New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 12, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
See below for reunification
Divided council elects a mayor
• City officials elect Brandt by 4-3 margin
Vol. 139, No. 255
By MARK WARNKEN City Editor
The New Braunfels City Council on Monday by a 4-3 vote elected at-large Council Member Clinton Brandt as mayor and by the same slim margin voted to keep Ramon Chapa Jr. as mayor pro tem.
Brandt, Chapa, Loraine Kraft and Bill Arnold voted for Brandt, while the votes of Rudy Seidel, James Goodbread and Paul Fraser went to Fraser. Council members voted the same way on the question of removing Chapa as mayor pro tem.
Two weeks ago, the council deadlocked in a vote for the one-year mayoral term, with Chapa nominating and voting for himself.
According to the city charter, the council elects a mayor from among its members. Four votes are needed to elect a mayor.
Goodbread resigned as mayor on Oct. 14 at the same time as former City Manager Paul Grohman in the culmination of a divisive month-long council dispute. The simultaneous resignations followed a dispute in which Grohman faced allegations that included attempting to influence staff members during two recent city elections and in which Goodbread faced Grohman’s allegations of charter violations and other wrongdoing. Both have denied the allegations.Serving NEW BRAUNFELS and COMAL COUNTY / Home of W.E. Adkins
One Section, 10 Pages
After the election, Brandt promised the audience, numbering about 60, that the council would unite in the best interests of the city.
“I know a lot of people are unhappy tonight and a lot of people arc happy, and that’s understandable because of what we have been going through,” the new mayor said. “I would like to say we are going to work very hard where you don’t have to sit in here and watch a council that’s not acting in your favor.
“We’re going to work very hard lo do that, and I just ask for your patience and your support on this because I think all seven of us will gel together now and start to work,” Brandt said.
Afyer the meeting, Chapa said he voted for Brandi as a step to help unite the council, casting aside his often-stated desire for the mayor’s post.
“Basically speaking, I want the city to go forward, and we have to start uniting one of these days, and tonight was the night,” Chapa said.
“I feel that with my job in San Antonio, and being mayor, I would have been unfair to either my job or to the citizens here,” he said. 'Therefore I decided to go with who I thought would be an appropriate candidate for mayor, and that was Mr. Brandt.”
The mayor pro tem said he will work with those three council members who voted to remove him, saying he respected their opinions.
Also, Chapa said he has changed his mind about pursuing his allegations that racial prejudice blocked him from the mayor’s office.
“I want to apologize to the citizens of New Braunfels for acting in that manner,” Chapa said. “I think-1 was a little rash in behaving the way I was. I think some of my problems have to do with my personal life, and I accept my responsibility for that.”
Fraser said the still-divided council now, more than ever, needs strong leadership.
“We haven’t got a united council here, and I’m awfully sorry to say that,” he said. “Anybody who saw the count of the vote knows what happened. There’s three people who feel one way and four that feel another. I’ll work with the new mayor, and I’ll work with the mayor pro tem, but I’ll expect a lot of professionalism ”
Sm MAYOR, Pag* 2
New Mayor Clinton Brandt, left, replaces former Mayor James Goodbread, right. (Photo by Mark Warnken)
By LARRY ROWE Staff Writer
Moments after the New Braunfels City Council elected its new mayor, a citizen stormed out of the packed meeting and announced to a group of followers that it’s time to oust certain council members in a recall.
“They do not linen to the citizens of New Braunfels,” said David Wallace, a resident who said he represented only himself. “Now they will have to account for their actions."
Wallace, whose words were met
with applause expressed
frustration at the inability of citizens to elect a mayor and at the suspicion that some council actions — especially the settlement with former City Manager Paul Grohman
— have been tainted by secret ’deals” made without regard to
“No more deals," he said. "We’re not making any more closed-door, under-the-table deals."
Participants in a recall petition will meet at 7 pjn. Wednesday in the Torrey Place Apartments clubhouse. at 575 E. Toney Si., to decide which council members they want to remove and to start the petiuon that begins the recall process.
Wallace said he expected thai the recall group will target new Mayor Clinton Brandi, Mayor Pro
Tem Ramon Chapa Jr., and Council Members Bill Arnold and Loraine Kraft.
"lf these people are recalled, then it will put the city in a position where they can’t hold a legal council until an election, but that’s better than what we’ve got right now," Wallace said.
He said that before the recall process can begin, a petition must be signed by a number of registered voters that equals 30 percent of those who participated in the
Bm RECALL. Pate 2
Federal thumb lifting from Comal County jail
By MARK WARNKEN Staff Writer
A San Antonio federal judge has approved a settlement in the long legal battle over jail conditions that in four months likely will oui federal court supervision of the Comal County jail system for the first time since 1983.
Federal Judge John Primono’s finding last week that the proposed settlement was fair begins a 120nlay monitoring period by appointed monitor Bill Musser of San Antonio, a retired U.S. marshal, said Rheinlander County Attorney Nathan Rheinlander.
lf at the end of the four months the county is deemed to be in “substantial compliance” with the settlement, the suit will be dismissed and the county will be released from further court supervision.
“This has been a major effort on the part of a number of county personnel,", Rheinlander said. “We have bceq able to achieve our primary goal — releasing the county from court supervision — at a relatively minimal cost, particularly considering the last time we litigated this mailer it was necessary to build an entire new jail facility.”
In 1982, New Braunfels resident Robert Delgado, an inmate at the old Comal County Jail, sued the former sheriff regarding jail conditions on die behalf of inmates then and iii die future.
instead of going to court, both parties agreed to a scidcmem requiring Comal County to build the new jail on San Antonio Street and to adopt certain policies and procedures. Conditions of the court-approved agreement, still in effect today, are included in the inmate handbook.
In the summer of 1989, Delgado was again jailed, this time in the new facility, and he filed a motion for contempt with the federal court alleging more than 70 violations of the earlier settlement, again on the inmates’ behalf. The allegations were legally refuted by die county.
In March of this year, the parties agreed lo another settlement after a court-ordered 12-hour mediation session.
“During die course of mediation, we were able lo demonstrate that die
great majority of his claims were simply not supported by the facts,” Rheinlander said. “Our jail has a perfect record with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and is used on a contract basis by the federal marshal’s service to house federal prisoners, with regular inspections conducted by both the suite ami marshal’s office.
“On the other hand, by agreeing lo the IO or 12 areas we did, we were able to meet our main objective, which was to be out from under the federal court and to be out soon,” he said.
Rheinlander said the county was adamant that this second settlement, approved by the Commissioners Court in July, include a provision for a prompt and definite end lo court
By MARK WARNKEN City Editor
New Braunfels City Council members agree that the council will be able to work together in the city's best interests, although opinions about the possible degree of that unity vary.
Newly elected Mayor Clinton Brandt said the council will be able to start fresh in a new beginning after deciding the mayor and mayor pro tem question during its meeting Monday. He blamed the recent division on outside circumstances that have now been overcome.
“We are just at this impasse
supervision, as opposed lo the earlier open-ended settlement. This provision included the impartial third-party monitoring the county’s compliance for four months once the judge afiproved the settlement.
Under the first settlement, an inmate could raise a complaint and drag the county back into court simply by invoking the open-ended jurisdiction of the fede4B court. The new settlement includes an end to this jurisdiction, essentially making it much more difficult for an inmate lo take the county lo court, Rheinlander said.
The new settlement includes: new phone equipment in the non-contact visitation areas, new recreation equipment; and changes lo the visitation and recreation schedules.
right now that has not given us the opportunity to get together to work as a group,” Brandt said. “I think that now we have a mayor, mayor pro tem and acting city manager, we can now gel together and work for the city.”
Mayor Pro Tem Ramon Chapa Jr. said despite the possibility of many 4-3 votes in the future, the council will be able to once again (alite and move forward with city business and planning.
“There’s definitely two sides on the council. Therefore, my vote, as lime goes on, is going to be very, very vital because I’m going to be making the final swing vote on a number of issues," he Mid.
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung wishes “happy birthday’’ today to Laurence Sleepier, Andrew Scott, Gabriel Lagunas. Kim Williams, Brittney Fcltmann, Gayle Offcrmann. Mark Lagunas Aguirre, Bobby Ray Earl, Pearl Garcia, Diane Alvarez Bolmuam, Linda Gomez and Marty Espmosa
Belated birthday wishes lo Robert D. Saenz, Margaret Cabel-lo, Michele Rosales, Laura Kropp. Albino Guerrero HI and Terry McDade.Turkey scramble
A 4 Tiian turkey scramble golf tournament is slated for Sunday, Nov. 24 at I p.m al Lee’s Par 3, located on Klein Rd The cost is $25 per person and the proceeds will benefit Teen Connection.
To sign up call larry Blinder al 625 9512 or Lee at Lee’s Par 3 at 620-4653.
SM STAMMTISCH, Pag* 2Good Day
Cloudy and cool conditions will continue today as die high reaches the high 60s. The high temperate in New Braunfels Monday was 71 and the low was 55. For more weather information see page 2.
HOROSCOPE ................... 4
What’s good for the goose
A duck waits for a treat aa 13-month-okJ Cody Loll gets a nature lesson at I anda Park from his mother, Jodi Leu. The Lei! family moved to New Braunfels just a few days prior to the excursion to the park (Photo by Bill Ervin)
Council works at reunification