New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 11, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
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5 cents November 11,1980
Vol. 89 - No. 99 14 Pages (USPS 377-880)
New Braunfels, TexasCourt delays certification; recount sought
Jy HENRY KRAUSSE itaff writer
Commissioners Court canvassed the Nov. 4 general election returns Monday, but stopped ihort of certifying the results.
The court discovered 61 more voter ngnatures than ballots counted, and some commissioners wanted to rerun the ballots on a imputer different from the one used on election night.
County Judge Max Wommack recommended certification.
“The discrepancies I see are not great enough to make any appreciable difference,” he noted.
But doubts existed in the minds of Comms. Monroe Wetz, Orville Heitkamp, and Charles “Tart” Mund.
Expressing distrust of the computer, Wetz and Mund recommended a recount.
“I feel like it should be redone. It would be an awful deal if we come out again with a difference,” Wetz said.
“There’s no rush on this certification anyway,” Mund agreed.
The ballots are now under seal, and a recount would have to be ordered by 207th District Judge Robert Pfeuffer.
Also on the minds of the commissioners w as a letter from John Mullins, the defeated Republican candidate for sheriff, asking for a recount of that race.
Addressed to Pfeuffer. the letter cited Article 7.15, Subdivision 23 of ti e Election Code, which allows candidates to examine the computer programs used in testing and counting the ballots and to recount them.
A copy of the letter was hand-delivered to Wommack, but Pfeuffer was in San Marcos and did not read it until late Monday.
The law requires a delay in canvassing until after the recount, but Pfeuffer instructed Wommack over the telephone to go ahead w ith the canvass.
“He said as far as he’s concerned he hasn’t read that letter yet,” Mund said in an interview.
Pfeuffer made a copy of Mullins’ request
available but said he would have no immediate comment on it.
The computer, which was certified before the election but didn’t work that night, was described as a “lemon" by Computer Election Services Area Manager Tom Eschberger,
“I called him that night, and his words over the phone went something like this: ‘Tart, I think probably you have a lemon — we’ve been afraid of that machine all along.’
“Well, if it was a lemon why’d they sell it us?” Mund asked with some heat.
The court agreed not to pay a GES repair bill for October of $1,065.
Deputy County Clerk Kathy Hartmann
reported other election-night hitches. When ballot cards got stuck in a voting machine at Precinct 18, "they had no idea how to get it out. They took the machine apart,” she said.
Many of the cards hadn’t been punched hard enough and caused further delays.
“Even if the computer had worked, we’d have been there until midnight, cleaning up the ballots.” Hartmann said.
Twenty-two ballots were found in the trunk of Precinct 19 Judge Howard Weidner's car two days after the election, Hartmann said.
The experience with punch card ballots should prompt the county to spend more time educating voters and election judges in how to use them, Heitkamp said.
Comal County commissioners voted Monday to hire a surveyor to appraise a 15-acre strip of land along Bat Cave Road as a first step toward acquiring it.
Plans to widen Bat Cave Road have been stalled by the owner of a tract at the corner of Bindseil I .ane, who wrote Comm. Monroe Wetz he was "not interested” in donating a 15-foot wide right-of-way along 435 feet of road frontage.
The county can start condemnation proceedings to acquire the land, but not before an offer to buy it is made through the county attorney’s office.
Beached at Potters Creek
Richard Duran of Albuquerque, N M., the buyer, was being checked out Sunday in this Grumman Albatross (HU 16B) two-engine amphibious aircraft belonging to the Confederate
Air Force by Federal Aviation Agency inspector Arthur McKinley. After two landings on Canyon Lake, the crew noticed water coming in the hull. The damage is believed to
have occurred on the first landing. The plane taxied to the Potters Creek launch ramp where it remains while Duran looks for new nosewheel well doors where the damage is.
Critical need cited
Bell institutes increase
Citing a critical need for more revenue to meet the growing needs of Texas, Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. began implementing increased rates under bond today.
Rate increases under bond will total $152.8 million, almost half the amount requested by the company.
The bonded rates will be active until the Texas Public Utility Commission makes a final decision concerning the full rate request. The PUC could order the telephone company, based on its final ruling, to make customer refunds.
with interest, on some or all the bonded rates.
The company has documented a need for $326.3 million. Paul Roth, vice president of revenues and public affairs for Texas, said, adding “in no way do we concede that we need any less.”
However, Roth said, the $152.8 million recommendation "is a good reference point for implementing temporary rates to provide some relief until a final decision is made.”
The bonded rates will affect most
basic local service, most PBX equipment, Custom Calling features, one-time charges for moving or installing telephones, miscellaneous equipment, Touch Tone lines, most telephone instruments, some CENTREX service, key telephones, private line services and telephone answering services.
The interim rates will not affect rates for measured service, long distance calls within the state, WATS charges, directory assistance service and coin telephone calls.
Reagan spending pledge due test
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats on the House Budget Committee want to give President-elect Ronald Reagan the opportunity — and the obligation to live up to his campaign pledge of cutting federal spending.
Rep. Robert N. Giaimo, D-Conn., the committee chairman, said he would introduce today an across-the-board 2 percent spending cut as part of the
binding federal budget ceiling for fiscal 1981.
It would be up to Reagan to decide how to make the cuts after he takes office in January.
“Adoption of my amendment would allow the new president the opportunity to present his proposed cuts to the new Congress in January,” Giaimo said Monday. “If he were
unable to achieve these cuts, presumably he would ask for an increase in the spending ceiling.”
But Giaimo said the action was not intended to embarrass Reagan, who pledged during his campaign to cut spending.
“I’m not interested in calling the president’s bluff,” Giaimo said. “I’m interested in getting control of spending....I’m not trying to be vindictive.
Leveling off pleases Wurstfest officials
luanda Park is back to normal, New Braunfels’ sidewalks are clearer, the museums are empty and the crowds are gone. Wurstfest 1980 is over.
And although attendence was down by 20,000 this year, Wurstfest 1980 should still be recorded in history as one of the best, according to Wurstfest officials.
Wurstfest President Donnie Seay said the total attendence of this year’s festival was 145,000 as compared to 165,000 in 1979. The major drop in attendence came on the first Saturday, he said.
Seay said the first Saturday of the 1979 Wurstfest was by far the largest ever and the drop in attendance this year allowed visitors more room to enjoy the entertainment and concession areas.
Aside from various policies that have been instituted in the last two years, Seay explained there were probably many factors that caused the attendance drop this year.
With Halloween and many local football games all falling on the
same night as Wurstfest opened, attendence on that opening night was affected, Seay said.
In 1979, Wurstfest organizers instituted crowd control measures in order to prevent over-crowding and keep the festival a family event.
And the evidence of a more balanced attendance was the fact that there was an increase in concession sales in spite of the smaller attendance, Seay explained.
“We might have sold a ton less in sausage, but it came close to last year’s 42 tons,” Seay said. Also according to preliminary figures, the record sale of 42,000 Ka r toff el Puffers (potato pancakes) sold in 1979 might be topped.
The hit of the this year’s concessions was the funnel cake introduced this year. More than 13,(XX) servings of this unique dessert were dished out in one small concession booth.
“All considered, we’re extremely happy with attendance,” Seay said.
Before Assistant County Attorney Bill Renner can write the owner, E J. Dailey of Crowley, I .a., an appraisal has to bo made, Wetz explained, adding, “I’m hoping he’ll consider, for this little bit of land, selling it to the county if a fair price is offered.”
County Judge Max Wommack suggested Wet/, name a surveyor, and Curtis Bremer’s name was added to the motion, which passed unanimously.
Other property owners along the road have donated 15 feet of frontage so the county can widen it and add shoulders. Bat Cave Road is 35 feet wide.
“It’s very narrow. Traffic on it has increased from three or four subdivisions. That area is rapidly growing. We don’t intend to rebuild the road, but widening it will help," Wetz said.
In other business, Commissioners Court authorized payment of overtime to employees of the county clerk’s office and the tax ussessor-eolleetor’s office for working extra election-night hours.
“These girls really put in a lot of overtime, and went beyond the call of duty. They definitely deserve it and I recommend it wholeheartedly,” Wommack said.
On the advice of County Auditor H. Bate Bond, the motion was changed to include a choice of either overtime pay or time off for election night workers. The department heads will decide when time off can be taken, if office personnel choose that alternative.
A “change fund” of $500 for the Sheriff’s Department was authorized by the court. The money will come from the county treasury, and will be kept intact for making change for those posting cash bonds.
“It will be subject to counting by our department. We’ll drop iii on a surprise basis to make sure it’s all there,” Bom said.
The court also approved a subdivision plat submitted by surveyor Craig Hollmig for Northwood Estates.
By HENRY KRAUSSE Staff writer
Comal County commissioners had already put in a full day’s work. What was there left to do?
The agenda items for Monday’s regular Commissioners Court meeting
had been dealt with.
The election returns had been canvassed, but not certified.
A letter from sheriff candidate John Mullins, requesting a ballot recount, had been delivered to County Judge Max Wommack, but had not been made public until 207th District Judge
Robert Pfeuffer could read it.
Members of the press, maintaining their usually friendly but adversary relationships with the county leaders, had drifted away. Why not? Business was completed, and everybody could go home.
But the commissioners, joined by
Precinct 2 Constable Kermit Vetter and Precinct I Peace Justice Harold Krueger, stayed on.
Assistant County Attorney Bill Renner, in a passing remark to a local reporter, mentioned the unscheduled meeting.
“We still have this constable thingarrives
after the canvassing. I’m not sure wha they want to ask me,” Renner said.
When the reporter walked into the court meeting room, two things happened. Krueger got up and left. And the conversation slowed perceptibly.
See MEETING, Page I