New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 25, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 148, No. 133 12 pages in I section May 25, 1999
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50 centsGolf fees modifiedSurcharge policy amended under Kotylo proposal
David Cook reads from prepared remarks telling the city council that he was not in favor of the proposed golf surcharge Monday. Many residents attended the city council meeting to add their voices in favor or against the proposed surcharge for Landa Park golf users.
Councilwoman, mayor decry tactics of some golfers opposed to initial plan
By Peri Stone — a course of action on one single
By Peri Stone
Monday night was only a partial victory for those annual fee golfers who opposed a proposed fee structure with surcharges.
They won’t be charged the $2 per round surcharge for weekdays that was approved by New Braunfels City Council on two different readings.
But they will be charged a $5 per round surcharge on weekends and holidays.
And annual fee golfers who play more than IOO rounds a year will have to pay extra.
Council voted Monday to impose a $2 per round surcharge for each round played after the 100th round.
Councilwoman Jan Kotylo proposed the new structure after council voted down an amendment to completely eliminate surcharges.
Kotylo was amending councilman Randy Vansto-ry’s plan, which had been approved by council on two previous readings — although with much debate.
Several annual fee golfers have spoken adamantly against the surcharges, even conducting a meeting to find out how to recall Vanstory.
Mayor Stoney Williams said Monday he was embarrassed that citizens were considering recall as
a course of action on one single issue.
“This is wrong,” he said. “This is morally wrong.”
Kotylo also defended Vanstory, telling audience members that he wasn’t a liar or power hungry.
“There is no one trying to run the locals off” she said. “Everyone on this council I know respects and appreciates the seniors in our community — especially myself as I am getting to be one.”
Kotylo said Vanstory’s plan might not have addressed the needs of those annual fee golfers who play only twice a week.
Vanstory’s plan suggested increasing fees from $300 a year to $350 a year for seniors and $400 for other golfers with a surcharge that would be added for every round played by an “annual fee” player ($2 per round for weekdays and $5 per round for weekends and holidays).
Golf Fee Amendments
The following amendments to the golf fee ordinance approved by New Braunfels Qty Council, 5-1, Monday night were:
■ Senior annual golf fee will cost $375.
■ n Regular resident annual fee will cost $400.
■ These annual fees are available only to residents and extraterritorial jurisdiction residents.
■ No surcharge will be assessed during the week.
■ A $2 surcharge will be assessed after 100 rounds and a $5 surcharge will be assessed on weekends and holidays except after twilight time.
■ Passbook fees will cost $275 for 30 rounds (for anybody). This option is best for winter visitors and those who play on weekends only.SB 1772 dies, but not hopes for river funds
Council sets aside $20,000 for cleanup
By Peri Stone
A bill allowing New Braunfels to use local bed tax money to fund river cleanup died in committee this weekend, even after a last ditch effort to revive it Monday.
But New Braunfels City Council took a vote Monday night to assure funds for river cleanup anyway.
Council voted unanimously to designate $20,000 toward river cleanup.
Councilman Larry Alexander made the motion, and councilwoman Juliet Watson seconded it.
Council’s chance to use local room tax money pretty much slipped away Saturday at midnight, which was the absolute latest the Ways and Means Committee could have voted on it.
“There was considerable testimony against it," said committee clerk J.J. Garza.
Committee chair Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville, said of the feedback he had received, 99 percent had been negative.
But two senators made an attempt Monday to revive the bill using state bed tax money instead.
Senators Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, co-authors of SB 1772, approached another senator Monday to see if their bill could be amended and added on to his bill, according to an aide in Zaffirini’s office.
Senator Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, said he wasn’t accepting any amendments to HB 1014, which proposes to use a portion of the state hotel/motel tax in South Padre Island to fund beach cleanup there.
SB 1772 originally proposed to use state bed tax money until Wentworth amended it on the Senate floor in early May.
Instead of using 1/4 percent of the state’s 6 percent hotel/motel tax in New Braunfels, Wentworth amended the bill to use an undesignated percentage of the city’s portion of the bed tax.
“There was a number of senators concerned about (local river cleanup costs) coming out of state funds," Wentworth said. “I wanted to diminish the opposition.”
Senators apparently had no qualms, however, with using state bed tax money to fund beach cleanup in South Padre Island.
HB 1014 passed through the Senate Monday.
Aides in Lucio's office were unsure if the bill would go through a conference committee or when it would be sent to Gov. George W. Bush.
Council approves tax hike
By Peri Stone Staff Writer
Taking the advice of two citizens Monday, New Braunfels City Council voted to raise the tax rate.
The new rate, $.31312 per SKM) valuation, will cost the average homeowner about $15 more in taxes a year. The current tax rate is $.29887 per $100 valuation.
A homeowner w ith an $80,000 house paid the city $183.47 in property taxes this past year. With the new rate, the tax bill increases to $199.13.
“The only way we’re going to move forward is to pay for it," former Comal County judge Carter Casteel said. “Be positive and be visionary.”
Most councilmembers agreed “No one likes the sound of a higher tax rate,” councilman
Randy Vanstory said. “However,
I always say you get what you pay for.”
Councilman Larry Alexander said the city needed to develop funds for emergency purposes or disasters, such as the floods, and needed a higher tax rate to do that.
Juliet Watson, the only member of council to vote against the increase, argued that property valuations had increased, meaning citizens were going to have to pay more taxes anyway.
Resident Earl Thomas, who spoke out at a previous meeting against the tax rate, re-empha-sized his point Monday.
Thomas said the property valuation on his 30-year-old home had increased 12 percent this year.
“This increase is not needed,”he said.
Key coda 76
Friesenhahn, O’Neal lead NBHS graduates
By Heather Tooo Staff Writer
You could say New Braunfels High School student Michael Friesenhahn has great expectations.
The New Braunfels bom-and-bred high school senior will graduate valedictorian of his class of 350 students on Friday at Unicom Stadium.
Commencement ceremonies are scheduled to begin 8 p.m. at the football stadium, 2551 Loop 337.
The next time Friesenhahn sets foot on school grounds it will be at Yale University this fall as an undergraduate student. Friesenhahn plans to enroll as a humanities major to pursue studies in his favorite subjects, English and philosophy.
New Braunfels High School graduation will take place at 8 p.m. Friday at Unicom Stadium, 2551 Loop 337.
But he doesn't plan to stop there. After Yale, he’ll hit graduate school. “I’d like to write, but I probably won’t be able to,” the aspiring author said.
Friesenhahn said he might
pursue a career in psychology.
He also applied to Harvard, Southern Methodist University and Rice.
“Of the things I’m most proud of. I’d have to say how I developed my wnting skills and skills in English are my greatest accomplishments. It’s what I most enjoy,” he said.
Fnesenhahn said his love of reading inspired his writing abilities.See NBHS/3
Kathryn O’Neal is 1999 saluta-torian for New Braunfels High.