New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 14, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 6A — HERALD-ZEITUNG — Sunday, May 14, 2000Opinions Forum Letters
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New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958.
Doug Toney, Editor and Publisher Margaret Edmonson, Managing Editor
Take the initiative, conserve water
Both New Braunfels Utilities and the Edwards Aquifer Authority have enacted rules recently to conserve water for the long, hot summer months ahead — but residents can do much, much more.
The rules limit landscape watering to once or twice a week, depending on whether or not you rely on the aquifer. Water cannot be used to clean driveways or sidewalks, and no wasting of water is permitted at any time. Swimming pools must use evaporation covers when not in active use. Restaurants can serve water only on request, and no water can be used for a fountain or other water feature.
We encourage residents to adhere strictly to these rules but also to look for ways to do more. What at first seems inconvenient can soon become a way of life that will preserve an essential resource. A few tips include:
• Take a shorter shower or a partially-filled bath.
• Turn off the water w'hen shaving, brushing teeth, etc.
• Don’t let the faucet run im ’ water cis down — keep drinking water in the refrigerator.
• Don’t use the toilet as a waste!. 1 't.
• Fix all leaky faucets immediately and install high efficiency, low-flow faucet aerators.
• Install water saving shower heads and 1.6 gallon low-flow toilets.
• Don’t let the water run in the kitchen sink when rinsing vegetables and dishes. Put the stopper in place.
• Plant drought-resistant trees and plants.
• Keep lawn free of water-sucking weeds.
• Accept a less than lush lawn. This is Texas after all — rugged is good.
• Mow as infrequently as possible and leave grass longer (this shouldn’t be too hard). Mowing puts grass under additional stress that requires more water.
• Don’t water the pavement.
• Use a cistern to collect rainwater, then use that water to give your lawn a drink.
Today in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Sunday, May 14, the 135th day of 2000. There are 231 days left in the year. This is Mother’s Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 14, 1980, President Carter inaugurated the Department of Health and Human Services.
On this date:
In 1643, Louis XIV became
King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.
In 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory left St. Louis.
In 1904, the first Olympic games to be held in the United States opened in St. Louis.
In 1942, Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” was first performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Residents with drainage woes lost out
I was very disappointed that Proposition I for drainage did not pass in the recent election. I want to say to the residents in those affected areas, such as Churchill, whose homes are inundated with water every time there is a slight amount of rainfall, to the many people who are forced to travel Gruene Road driving the center stripe whenever we have rain and to the residents in and along Kelly’s Way and Pam’s Path and to the many doctors who office on Landa Street and McKenna, that I am truly sorry that the citizens voted down these drainage proposals.
The city council spent an entire workshop and half of another meeting trying to identify and prioritize the streets that most needed help with drainage. In order to cut the total amount, we still had to leave off the list pro-
posals for two smaller streets, which we hoped we could eventually fund along with other streets that needed attention.
I find it difficult to believe that it could be only out of spite, hate or a vendetta that anyone would encourage or influence voters to deliberately dump on their neighbors. Again, I feel I should apologize if there is anything I, as a council member, could have done or said to clarify this most important issue so
that citizens could better understand the ballot or how we had appropriated the funds for these projects. However, I was led to believe that as a council member I could not endorse any candidate or actively campaign for any specific proposition. Certainly, the resolution of our major drainage challenges would have been my choice to support.
I wish to thank all of you for the wonderful opportunity to serve the city and especially those residents of District 4 who supported me during my three-year term. New Braunfels is a wonderful place to live, work and play. Grace and peace allow us to rise above outward circumstances and live in assurance that ultimately God is in control.
(Jan Kotylo is the outgoing District 4 representative on the New Braunfels City Council.)
Letters To The Editor
Mom march about disarming citizenry
Don’t be fooled by the media blitz regarding the “Million Mom March.” This is designed to further Bill Clinton’s ultimate goal of disarming the American citizenry so as to have no resistance to his scheme to turn over the government to a world organization which will impose a world tax and laws which will destroy the sovereignty of the United States of America as an independent nation.
It is being organized by a good friend, Hillary, with his full backing. The only purpose is to do away with our constitutional second amendment rights to self-defense.
The second amendment was established to allow the people to protect their persons and possessions from the heavy hand of a centralist government - the antithesis of the left-wing “liberals” who want all aspects of our lives controlled by Big Brother, who always knows best!
These do-gooders are working hard and fast to bring about a one-world order in the schools, the workplace and even private lives. They are implementing a system of choosing careers for school children by the time they reach the third grade - these careers to be determined by a “global” need.
This is the opposite of freedom of choice and free will and is only the tip of the iceberg. Federal funding in education is a
means of control, which means loss of state and local boards as well as parents. We have “creeping” socialism in all the laws and executive orders passed in recent years by him and his fellow-travelers. It has been said that a government which can do everything for you can do anything to you - no truer words were ever spoken. Don’t fall into the trap which caught Australians where guns were outlawed and violent crime has skyrocketed.
Witness the lead of Florida, where the right-to-carry law blazed a trail and cut violent crime drastically. Fight for your second amendment rights - written in the Constitution by wise, foresighted patriots.
Ray & Frances Shannon Spring BranchWhere we go from here depends on mayor, new council
When discussing the city’s May 6 election this past week, how many times have you heard someone say, “The people have spoken”?
So what has been said?
On more than $32 million in proposed projects, all were voted down except a $700,000 proposal to buy and install a new communications network for the police and Fire departments in New Braunfels.
Voters also approved a special election question that prevents city council from building a new convention center without having the project approved first by the voters.
In both district council races that were on the ballot, the two “anti-chamber” candidates soundly defeated the two “chamber-member” candidates.
Maybe “the people have spoken,” but what did they say?
Did the voters say they do not believe we need better streets and drainage?
Did the voters say they do not want better fire protection?
Did the voters say they do not want more recreational facilities for our youth?
All these initiatives were voted down.
Most likely, the votes were not about whether these improvements are needed.
The vote most likely indicated that the voters were displeased with how the proposition process was handled.
Voters are not stupid.
If all of those propositions had passed, the city’s property taxpayer would have seen his or her annual city taxes nearly double.
Council members need to realize that they blew it.
So did the recreational sports people. The supporters of the most controversial aspect of the recreation propositions, the indoor swimming pool, reportedly convinced the softball, Little League and other youth sports advocates that they should all stick together for an all-or-nothing gamble to get the funding.
They got nothing.
And no amount of spin from the chamber of commerce can dissuade anyone from realizing that the chamber got the
wind knocked out of its sails.
All six candidates, three in each district council race, appeared bright and articulate. But as the election drew near, it became clear to many that the choice was between the chamber-backed candidates and the anti-chamber candidates.
And the “anti-chamber” candidates, Robert Kendrick and Debbie Flume, won decisively.
Kendrick ran for mayor this past year. He was such a new resident then, moving here from Houston, that some wondered whether the paint at his house had had time to dry by the time he filed for mayor. In contrast, Flume is a life-long resident. This was not an election about living here all your life versus being an auslander.
This council election clearly was about the chamber.
The chamber has been a force to reckon with over the years. As chambers go, pound for pound, the New Braunfels chamber is one of the most effective that could be found in any city. Its membership, which is more than 1,500, has been active and influential for decades. Former chamber chief Tom Purdum, according to many long-time chamber members, should get much of the credit for the
chamber’s reputation for effectiveness and influence. But almost always, that praise is coupled with a remark that he was someone you tried to avoid disagreeing with publicly. He had a reputation for a “take-no-prisoners” attitude, according to several current chamber members.
His protege Michael Meek has built upon Purdum’s success and his operation is the envy of chambers throughout the state. Meek’s leadership style, according to some who have worked with both him and Purdum, is more approachable. However, he has had to endure some criticism over his reputation for playing hardball.
None of these observations should surprise anyone. Many, if not most, effective leaders must take the heat for making the tough calls.
The chamber, despite what some think, has not always gotten what it wanted.
And often, it gets its way with council because what the chamber sought was best for the city.
So, where do we go from here?
The chamber will regroup. The staff there is professional, and they will assess and adapt. The city has grown and more and more businesses are not locally owned as in the past. And as the popula
tion grows, the question will be whether the chamber’s growth can keep pace to preserve its political clout.
The real key to ensuring that the city can go forward rests with our two new council members and Mayor Stoney Williams.
Kendrick and Flume must make a choice. They can take their council seats and use it in a vindictive way toward the chamber or they can insist on civility and an open government, as they both promised. If their two votes become linked with council member Juliet Watson, which is likely since she championed the anti-chamber theme, the voting bloc could significantly change the direction of the council.
But if Flume and Kendrick cut the chamber out of the process completely, their victory will be hollow because they will be employing the very tactics that they claimed they were trying to end.
Mayor Williams must encourage cooperation and civility. The time for whining and pencil throwing is over.
The people have spoken. Let’s hope council got the message.
(Doug Toney is editor and publisher of the Herald-Zeitung and can be contacted at [email protected]