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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 29, 1994, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4 ■ Tuesday, March 29, 1994 Herald - Zeitung Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about the Opinion page, call 625-9144. Q B LU -J “Facts are like cows If you look them in the face hard enough they generally run away.” Dorothy L. Sayers, author, 1955 E D I I T O R I I A L A healthy sign Pending sale of Citizens Bank highlights the robust recovery of Texas' banks The pending sale of Citizens Bank in New Braunfels is a sign of an important change in Texas. Citizens Bank is being acquired because it is financially strong. As we all know, that, within very recent memory, was more often than not the situation. Not so very long ago, when a bank’s ownership changed, it was under the watchful eye and direction of federal authorities concerned with protecting those who were in one way or another financially involved with that bank. Citizens Bank President Bill Cone probably said it best when, talking with a friend soon after news of the banks pending sale began to surface, said, “It’s really a story of Texas banks turning around... They’re selling for the right reasons instead of the wrong reasons.” Small banks in Texas have been showing record profits of late. Citizens Bank, which opened late in 1986, has seen improved operating performance every year since then. The bank’s net income in 1992 was $368,000. In 1993 it was $432,000. That is a growth of better than 17.4 percent. Deposits in the bank totaled $34,281,000 in 1992. By the end of 1993, they had grown to $40,492,000, or more than 18 percent. Loans at Citizens Bank during that same period grew from $14,528,000 to $16,419,000. The bank has consistently shown the highest loan to deposit ratio in the New Braunfels market. And its capital to assets ratio is better than 7 percent, well over the regulatory minimums. All of those things — and many more — were at the root of what Cone termed a “very attractive offer” made by those whose acquisition of the bank is pending. That offer is a formula based on the bank's book value and future earnings. If the closing of the sale occurs Sept. 30 as is anticipated, shareholders will receive approximately $5 a share, or slightly more than $7 million. All of that is subject to continuing negotiation, of course, but certainly it makes Cone’s “very attractive offer” description seem an understatement That offer came because of the strength of the New Braunfels bank. It also came because of the fast increasing strength of the Texas banking community. (Today's editorial was written by David Sullens, editor and publisher of the New Braunfels Heraid-Zeitung.)Write us ... The New Braunfels Heraid-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 250 words. We publish only original mail addressed to The New Braunfels Heraid-Zeitung bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor do The New Braunfels Heraid-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210)625-1224 New BraunfelsHeraid-Zeitung Editor and Publisher............................................................David Sullens General Manager............................................................Cheryl Duvall Managing Editor..................................................................Mark Lyon Advertising Director...........................................................Paul    Davis Circulation Director....................................................Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman...................................................Douglas Brandt Classified Manager .................................................Karen Reininger Composition Manager..............................................Carole Ann Waide Qty Editor....................................................................Roger Croteau Published on Sunday rrewrurigs and weekday mumings Tuesday through Lucia y by the New Braunfels Herald Zedung CUSPS 377 8*0) 707 luanda St, tx P.O. Drawer 311328. New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx 78131-1328. Second class postage paid by die New Braunfels HeraidZeUung in New Braunfels, Texas Canner delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties: three months. $16; six months, $29; ane year, 149. Senior Churn Discounts by earner delivery only: six months, $25; one year, 145. Mal delivery manrir Corral County in Texas: three months, $26.55, six months, $47.20; one year, $88.50. Mat! outside Texas: bx months, $61.95; one year, $103 25. Subscribers who have not recaved a newspaper by 5:30 p m. Tuesday through Friday or by 7:30 a.m on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 or (210) 606-0846 (toil free for Seguin, Marion, Canyon Lake, Bulverde and San Antonio) by 7 p.m. weekdays or by 11 un an Sunday. PoaTMASTO: Send address changes lo the New Braunfels Herald-Zeiiung. P.O. Draw ar 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 71131-1328.OpinionWhen government treats us like children Roger Croteau Labor Secretary Robert Reich last week proposed a prohibition on smoking in all indoor workplaces, including bars and restaurants. The main justification he put forward for the ban is that is would increase worker productivity 3.5 percent, saving U.S. industry SI5 billion a year. Now' almost everyone would agree that worker productivity is a very worthy cause, more important, for example, than personal freedoms. So in the name of making us all better workers, here are my suggestions for increasing worker productivity. ■ Since well rested employees are more productive than tired employees, Mandatory Bedtimes for all workers. Let’s say 10:30 p.m. is lights out across the country, or maybe Labor Secretary Reich should study the matter before setting the bedtime. ■ A high fat diet has led to many health problems in the workforce, the savings to industry would be immense if employees would simply cat healthier. So, I propose Mandatory Lunch Bag Checks at all U.S. businesses. Anyone found packing fried chicken, pastrami or anything else of dubious nutritional value would have their lunch confiscated. ■ Although I can’t quote a study, I am confident that people who exercise regularly are healthier and therefore more productive on the job. That is why I feel, and I am sure Labor Secretary Reich would agree, that workers should attend Daily Mandatory Exercise Class. Do you see my point? Are any of those suggestions any more ludicrous than the government forbidding you from smoking in a bar? OK, maybe my suggestions might be a little sillier, but not that much. It bothers me when government bureaucrats decide they know what is better for people than people themselves do. It all comes down to where you draw that tricky line between the public good and personal freedom. This move would be a small but significant move away from personal freedom, and for what? To hear Reich tell it, we would give up that small piece of our freedom in the name of worker productivity. Bad idea in my book. Why not allow indi* lual businesses decide their own policies on the matter of smoking at work? This is the kind of excessive government regulation that President Bill Clinton had pledged to eliminate. If a business wants to allow workers to smoke it would have to designate a non-working area with a separate ventilation system, a major expense. It is estimated it would cost businesses $6.6 billion a year to comply, but save $15 billion in increased productivity and decreased health problems. I don’t know where Reich got the figure $15 million, or the 3.5 percent productivity increase. I am always skeptical of such claims. And I am always skeptical when the government decides it knows better than its citizens what is best for them. And by the way, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a column critical of U.S. Representative Lamar Smith’s stance on illegal immigration. Well, Smith and I agree on this issue, with a Smith aide telling me the Congressman thinks the proposal ‘tells business people what to do without giving them the money to do it. It is just another unfunded mandate.” (Roger Croteau is the City Editor of the Heraid-Zeitung.) v^re going td mane P3d(£i#mindimi would fu mind giving up pr weapons ara Roving IdaieOTiionJJ- gyiflf WH lr HMM U a re KW fem#*' 9yudrnree Angry public is trying to reel in lobbyists By JIM DRINKARD Associated Press Writer • WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not just Congress that is rushing to slap limits on the meals, tnps, gifts and golf outings that lobbyists give lawmakers. In state capitols across the country, legislatures are doing the same, propelled by an angry public, increased media attention and a scries of scandals “It’s an issue v\ hose time has come, and is still coming,” said Alan Rosenthal, who writes about government ethics at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics. “The public mood is very negative toward people in elective office ... Lobbyists are easy targets ” Highly restrictive laws are the result, “even in the most unlikely places like Minnesota, which is about as clean as you can be,” Rosenthal said. Soon after Congress returns from its two-week spnng recess, House and Senate negotiators will meet to draw upAnalysis a compromise between a lobbyist-gift regulation bill the Senate approved last year, and one the House passed last week B<#h would greatly broaden the definition of what a lobbyist is, requiring far more people to register and disclose their activities than the roughly 8,000 who do so under the current, loophole-riddled statute What has attracted the most attention, however, are provisions in both bills that would rein in the perks lawmakers sometimes get from lobbyists: fancy meals, gifts, sports and theater tickets and tnps to resorts for activities like golf, tennis and skiing “Many of those tnps have turned out to be plain, old-fashioned free vacations,” said Rep John Bryant, D-Texas, the main House sponsor of the reform bill Sen Carl Levin, D-Mich., the bill’s pnmary Senate backer, said “there is real momentum here to do something” and predicted final action soon. “The public is understandably perplexed,” Levin said. “They want us to rein in the special interests..” Driving the public mood is a realization that lobbyists have gotten better at what they do, said Rep Erie Fin-gerhut, a freshman Democrat from Ohio who used to fight the same ban Ie as a state Common Cause official "They feel that they have less access to their legislators than professional lobbyists do," Fingerhut said. “The lobbyists are Uke lawyers in the courtroom of the legislature. We’re the judges. You wouldn’t have lawyers giving gifts to the judges.” Evidence of this mood can be found across the political map: —In Ohio, a law that takes effect May 12 will ban legislators from accepting speaking fees or taking more than $75 a year from lobbyists for food and beverages —Minnesota enacted a stria law this month that bans just about every lobbyist-offered perk for lawmakers and other public officials, right down to a cup of coffee. —A bill working its w'ay through the Maryland Legislature would close a loophole that lets lobbyists with multiple clients escape reporting requirements by dividing the costs of lawmakers’ meals among their different employers. —In Kentucky, South Carolina and Arizona, recent scandals prompted enactment of laws tightening regulation of lobbyists and their gift-giving to lawmakers. Similar aaions have been taken in Iowa, Mississippi, Vermont and New Mexico. In all, 35 states now have some kind of restriaions on receipt of gifts by public officials, and it has led to a change of cultures in many state capitols where wining and dining had become a way of life. Today in history By Tho Associated Press Today is Tuesday, March 29, the 88th day of 1994. There are 277 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 29,1973, the last United States troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War. That same day, President Nixon announced “all of our American POW’s are on their way home." On this date: In 1638, Swedish colonists settled in present-day Delaware. In 1790, the 10th president of the United Stales, John Tyler, was bom in Charles City County, Va. in 1867, the Bnush Parliament passed die North America Act lo create the Dominion of Canada. In 1882, the Knights of Columbus was chartered in Connecticut. In 1943, World War ll meat, butter and cheese rationing began. In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of espionage charges. They were executed in June 1953. In 1962, Jack Paar hosted NBC’s ‘Tonight” show for the final ume. In 1971, Army Ll William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering al least 22 Vietnamese civilians in die My Lai massacre. Calley spent three years under house arrest. In 1974, eight Ohio Nauonal Guardsmen were indicted on charges stemming from the shooting deaths of lour students at Kent State University. The guardsmen were acquitted. fen years ago: The Wall Street Journal reported dial one of its columnists, R. Foster Winans, was being invesugaied by the Securities and Exchange Commission tor leaking inside information. Winans, later convicted of securities fraud, admitted giving ups lo a broker in exchange for a cut of the broker’s profits. Five years ago: The movie “Rain Man” won Academy Awards for best picture, best director Barry Levinson and best actor Dustin Hoffman; Jodie Foster was named best actress for “The Accused.” One year ago: Vice President Gore, filling m for first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, presided over marathon hearing on health reform. “Unforgiver won the Academy Award for best picture as well i best director for Clint Eastwood; Emma Thompsc won best actress for “Howards End” and Al Pac a won best ac tor for “Scent of a Woman.” Today’s Birthdays: Former senator Eager McCarthy is 78. Actress Eileen Heckart is 75. Sou Dakota Sen. Larry Presser is 52. British Prime Mil lsier John Major is 51. Comedian Enc Idle is 5 Singer Bobby Kimball is 47. Actor Bud Con is 4 Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas is 38. Tennis pla er Jennifer Capnaii is 18. I hought for Today: “As I see it, in this count (America) — a land of the most persistent idealisi and the blandest cynicism — the race is on betwec the decadence and its vitality.” — Alistair Cook British-bom American journalist and broadcast (1908-). ;