New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 9, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
Unanimous vote axes deputy, reserve postsComm. Heitkamp explains the deputy problem. Comm. Monroe Wetz was acting county judge in Max Wommack's absence
By HENRY KRAUSSE Staff writer
Deputy and reserve deputy constable positions were eliminated Monday based upon a proposal submitted by Precinct I Constable Werner Kiesling.
The unanimous vote by county commissioners relieved four deputies and one reserve deputy of their duties, but Kiesling emphasized county law enforcement would not suffer as a result.
Kiesling submitted a one-sentence proposal to the court, signed by himself and Constables
lawrence Wehe, Precinct 3, and Robert Dagle, Precinct 4.
“We request the elimination of the positions of deputy and reserve deputy constables of Comal County,” the proposal read.
The commissioners did not ask Kiesling his reasons for the request, but before the vote was taken Comm. Orville Heitkamp volunteered to “clear the air.”
“The reason for this motion is the dissension caused by subordinate misfunctions. The deputy constables came in here making statements of fact, according to them. This created the situation today,” Heitkamp said, referring to deputies who aired grievances at
an Aug. ll meeting of the court.
“These are problems between the deputies and constables themselves. I’m not trying to hide anything,” Heitkamp added.
“They were going around their superiors, coming in here when they were asked not to by their bosses, the elected officials. This mornings’ action stems directly from that. They started criticizing one another,” Heitkamp elaborated in an interview after the meeting.
The action took place in the absence of County Judge Max Wommack, who was on vacation. The court named Comm. Monroe
See UNANIMOUS, PAGE 16AAccess to county cars led to friction
Much of the friction between and among the county’s constables, their deputies, and the Commissioners Court stemmed from cars.
The use or misuse of county vehicles was a major sticking point with three of the lawmen who voiced complaints to the court at its Aug. ll meeting.
The men told the commissioners that I) all four precincts, or none, should have a car furnished for deputies as well as constables,
2) the gasoline allowance for the deputies who used their own cars was too small, and 3)
Pct. I Constable Werner Kiesling used a county vehicle for personal business.
This was too much for Comm. Orville Heitkamp, who declared at the time, “Well, now they’re fighting amongst themselves.”
The competition for county cars, and the dissension it produced, was cited by the court Monday as the reason for eliminating the positions of deputy and reserve deputy constable altogether.
An Aug. 18 meeting saw the court amend the 1980 constables’ budget to include an additional $1,500 for vehicle repair and maintenance. Deputies attended that meeting, too, and asked County Auditor H. Bate Bond to read aloud the repair invoices and total them up by precinct.
The point of it all was this: Precinct I got more cars, better equipment, and ran up the highest repair bills. This surprised no one, because the River Road during the summer months, patrolled by units from Precincts I
and 4, is considered the combat zone of the county, and the attrition rate on men and vehicles is naturally higher.
County Judge Max Wommack, sick of the infighting, suggested the county assign each constable a car and let Sheriff Walter Fellers allocate other vehicles to the deputies as he' saw fit.
He was dissuaded by Heitkamp and Comm. Monroe Wetz, and the court divided the 1981 constables’ budget into four equal shares. And that’s where matters stood when Kiesling submitted his proposal, signed by three out of four constables, at Monday’s meeting. The court approved it without much argument for or against.
The effect of the move on the county budget
went almost unnoticed, but again, automobiles figured prominently. In reponse to a question from Joe Shields, editor of the Canyon Lake Times-Guardian, Bond said $6,912 for the duputies’ auto allowance and $3,600 in salaries could not be moved to the general fund without amending the budget.
“Once you budget money into a department, it’s not legal to take it out and put it in another. We’ll probably need it for car repairs,” Bond said.
“Every constable ought to have a decent car. They’ve been driving those raggedy old cars. Part of this could go to replacing the worst,” Heitkamp suggested.
Shields told the commissioners the county should “hold the line” on the money.
“If you spend it, you’ve pulled a great sham on the public. You’ve eliminated four law enforcement officers and given the constables a bonus,” Shields said.
All four commissioners spoke at once, but the voice of Comm. Charles Mund could be heard above all of them: “That’s not my understanding and that’s not what’s going to happen,” he said.
Kiesling assured the court law enforcement would not suffer as a result of the move. Sheriff Fellers said Tuesday this was correct.
Asked if any of the deputies had applied for work with the sheriff’s department, Fellers said no, nor did he know if they would or not.
“I’ve always tried to stay out of that little feud,” the sheriff said.
Tax office catches excess rain from leaky Annex roof
By SANDRA JACKSON Staff writer
“We all enjoyed the rain, but there was a little too much inside the tax office,” said Comm. Monroe Wetz at an emergency meeting of Commissioners Court Monday afternoon.
County Tax Assessor-Collector Gloria Clennan found extensive damage in her offices in the Courthouse Annex upon arriving for work Monday. “The ceiling fell in,” she said, ruining
several IBM typewriters, calculators, prepared tax exemption notices, inventory sheets and transfer files.
“Some of our telephones are having to be completely replaced,” she said, “this sure dampened a lot of spirits in the tax office.”
Roofing contractor Atwell Scholl of A.W. Scholl Roofing & Sheet Metal, who has been performing repairs to the annex roof, was present at the meeting to discuss the cause of the damage, and to recommend a course of action
to the commissioners.
“Since the two old chimneys were removed from the roof,” Scholl explained, “it just made an expressway for the water. The flow of water is faster than the opening in the drain can accommodate.”
The problem is further complicated during sudden, heavy downpours such as the ones this weekend, when water builds up in the street at the curbline, and backs up into the downspout, and then stands on the roof until the v/ater runs off in the street, allowing the roof to drain.
After climbing down from the roof where he took a personal look-see,
Comm. Charles “Tart” Mund described the problem. “All the flat parts and half of the peaked roof drain into one hole about five by eight inches,” he said, “and the flashing is not
See tax office, page 16A Atwell Scholl explains the Courthouse Annex roof problem while Comm. Tart Mund listens
Lake level I increases
Canyon I*tke is on the rise, after reaching an all-time low of 903.54 feet above mean sea level last Saturday.
Park Ranger Elvin Munsell at the Corps of Engineers office at Canyon Dam reports the lake level as of 8 a.m. today at 904.91 feet, for a rise of 1.37 feet in the last three days.
“If it doesn’t rain anymore, we’ll get up to about 905.5 feet,” predicted Munsell.
Inflow this morning was recorded at 3,557 cubic feet per second, down from 6,302 cfs at 4 p.m. Monday when the last reading was taken for that day.
Total rainfall recorded at che corps office has been 5.11 inches in the last 72 hours, with the most being 4.21 inches falling during the 24 hours ending at 8 a.m. Sunday.
Official rainfall in New Braunfels during the 72-hour period ending at midnight Monday was 5.54 inches of rain, the Radio Station KGNB-KNBT reported. Another .03 of an inch had been measured Tuesday morning.
Winkler replaces Seay; Tieken mayor pro tem
Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Tieken and new Mayor Max Winkler
City Council members elected Max Winkler the mayor of New Braunfels Monday night, and the standing-room-only crowd that applauded the 4-3 decision included three persons who once held that office.
The election was the first in several years in which two candidates were nominated for the post.
Barbara Tieken was re-elected mayor pro tem by acclamation.
The new mayor promised the council would “focus intensively” on improvement of the city’s parks.
Winkler recognized Margaret Naegelin, Joseph Faust and George Erben, all former mayors, in the crowd that spilled out of council chambers and into the hall.
Also nominated for mayor was incumbent Donnie Seay, who received votes from council members Laverne
Eberhard, Joe Rogers, who nominated him, and himself.
“I will vote for myself so it won’t be a runaway,” Seay joked
Winkler and Councilman Gerald “Jerry” Schaefer were sworn into office by Seay minutes before the vote was taken. Both were re-elected Aug. 9 to their second full terms on the council, Winkler running unopposed and Schaefer defeating Doug Miller.
The largely ceremonial function of passing out annual “paychecks” for the council members was undertaken by City Manager E.N. Delashmutt. Each member received an envelope containing a dollar bill.
“Serving on the City Council is educational, it’s something that has to be done, and you don’t have to be a whiz-kid to do it,” Winkler remarked.
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Vol. 89 - No. 57 16 Pages — 1 Section
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