New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 16, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAYCanyon’s unheralded defense preparing for Clemens. See Sports, Page 5.
50 CENTSNew Braunfels
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12 Pages in one section ■ Thursday, November 16,1995
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years I Home of ALBERT MUNIZ «IR.
Vol. 144, No. 3
Birthday wish** from th* Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald’ Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: H. L. Saur, Fidencio Luna, Rosie Carrizales, Ray lee Perales (one year), Amy Rosales (ll years), and Albert Muniz Jr.
Rlv«r and aquifer information
Comal River -278 cubic-feet-per-sec., same as yesterday.
Edwards Aquifer —624.97 feet above sea level, down .02. Guadalupe River — 200 c.f.s.
Grant American Smokeout today
Several restaurants in New Braunfels will participate in the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout today by being smoke-free all
The participating restaurants are: China Kitchen, Cappar-elli's, CancunCafe, Molly Joe's, 'TJ's, Plaza Diner, Dragon Race, Pat's Race, Huisache Grill, Luby’s, New Braunfels Smokehouse and Texas Fried Chicken in Bulverde.
Rohoarsals start for Carolfost
Calling all Joy Singers -rehearsals for Carolfest 2., begin tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Senior Center. The music is geared for fun singing and easy to learn expressing of the many moods of the Christmas season. Public is invited.
Yard and baka sal#
The youth of Primera Iglesia Bautista will hold a bake and yard sale Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. Taco plates will go on sale for $3.50 from 11 a m. to 2 p.m. The event will raise money for Youth Congress in Lubbock and Youth Camp next summer. It will be held at 475 Magazine Ave. For information, call 625-5661.Tim* again for th« CHmt Fund
Each holiday season, the Herald-Zeitung runs the Cheer Fund campaign, which provides food to needy local families for Christmas. Anyone wishing to donate can do so in person by coming by the Herald-Zeitung office at 707 Lan-da St or call Cheer Fund Director Carol Ann Avery at 625-9144.
New donations are: James Mainz: canned goods.Correction
A story on Page 1 of the Wednesday, Nov. 15 issue of the Herald-Zeitung should have listed the address of Victoria Bank in New Braunfels as 1000 N. Walnut.
The winning numbers
It’s business as usual at most local federal offices
By MELANIE GERIK
Firefighters were called to this home at 663 N. Liberty early this morning. A woman released the victim's name or determined the cause of the Tire.
ce have not
Comal County residents who want to register for Social Security benefits or a card must wait until the deadlock between the Republican-controlled Congress and President Bill Clinton is resolved.
But die National Weather Service, Women, Infants and Children office, Consolidated Farm Service Agency and Army Corps of Engineers will continue to operate without interruptions, administrators said Wednesday.
Laurin Jimenez, office manager for the Seguin Social Security branch, said most employees were sent home at noon Tuesday.
“They have been told to listen to the news and when Congress passes a budget, they can come back to work,” Jimenez said. “There’s going to be a lot of work for the employees to catch up on when they get back.”
The 15 Seguin Social Security workers are among 800,000 federal government employees furloughed when non-essential operations were shut down Tuesday.
Although the office is closed for new claims, “this will not affect an individual receiving a regular check,” Jimenez said.
While Congress is at an impasse concerning the budget, Jimenez and another staff member are available in case of an emergency such as not receiving a check.
There’s going to be a let of work for the employees to catch up on when they get back.’
— Laurin Jimenez
A firefighter battles the fire.
Paramedic George Amen administers oxygen to a cat rescued from the burning house.
Woman dies in Liberty Street blaze
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
A fire took the life of a New Braunfels woman and destroyed her home early this morning. New Braunfels fire units responded to a fire at 663 N. Liberty at 1:24 am, said Assistant Fire Chief Elroy Friesenhahn.
“When they arrived, they found the house fully involved,” he said.
Firefighters had to break down the front door to fight the fire, Fnesenhahn saki “The
victim had been sining in the living room chair,” he said.
The cause of death is still under investigation, he said. The woman’s body was taken to the Travis County coroner for autopsy.
Officials have not released her name, pending notification of next of kin.
Four cats and a dog were also living in the house. They were rescued and are now under the care of the animal warden.
One room of the house was completely
Th* victim had been sitting in the living room chair.’
— Elroy Friesenhahn
engulfed in flames, and the other rooms had flames halfway up the walls, Friesenhahn said. “The house won’t be livable again.”
Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.
Three employees, paid through the state-funded Senior Texan Employment Program, answer calls to the Seguin office in the absence of the administration’s normal workers.
But warnings and watches still will be issued by the __
National Weather Service, said
Esther McKay, deputy meteorologist in charge of the Austin/San Antonio weather forecast office located in New Braunfels.
Because the organization’s mission is to protect life and property in adverse weather conditions, “our operations here are considered essential to public safety.”
Connie Roberts, nurse at the Women, Infants and Children New Braunfels office, said, “Until further notice, we’re working as usual” at the federally-funded, low-income nutrition program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been funded by appropriations bills separate from the main budget bill.
“At this point in time, we’re not affected,” said Richard Bran-des, county executive director for die Consolidated Farm Service Agency.
He said his office will continue to “deliver USDA programs to the farmers.” Programs include crop subsidies, farm insurance and home mortgage loans.
Jerry Brite, reservoir manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Canyon Lake, said nationwide lake projects were funded by the Energy and Water Appropriations Act, which President Clinton signed Monday. The seven parks overseen by the corps in the Canyon Lake area will operate on schedule, although some are closed because of winter.
Both Brandes and Brite said their agencies could still face shutdowns if Congress continues the budget debate for a long time because of the federal debt ceiling and the need to meet financial obligations.
Raises to bring New Braunfels employees’ pay in line with other cities
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Many city employees are grossly underpaid, according to a recent city survey. City council started to rectify the situation Monday night by giving a raise to many city workers.
The pay hikes total about $340,000 through the end of this fiscal year — the end of June. The increases go into effect at the beginning of December.
Finance Director Sharon Day sent surveys to 30 employers.
Most were cities near the size of New Braunfels. Also included were New Braunfels Utilities and the two local school districts.
Sixteen completed the surveys.
“Our custodians made $12,000 to $14,000 gross," said City Manager Mike Shands. “Laborers trade $ 13,000 gross. That’s where we need the help — those are the folks having the hardest time.”
Entry level 911 dispatchers and firefighters in New Braunfels got the lowest salaries in the 16 comparably sized Texas cities polled. Police patrol officers got the third-loweat.
“The stressful lower level positions, like the police dispatcher, had the highest level of turnover,” Shands said.
Law enforcement workers have an extra burden in the summer months, Shands said.
“In much of the summer, we're equivalent to
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■ New Braunfels City Employees’ Pay Compared To Other Cities
New Braunfels Pay New NB Starting
Police Patrol Officer
The following employers completed pay surveys done by the city of New Braunfels Cedar Hill. Cleburne. Comal County. Comal Independent School District. Conroe. Deer Park, Duncanville, Euless, Flower Mound. Friendswood, Grapevine, Haltom Qty, McKinney, New Braunfels Independent School District, New Braunfels Utilities. Pearland. Round Rock. San Marcos. Sugar Land, Universal City and University Park The new city pay scale works in a sanes of steps Many city employees have already been on the work force for five or IO years, and would be paid more than the starting salary listed above, said City Manager Mike Shands
a city at least twice our size,” he said. “But we build for the average tune and for the peak go on overtime.”
The city staffs its police department for the average load and compensates for the summer with overtime. That adds stress to an already stressful job “..and we still come out way below average in our pay scales,” Shands said.
Others penalized by the pay scale are workers who stay in New Braunfels year after year hor suer of home and family. They see their coal of living go up and their pay Ray virtually the
same, Shands said.
"Those are the ones whom we ultimately also penalized,” he said.
The city work force is about as efficient as it can get, said Mayor Paul E. Fraser Jr “The staff is what I call lean and mean — they’re professionals,” he said. “They get the job done and they get it done with a modicum of fanfare.” Shands and Fraser agree that part of the efficiency — and part of the reason why most city workers do more than their for share — is the fact that the city staff is almost without middle man
“One has to look long and hard not to find a city employee that is not carrying more than their share of the load,” Fraser said. “You name a spot, and I don’t see anybody that is not going at double speed.”
The city council voted for the pay hike with one council member dissenting — C. Ray Schoch. “I think it’s evident that the staff is underpaid, but I would like to pass that through a professional firm,” he said.
Citizens would be more likely to approve of the raise if an outside firm had made the recommendation, he said, and an expert should be dealing with the complicated strategies involved. * Schoch wanted to approve the $340,000 as a lump sum, then hire a consultant to recommend how to spread it around.
The city council agreed with him to a point. They added a provision on the pay raise that the city hire a consultant to look at its long-term personnel plans.
Not all city employees will get a raise. “I don't get any of this increase,” Shands said. “We still have about 30 employees that are not going to get any raises. Some of them are already average, so they just freeze.”
“lf I had a command like this in the Marine Corps, I'd be tickled to death,” Fraser said. “They'd ba able to make the three-mile run and not break a sweat."Everyone wants to fly the property rights banner these days. See Opinion, Page 4.