenues as last year but against the new tax roll.
A increase of 3 percent or more above the effective tax rate requires public hearings.
Council will vote on April 5 to raise taxes to about 42 cents and will conduct public hearings on the proposed budget and proposed tax rate April 19.
May 3 council will meet to adopt the proposed budget and vote on die tax rate.
It will also have a final reading on an ordinance to change the tax year.
“Four things will all come together at one time on May 3,” Pinto said. "Adopting the budget, voting on a tax rate, changing the tax year, and changing the fiscal year.”
But once council officially changes the tax year on May 3, the entire process will begin again, Pinto said.
The city currently contracts with NBISD to prepare its property tax statements, which are mailed out in May. City property taxes are usually due in July.
SVHS boys, NBHS girls, CHS boys soccer teams all win in playoff action. Page SA
Readers sound off on city's parking woes, roadside trash, and the public's right to know. Page 4A
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
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Chance of storms
Details .... 2B
Nancy Krueger sprinkles cattle feed as her husband, Wayman. spreads out hay on their land near the New Braunfels Municipal Airport recently.
New generations try to hold onto heritage
AT A GLANCE
£3 Comal Independent School Trustees set to approve next year's academic calendar
6 pm day
Arlon Seay Intermediate School. 20911 Texas 46 West, Spring Branch
By Dylan Jimdnez
New Braunfels and Comal County schtx)l calendars could be matched more closely, if Comal Independent School District trustees approve their 2004-05 calendar Thursday.
I br years, New Braunfels and Comal County schools have taken breaks at different times and started school on diff erent days. The differences have made vacation planning difficult for some parents.
(ISI) boundaries indude parts
of New Braunfels. Five CISD schools are in New Braunfels or just outside Loop 337.
Differences in the calendars have been tough for parents who work in one district but whose children attend school in a different district, said Kari Hutchison, CISD spokeswoman. Since many CISD and NBISD neighborhoods are so close, it also has made event scheduling difficult for churches and youth sports organizations in New Braunfels.
This year, the districts are
working harder than in the past on reconciling calendar differences, Hutchison said. NBISD Superintendent Ron Reaves initiated the talks, she said.
The districts communicated extensively on the issue.
“With Dr. Reaves and our leadership, we have been able to come to the table and work much more closely together," she said.
Monday night, NBISD trustees adopted a 2.004-05 calendar that included a winter break for the first time.
Both districts’ winter and spring breaks are scheduled for the same weeks.
In place of the winter break, there will be no three-day weekends in New Braunfels school in the spring.
CISD has been “unyielding” on the calendar in the past, NBISD trustee Ix*e Edwards said Monday night.
"If we don’t do it, it isn t going to get done,” he said.
Committees of teachers, administrators and parents in both districts developed their calendars.
CISD trustees to discuss, approve 2004-05 school calendar
By Scott Mahon
El Last in a series on local fanners arui the effects city annexation will luweon rural lifestyles.
A new generation of husbands and wives, like Nancy and Wayman Krueger, are trying to preserve their farming heritage — a lifestyle that might be disappearing with urban sprawl.
Unlike their grandparents, whose only work was farming, some couples today try to maintain family farms while working fiill-time jobs.
Wayman Krueger, who grew up in Seguin and is the emergency coordinator for Guadalupe County, still tries to maintain 200 acres of farm land with cattle, goats and sheep.
“The family owns about 450 acres,” he said. "But we don’t grow row crops anymore, like corn, maize and wheat.”
His wife, Nancy, learned
Wayman and Nancy Krueger, take a break from feeding the
farming from her father, Marvin Westmeyer.
“I helped my dad as a kid, and when Wayman and I got
along with their dog. Bandit, cattle.
married, we built a house right next to dad,” she said “We’d like to keep the farm alive in the family, and I’d like my kids to
have the opportunity to use the land like they want. But it s liard for people who aren’t fanners to understand how much our heritage means to us.”
Married 27 years, both agree that farming is a lifestyle.
“You get up every day, and theres something different," Wayman said. “It’s either the weather or a sick calf, or feeding animals. But like they say, you gotta keep working to pay for the farm.”
But the Kruegers say urban sprawl is threatening their lifestyle.
“I’m worried everything is going to change because of annexation," she said "The city is a threat to our way of life. If I wanted to live in the city, I would have bought a house in town. We just want to be left alone, and
See FARMING. Page 2A
Tour of Faith
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