New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 16, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
WEDNESDAY May 16, 2001
16 pages in 2 sections
""•F" 16 pages in 2 seenHerald-Zeitung
0 iii! r: PSI! i sri fir W till! I: 1 1 '
Vol. 150, No. 159
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Seating arrangement stirs up council
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
Attempts to change the way New Braunfels City Council does business met with resistance from two council members at Monday night’s meeting.
Mayor Stoney Williams suggested rotating the council vote, so each person gets the opportunity to vote first. He also suggested that the council sit in order of districts — a suggestion that met with suspicion from Councilwoman Juliet Watson.
“I think it’s just a juvenile power play by the mayor,” Watson said. “That’s my concern. I’ve sat in the same seat for five years. I certainly will move — but I think he’s making a big deal out of this issue when there are much more critical issues facing the city.”
Williams said the council discussed both the rotating vote and the change in seating arrangements at the council workshop on Saturday. At the time, the council agreed — except for Watson, who left early, Williams said.
“Originally we sat one through six,” Williams said. “But then people got switched around and no one wants to move now. It’s hard for the people in the audience to know which council member represents which district.”
Williams said the reason for the move was to make it easier for constituents to tell which council member represented which district. As it stands now, it is hard to tell, he said.
Councilwoman Debbie Flume also disagrees with the move, but for a
different reason. She said the fluorescent lights hurt her eyes, so she did not want to sit directly underneath them.
“I have trouble with the lights in my eyes,” she said. ‘I would move to the other end, but both seats on either side of the mayor have lights right above them. They hurt my eyes.”
Williams said the lighting is the same for every seat.
“They all have lights above them,” he said. “This is just some sort of a power play.”
Councilwoman Debbie Flume.
Waterpark not paying shuttle fees
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort recently decided it would not pay the new shuttle permit fees assessed for water-recreation shuttles operating inside the city limits.
Recently, New Braunfels City Council opted to change the fees from a per-vehicle fee to a per-seat fee to raise funds for the River Management Plan.
Under the new fee arrangement, the water-park’s permit fees would increase 800 to 1,000 percent, Schlitterbahn public relations director Sherrie Brammall said.
“We sent a letter saying that in our opinion the ordinance doesn’t include Schlitterbahn,” Brammall said. “We don’t run water-recre-ation shuttles between points on a river for the purpose of transporting individuals in connection with tubing or rafting, so the shuttle fees don’t apply to our vehicles.”
City Manager Mike Shands said the city received the letter and the city replied, asking Schlitterbahn why it made the decision now when it always paid the fees in the past.
“The letter I received said they paid it voluntarily in the past because they received the benefit of a city inspection,” he said. “But because the new fees raise the amount they pay, they no longer choose to pay for it.”
Shands said Schlitterbahn figured it would have to pay $5,000 compared to the $500 the company paid this past year.
Brammall also said the waterpark paid the fees in the past because the city performed safety inspections on vehicles.
“When the ordinance passed, about IO years ago,
“We dont run water-recreation shuttles between points on a river for the purpose of transporting individuals in connection with tubing or rafting, so the shuttle fees dont apply to our vehicles/*— Sherrie Brammall Schlitterbahn public relations director
Schlitterbahn voluntarily participated because we valued the safety inspection,” Brammall said. “It made good business sense to get the inspections when they cost $500 a year. Now that they’ve increased, it’s just too costly to justify.”
The waterpark looked at the ordinance, which defines a shuttle vehicle as a vehicle involved in transporting people from one point on the river to another point, for the purpose of engaging in water-recreation activities.
“We looked at the definition in the ordinance, and it clearly doesn’t include Schlitterbahn,” she said. “We simply transport people from one private property to another. It doesn’t apply to our own vehicles.”
Shands said the city had no plans to pursue the issue until an attorney was hired. The city currently is without legal representation, because Floyd Akers resigned this past month to take a job as municipal judge in Bryan.
‘There’s no rush to settle the problem,” Shands said. “If they have to pay the fee, then we will get the money. If they don’t, then the council will have to decide if it wants to change the ordinance or not.”
Seeds of remembrance
Garden club pays tribute to father of Texas botany
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Above, encouraging the crowd to sing along, Caitlyn Offerman and her father Don play “Happy Birthday” for the crowd gathered at Ferdinand Lindheimer’s gravesite Tuesday morning to celebrate his 200th birthday. Below, Mary Ann Seidel (left) and Dorothy Nolte mark Ferdinand Lindheimer’s grave with a commemorative wreath.
By Ron Maloney
A soft, cool breeze rustled the rosemary over the gravesite of Ferdinand and Eleonore Lindheimer as members of the New Braunfels Garden Club honored the father of Texas botany a week before the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Rosemary means remembrance, and Tuesday the garden club placed a wreath and bouquets of flowers at the Lindheimer gravesite.
But then, the New Braunfels Garden Club has remembered Lindheimer for 50 years. That’s how long members have tended his grave in Comal Cemetery.
Dolores Schumann, who organized Tuesday’s
event, introduced a number of dignitaries, including one of Lindheimer’s great-great-great descendants.
Barbara Loudon, of San Antonio and an elementary school teacher in Helotes, said she always had loved New Braunfels and knew she had at least one connection to
this city in her grandfather, Albert Ewald Loudon, a pastor in a number of South Texas communities.
She only recently discovered her relation to Lindheimer.
“I knew I’d always been connected to New Braunfels,” the Southwest Texas State
University graduate said. “But up until about a year ago, I had no idea I was related to such a great man.”
Ironically, Loudon teaches science, and Lindheimer was considered one of the first great scientists of the Southwest. More than 50 plants he discovered while exploring Texas are named for him.
“I guess I come by it naturally,” Loudon said.
Program co-chairman Betty Vogel read a synopsis of Lindheimer’s life.
She told of a decade Lindheimer spent, “living on a shoestring,” doing his work. He is credited with discovering and categorizing hundreds of plant species.
During his travels
Fed cuts rates again
By Martin CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve, still trying to resuscitate the weak economy, cut interest rates a half point further on Tuesday, pushing borrowing costs for millions of Americans to the lowest level in seven years.
It was the Fed’s fifth halfpoint reduction this year,
extending a rapid-fire string of moves in its most aggressive easing campaign under Chairman Alan Greenspan.
Since the first of the year, the central bank has pushed its target for the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, from 6.5 percent down to 4 percent.
Economists said the Fed clearly signaled in a brief See RATES/3AInside
Key Code 76
City attorney discussions continue
By Amy Clarkson
New Braunfels city council is unable to agree on a final candidate for city attorney, Mayor Stoney Williams said Tuesday.
Council met in closed session for more than 45 minutes on Monday to discuss attorney candidates.
The city agreed to interview seven candidates for the posi
tion, and council still has not officially narrowed the fist, Williams said.
“Council can’t agree on whom to hire,” he said. “We argued back and forth last night (Monday). So, we’re going to have another executive session to discuss it further.”
The council plans to meet in closed session at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the appli-See ATTORNEY/3AWhat’s Up -
What: New Braunfels City Council closed session When: 5:45 p.m. Tuesday Where: City Council chambers, Municipal Building, 424 S. Casten Ave.
Why: Discuss city attorney applicants. Council previously interviewed seven candidates.