New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 30, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Dellas, Texas #75
heavy in NBISD, city races
Absentee voting was heavy for Saturday’s elections. Clerks aren’t sure whether that’s because the races are so hot, or because Election Day is also the day before Easter.
The City of New Braunfels, which will vote on four amendments to the city charter, already has 176 ballots cast in person, and put 44 in the mail, 40 of which are still out. Absentee polls closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday, but mail-in ballots can be accepted up until 7 p.m. Saturday.
City Secretary Veronica Sarkozi judges that total to be “pretty darned good.
“It’s not the biggest we’ve ever had,” she added. The 1981 City Council runoff betweenvoting
Barbara Tieken and J.C. Reagan brought in 444 absentee votes, and an ultimate turnout of 3,031, more than 25 percent.
New Braunfels citizens will be voting on four amendments Saturday. The first item on the ballot would change the way of electing City Council members. It would provide for four geographical single-member districts, and three members to be elected at large by place. It would also change the regular election date from the second Saturday in August to the first Saturday in April.
The second amendment says unexpected vacancies on the City Council must be filled by public election, held within 120 days after the
seat comes empty. The present charter allows unexpired terms to be filled by city council appointment.
Amendment number three would allow City Manager E.N Delashmutt to purchase up to $5,000 worth of equipment or services without going out for bids and submitting them to council review. The current ceiling is $3,000.
Amendment number four would eliminate the paragraph that calls for fluoridation of the city’s water. Citizens in favor of fluoridation should vote “no” on this amendment. Those against fluoridation should vote “yes.”
The New Braunfels Independent School District, with eight candidates running for three school board positions, has received 190
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in-person ballots and mailed out 97. As of Tuesday, 15 of the mail-outs had been returned. Office staff believe this is a record absentee turnout.
Four candidates are running for Place 4, which will soon be vacated by William Lee Jr. They are Gladys Bartling, Ronald Dalrymple, Bonnie Denson and Christina Zamora. Incumbent Bob Self is unopposed for Place 7. Rudy Reimer, incumbent for Place 6, is opposed by David Cook and Jose Valdemar Espinoza.
There’s just one race in the Comal Independent School District, and it pulled in 39 ballots before absentee voting ended Tuesday. Incumbent trustee Erwin Lehmann is opposed
by Seldon Becker.
Ten absentee votes were cast in the City of Garden Ridge, which has three contested races four council seats. Councilwoman Bobbie Landrum said she didn’t know if that was a record number.
City Secretary Millie Brown didn’t give exact statistics, but she said there were usually “three or four” absentee votes cast.
Garden Ridge candidates include Paul Davis and Robert Kolstad for mayor; incumbent Neil Craigmile against Robert Howey for Council Place 2; and Ben White Jr. challenging incumbent Robert Harmon for Place 3.
New J.LLL Braunfels
Nsw Braunfels. Texas
Vol 92 NO 63 'IU Do cl oc_A Qortinnc
March 30,1983 25 cents
38 Pages —4 Sections
Two sites-one downtown, one on Han* Drive - occupied much of the discussion at Tuesday's hearing on a site for a new county lad. Architect Christopher DiStephano, left, and Sheriff Walter Fellers, above, liked the Han* Drive site Representing the Chamber of Commerce, John Chunn went to bat for downtown.
Staff photo> by John Sinter
Jail site debate downtown, Hanz
By JACQUELINE SMITH Staff writer
Of those who spoke out at two-hour public hearing Tuesday, many were in favor of keeping the new county jail, which has to be completed by 1985, in the downtown area
This was despite the recommendations of Sheriff Walter Fellers and Christopher DiStephano. head of the Houston architectural firm hired by the county to work on the new jail complex.
“My preference is the Hanz property on Loop 337,’’ Fellers said, referring to the site selection committee’s top choice. "It’s just a natural set-up...ifs more accessible to any part of Comal County,” he said mentioning Ixiop 337, IH 35, Gruene Road, FM 306, River Road and Common Street coming into New Braunfels.
Prior to public comments and questions, DiStephano outlined the estimated costs of building a facility away from town and in the downtown area — which ne said would cost considerably more.
The county is proposing that the facility — a stipulation in a federal lawsuit settlement — initially include a 100-inmate capacity jail, offices for the Sheriff’s Department and a magistrate’s court. DiStephano estimated that 36,000 square feet would be needed for the new complex — 28,000 square feet of which would be for the jail alone.
DiStephano based his estimates for a downtown jail on the "Doeppenschmidt property" adjacent to the Courthouse where the Courthouse Annex now sits. This site is supported by the New Braunfels Downtown Merchants Association and Chamber of Commerce.
Since property is limited on the downtown site it would cost more to build the jail there because the initial building would have to be designed for all future expansion, DiStephano said.
The architect’s drawings for a jail site there called for at least a four-story building with the ground floor being a parking area only for the Sheriff’s
Department and the top floor being a “shell” until the extra space was needed. The two floors in between would be used for the Sheriff’s offices and the security area.
DiStephano’s cost estimate for building at the downtown site was $6.9 million and did not include land acquisition, purchase of land for parking (or a parking garage ) or the rent the county would have to pay to relocate those county offices now located on the Doeppenschmidt property while the building was being constructed.
County Judge Fred Clark also pointed out that if the downtown site were chosen, that the county would be committing itself to at least 25-50 years at that site.
“And by virtue of that you’re expanding the project" since space for the offices located in Annex would have to be included in the proposed building plans, he said.
To build a jail facility on an “outside site” off Loop 337 — as w <s recommended by a citizens jail site selection committee — would cost approximately $2,880,000, DiStephano said.
The committee’s two top recommendations were for a 12-acre tract off Hanz Drive between the loop and Gruene Road and a 9-acre tract off Water Lane, adjacent to Loop 337 between West San Antonio Street andIH35.
On either of these sites away from town, DiStephano proposed building a one-story jail complex with plans to expand horizontally rather than adding floors to the complex later on.
The $2,880,000 figure did not include land costs or future expansion costs, the architect said. “If you have to expand (laten you pay for it at that time,” he said.
Support for the Hanz site came from DiStephano, Fellers, Precinct I Constable Werner Kiesling, local attorney Melvin Nolte and a few private citizens.
But most of those who spoke out were in favor of
See JAIL, Page 12A
Groups oppose charter amendment
By DYANNE FRY Staff writer
Qty Council set the ballot for the upcoming charter-ainendment election But the New Braunfels public will decide the outcome. On Saturday, our elected representatives will function as ordinary citizens, casting their votes with the rest.
As individuals, they have to make their own decisions on each of the four amendments being presented. And those decisions aren’t always easy.
As of Tuesday night, Joe Rogers was pretty sure he would vote in favor of the districting plan drawn up by special committee and slightly revised by the council
“I might change my mind, but that’s the way I’m leaning right now,” said Rogers. “Of course,” he noted, “the people who wanted it are going to vote against it.”
Ironically, he’s right. Tile district election plan is more or less a result of pressure applied by a local Mexican-American group, with backing from the national Mexican American I^gal Defense and Education Fund. MALDEF and the local Committee for Justice felt that New Braunfels’ present at-large election system did not lend itself to minority representation, and asked the council to look into some sort of district system.
A 17-member committee was appointed to study the problem. This group, working closely with MAIJ)EF attorneys, came up with the so-called "4-3 plan.” It divided New Braunfels into four geographical districts, each of which will be entitled to elect one council member. The remaining three members were to be elected at large by plurality vote.
Council approved the district map, with certain changes proposed by MALDEF. But City Attorney John Chunn found the plurality system to be in violation of the Texas Constitution, and this has
become the controversial point.
In the committee’s original plan, all at-large candidates were to run in the same year, and the top three vote-getters would get the seats. Each citizen would be allowed three votes, but MAIJDEF specified there should be no “anti-single-shot” rule. Thus a minority bloc could campaign for just one candidate, and get a fair shot at one of the seats.
After checking the constitutional snag, a majority of the council decided the at-large members should run for specific places, and be elected by majority vote. The plan is now opposed by MALDEF, the Committee for Justice, and the newly-founded Mexican American Democrats chapter.
"We don’t think ifs going to help the Mexican-Americans one bit,” said Valdemar Espinoza, vice president of the Democrats’ group.
All three Hispanic-rights groups favored the committee’s original plan, “The council turned it down for what they felt was an obvious reason,” Espinoza said. He conceded the plan was in violation of the Texas Constitution, “but what about the U.S. Constitution? What about the citizens’ rights?"
Councilmember Barbara Tieken, who was defeated in her move to send the plan back to committee for a second look, has stated that the revised plan gives the minority community a shot at just one council seat: the one representing the West End district, which was drawn with a 62-percent minority population. She says she’ll vote against it on Saturday.
The percentage in district 2 is 30 percent minority; in District 3, ll percent and in District 4,34 percent.
“The (district) division is fine,” said Espinoza. “We’re talking about the three people being voted at large. That’s what we’re not happy with.”
At the time the election was first called, other council members seemed to feel they’d done the best
See AT-LARGE, Page 12AToday's Weather
It will be partly cloudy and warm today and Thursday, and cooler tonight. Winds will be northeasterly at 10-15 mph today, becoming light tonight. Sunset will be at 6:48 p.m., and sunrise Thursday will be at 6:22 a.m.NB Blasts Gonzales
Mike Cardenas and Armando Martinez kicked off a nine-run fourth inning with doubles and led the New Braunfels Unicorns to a 9-0 victory over the Gonzales Apaches Tuesday night. See Page 8A.Gilmore Spurs S.A.
Artis Gilmore netted 32 points to help blunt a Denver comeback attempt and enable the San Antonio Spurs to zap the Denver Nuggets, 136-129. See Page 8A.Fluoride, Part ll
The debate on fluoride continues to stuff our Mailbag, as six more letters appear in today’s edition. Also, after outlining the health controversy (or the lack of it, actually) in Tuesday’s paper, Editor Robert Johnson takes a look at some of the benefits of fluoridation, which have been forgotten in the debate. See Page 4A.
Reagan suggests arms compromise on NATO missiles
WASHINGTON (AP) — FYesident Reagan today offered to cut back on the planned deployment of new medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe if the Soviet Union agreed to reduce its arsenal of rockets targeted on NATO countries.
Under the proposal, the Soviets would also have to cut their worldwide stock of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
Even if the proposal were accepted, the United States would begin installing new Pershing 2 and cruise missiles in Europe late this year as scheduled, while the Soviet Union would be required to dismantle some of its medium-range weapons.
The Kremlin’s chief arms negotiator, asked about the offer Tuesday, said, “I’mnot optimistic.’’
Revealing a compromise plan to his “zero-zero” proposal to eliminate al) medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe, Reagan said in a nationally broadcast statement from the White House that “it would be better to have none than to have some. But, if there must be some, it is better to have few than to ha vernally.
“If the Soviets will not now agree to the total elimination of these weapons,” Reagan said, “I hope they will at least join us in an interim agreement that would substantially reduce these forces to equal levels on both sides.”
The Soviets have flatly rejected the zero-zero proposal and the United States’ NATO allies have urged that the Reagan administration make a scaled-down proposal.
Reagan did not propose a specific limit on the number of weapons. A senior administration official who spoke on condition he not be named said the numbers of missiles allowed under the new U.S. proposal would be the subject of negotiations with the Soviets.
Accusing Moscow of failing to offer any serious alternatives to the zero-zero formula, Reagan said, “Their failure to make such a proposal is a source of deep disappointment to all of us who have wished that these weapons might be eliminated — or at least significantly reduced.
“But I do not intend to let this shadow that has been cast over the Geneva negotiations further darken our search for peace,’’ Reagan said.
Reagan’s announcement confirmed earlier reports that a new proposal was put on the bargaining table in Geneva on Tuesday.
Accompanying Reagan’s announcement was a White House statement saying the NATO allies “welcome arid strongly support the new American intermediate nuclear force negotiating initiative announced
See MISSILES, Page 12A