New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 20, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Tuesday, September 20.1963 6
Lucas case burdens town
MONTAGUE (AP) — Henry Lee Lucas may have achieved nationwide noteriety with his claims to have murdered ISO women, but to residents of this North Texas town where he sits in jail, his presence means a possible tax increase.
The costs of bringing the Virginia-born drifter to trial are adding up to I percent of this rural county budget.
“They ought to just kill him without a trial. After all, he confessed to all those killings," one woman told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "... We’re already taxed too much in this county."
County Judge Tom Brown acknowledges that he has heard similar sentiments.
“A lot of people don’t understand the system," he said. “They don’t understand why, if somebody confessed in public to all these murders, we’re here spending all the taxpayers’ money to defend him. We
have some people who have had a hard time adding all that up."
Brown and the county commissioners must decide within the next few weeks whether to raise county taxes to pay for Lucas’ defense and other costs expected from his murder trial in the slaying of 80-year-old Kate Rich of nearby Ringgold. The case is one of six Texas slayings in which Lucas has been charged.
The commissioners had set aside $3,225 in their 1963 budget to pay legal fees of all indigent defendants.
But in the first two months after Lucas was arrested, the county paid about $7,600 in fees and expenses to Donald Maxfield, the Wichita Falls attorney appointed to represent Lucas. Commissioners, anticipating another bill from Maxfield, last week amended the county budget by $3,000.
Those costs, however, don’t include the hotel bills.
meals, gasoline and other costs the county will have to pick up when the trial is moved out of Montague on a venue change. State District Judge Frank Douthitt has said he probably will move it to Amarillo or his own base of Henrietta.
Brown said there’s no doubt as to where Montague County will raise the money. “There ain’t but one place to get it, and that’s the taxpayers,” he said.
But while Lucas’s presence has changed this town, it is the hordes of reporters he draws that residents notice more than the man himself.
“The little store on the corner runs out of cheese and bologna now, and the helicopters stir up the dust on people’s clothes out on the line," Brown said.
“We’re tired of it all," said Becky Guilliams, who with her husband owns the general store. “I think it’s a shame ... for something like that to be what brings publicity here."
Rollbacks help residents limit tax
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Taxpayers, newly armed with the power to battle hikes imposed by school boards, have been forcing tax rollback elections that “create bigger wounds than any other education-related issue," one superintendent says.
A bill passed by the Legislature in 1982 gives taxpayers the power to petition a tax rollback, or tax limitation, election if school boards suggest tax hikes higher than 8 percent.
This year, 24 rollback elections have been held and ll have been successful, said Roger Ge*, superintendent of the Victoria Independent School District.
“It can split neighborhoods," he said. “It can tend to split the teachers and administrators. Teachers can feel very strongly that the community doesn't
Howard Murchison, superintendent of the Magnolia Independent School District, said the rollbacks “are not in the best interests of our children and their education."
“Tax rollbacks create bigger wounds than any other education-related issues that I have ever seen," he said. “Tax rollbacks do not blend well with quality education."
The superintendents participated in a Monday panel discussion on tax limitation elections at the joint annual convention of the Texas Association of School Boards and Texas Association of School Administrators.
Gee said the rollback elections are prompted
“when people have a very sincere desire to limit taxes."
A limitation election was called this year in Victoria when the school board decided on a IO percent tax hike, but the rollback attempt garnered only 45 percent of the vote, he said.
Raymond Curtis, superintendent of the Weatherford Independent School District, saw firsthand what the new referendum power can do when his school board proposed a 20 percent tax hike.
A rollback election was successful and he had to chop $450,000 out of his budget to accommodate the local tax limit, including staff reductions.
Customs — No plans exist
to close shops
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Customs Service says it has no immediate plans to close duty-free shops patronized by international travelers and that Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentaen’s office has raised a “false alarm" over the issue.
In a statement issued Monday, Bentsen’s office cited a Customs Service “decision” to close the shops and released a letter from Bentsen to Customs Commissioner William von Raab urging that the move be reconsidered.
“That’s a false alarm totally," said Chris Frazer, a Customs spokeswoman, saying closure of all the shops is only one of four options being considered by the Customs Service.
Whether or not the shops will be closed remains “a completely open matter," she said.
The privately operated duty-free shops operate along the U.S. border and at international airports. The Customs Service allows them to offer merchandise for travelers leaving the country that is free of U.S duties and other
Most of the merchandise is foreign-made.
"... I find that the Customs Service has issued advance notice of a proposed rule to eliminate duty-free shops, including the 33 along the U.S. Mexico border," Bentsen said in his letter.
Bentsen said the 33 such shops along that border employ about 500 persons. There are another 43 such stores along the Canadian border and 49 more at international airports, he said. Overall, such stores do about $250 million in business annually, said Bentsen, s Democrat.
He said he had received numerous letters from residents of Southwest border communities “who fear that your proposed new policy will further damage the economies of their communities."
Bentsen urged Customs to reconsider the proposed rule, saying “it makes no sense to cut the Customs Service when the result only damages the American economy."
Strake — Mattox a 'laughingstock'
DALLAS (AP) — Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox’s indictment on a commercial bribery charge has made him “the laughingstock of America right now," state Republican Party Chairman George Strake says.
Strake also said Monday that GOP lawyers are looking into additional allegations against Mattox, including the possibility that Mattox may have violated federal mail statutes in connection with $125,000 in personal loans made to his campaign.
“We want to be in position to call for a federal grand jury if this charge falls through," Strake said.
Elina Christopher, a spokeswoman for Mattox, said of Strake's comments: “It's not to be taken with too much credence. I think the voters told Mr. Strake
what they thought of him last November.”
Strake was defeated in his 1982 attempt to unseat Lt. Gov. William Hobby.
Mattox was indicted last week on the bribery charge that accuses him of threatening to use the power of his office to damage a Houston law firm financially. Mattox denies any wrongdoing.
Strake said the GOP investigation centers on the loans Mattox made to his campaign a week after his brother and sister borrowed an equal amount from a Seattle bank. But Strake declined to be more specific.
The Travis County grand jury that indicted Mattox has also reportedly investigated those loans.
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September 21 To 25th
PROPOSITION NO. I ON THE BALLOT
Hou«* Joint Resolution
91 proposes it constitution* a1 amendment which requires a county with a population of 30,000 or more to be divided into not less than four nor more than eight justice of the peace precincts. A county with a population of 1)4,000 or more but less than than 30,000 shall be divided into not less than two nor more than five justice of the peace precincts. A county with a population of less than 18.000 shall he designated as a single justice of the peace precinct or, upon a finding of necessity by the commissioners court, shall be divided into more than one justice of the peace precinct but not more than four. The amendment provides further, that in any precinct in which there is a c ty with a population of 18,000 or more, two justices of the peace shall be elected The amendment allows a justice of the peace, constable or commissioner to continue in office until the expiration of his term, although a change in precinct boundaries results in the officer no longer being a resident of the precinct for which he was elected or appointed and allows a justice of the peace or constable to continue in office until the expiration of his term even though a change in precinct boundaries results in the abolishment of the precinct or more than one justice of the peace or constable serving the precinct. Vacancies in the office of justice of the peace or constable that result from a precinct boundary change shall he filled by the commissioners court until the next general election The amendment would take effect on January I, 1984. and counties with populations of less than 30.04)0 and with more than four justice of the peace and constable precincts would have until January I, 1987 to comply with the amendment.
The proposed amendment will appear on the ballot as follows: “The constitut onal amendment authorizing fewer justice of the peace and constable precincts in counties with a population of less than 30,000 and providing for continuous service by justices of the peace, constables, and county commissioner* w hen precinct boundaries are changed **
PROPOSITION NO. S ON THE BALLOT
Hows* Joint Kawela I im
IDS proposes a constitu-.onai amendment which would limit a homestead in a city, town or village to a lot or lots amounting to not more than one ache of land, together with • any improvements oh the land. Tile constitutional requirement that, at the time of
designation, an urban homestead not exceed ten thousand dollars in value without reference to the value of any improvements on the land would be eliminated.
The proposed amendment will appear on the ballot as follows: “The constitutional amend* ment replacing the limitation on the value of an urban homestead with a limitation based on size ”
PROPOSITION NO. 3 ON THE BALLOT
Senate Joint Ke»olution
I proposes a constitutional amendment that authorizes the legislature to enact legislation that permits representative associations of agricultural producers to collect refundable assessments on their product sales to be used solely to finance programs of marketing, promotion, research and education relating to those products It provides, further, that adoption of the proposed constitutional amendment Will bring into effect Senate Bill 607, Acts of the 68th Legislature, Regular Session, 1983, with rejection of the amendment resulting in Senate Bill 607 ha ving no effect.
The proposed constitutional amendment will apnear on the ballot as follows: “The constitutional amendment providing for the advancement of food and fiber production and marketing in this state through research, education, and promotion financed by the producers of agricultural products”
PROPOSITION NO. 4 ON THE BALLOT
House Joint Resolution
30 proposes a constitution* al amendment which au* thorites the Legislature to enact laws to provide for the succession of members of the legislature in the event of enemy attack and allows the suspension of procedural rules imposed by the Constitution in the event of, or immediate threat of, enemy attack. The amendment empowers the Governor, after con* sultation with the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor, to suspend the constitutional requirement that the Leg islature hold its sessions in Austin and allows the suspension of procedural rules by the Governor issuing a proclamation in which the House of Rep resentativea and Senate concur by resolution approved by a majority of the member* present. Sub pension of the constitutional rules may not exceed a period of two years under a single proclamation; however, the Governor may renew the suspension by issuing a new proclamation concurred in by the House of Representatives and the Senate through a resolution approved by a major
ity of the members present.
The amendment will appear on the ballot as follows: “The constitutional amendment authorizing statutory provisions for succession of public office during disasters caused by enemy attack, and authorizing the suspension of certain constitutional rules relating to legislative procedure during those disasters or during immediate threat of enemy attack."
PROPOSITION NO. 5 ON THE BALLOT
Senate Joint Resolution
12 proposes a constitutional amendment that authorizes the legislature to enact legislation providing for the use of the permanent school fund and income from the permanent school fund to guarantee bonds issued by school districts. The amendment provide*, further, that the legislature may appropriate part of the available school fund for administration of the permanent school fund or of a bond guarantee program established pursuant to the amendment.
The constitutional amendment will appear on the ballot as follows: “The constitutional amendment authorizing use of the permanent school fund to guarantee bonds issued by school districts."
PROPOSITION NO. 6 ON THE BALLOT
House Joint Resolution
I proposes a constitutional amendment which would permit the I^g stature to provide for the garnishment of wages to enforce court-ordered child support payments. The garnishment remedy would not he available for other purposes
The proposed amendment will appear on the ballot as follows: “The constitutional amendment allow mg the legislature to provide for additional remedies to enforce court -ordered child support payments.”
PROPOSITION NO. 7 ON THE B ALLOT
coat* of administering the fund and issuing the bonds. The amendment provides, further, that if there is not money in either the Veterans’ Imnd Fund or the Veterans’ Housing Assistance Fund available for payment of principal and interest on the general obligation bonds issued pursuant to the amendment, then money coming into the Treasury in each fiscal year is appropriated in an amount sufficient for payment of principal and interest due in that fiscal year.
The proposed const itu-tional amendment will appear on the ballot a* follows: “The constitutional amendment for financial assistance to veterans and to authorize the issuance of $800 million in bonds of the state to finance the Veterans’ I-and Program and the Veterans’ Housing Assistance Program.”
Senate Joint Resolution ll proposes a constitutional amendment that authorizes the Veterans' 1-and Board to provide for, issue, ami sell general obligation bonds of the State of Texas in an amount not to exceed |800 million to provide financing to veterans of the state The amendment requires that three hundred million dollars of the state bonds be dedicated to the Veterans' Land Fund. The Fund is to be used to purchase land to be sold to veterans under such terms, rules and regulations as may be authorized by law The amendment creates the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund and requires that $500 million of the state bonds authorised by the amendment he dedicated to the Fund. The Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund will he utilized by the Veterans’ Land Board for the purpose of making home mortgage loans to veterans for housing within the state and for th* administrative
PROPOSITION NO. 8 ON THE BU.LOT
Senate Joint Resolution
I propose* a constitutional amendment that authorizes political subdivisions to exempt veterans' organ za-tions from ad valorem taxation on the.r property. The amendment requires that the veterans* organizations be chartered by the United States Congress, Lie composed of members or former members of the United States Armed Forces, and be organized for patriotic and public service purposes The amendment provides, further, that pol tleal subdivisions may exempt fraternal organizations from ad valorem taxation on their property The amend ment requires that the fraternal organizations be organized to perform and be primarily engaged in charitable or benevolent functions The legislature would b«- authorized to enact laws that present* eligibility requirement* for fraternal organizations to benefit from the exemption and to pas* legislation limiting the types or amount of property < wned by a fraternal organization which may tie exempted from ad valorem taxation.
The proposed const tu-tional amendment will appear on the ballot as follows: “The constitutional amendment to authorize taxing units to exempt from taxation property of certain veterans’ and fraternal organizations.”
PROPOSITION NO. 9 ON THE BALLOT
House Joint Resolution
70 propose* a constitutional amendment to authorise the Legislature to provide, by local or general law, a method by which judge* of atatutory court* with probate jurisdiction may be assigned to any other statutory court with probate jurisdiction and to any constitutional county court in any county in the state.
The proposed amendment will appear on the ballot as follows “The constitutional amendment providing for assignment of judges of statutory p-obate courts to othei statutory county courts with probata
jurisdiction and to county court*.”
IO ON THE BALLOT
Sensu Joint Resolution
17 proposes a constitutional amendment that authorizes the Legislature to enact laws which would allow a city or town to expend public funds to relocate or replace sanitation sewage laterals on pr.vate property if done in conjunction with the replacement or relocation of sanitation sewer mains serving th* property. The amendment requires that the law authorize the city or town to affix a lien on th* pn-vsle property, with th* consent of the owner, to cover th* costs of th* replacement or relocation of the sewer laUtals on the property. The hen may not be enforced until five years have expired since the date the lien was affixed The amendment provides, further, that the law require that the costs of the replacement or relocation of the sewer laterals un the private prop. erty I* assessed against the property with repayment to be amortized over a period not to exceed five years and at an interest rate provided by law.
The proposed amendment will appear on the ballot as follows: “Th* constitutional amendment to perm t a city or town to expend public fund* and levy assessments for the relocation or replacement of sanitation sewer laterals on private property.”
11 ON THE BALLOT
Senate Joint Resolution
13 proposes a constitutional amendment that would change the Board of Pardons and Paroles from a constitutional agency to a statutory agency and w ould el im mate the Governor's power to revoke paroles. The Legislature would be authorized to establish the Board of Pardons and Paroles and to require it to maintain records of its actions and the reasons for its actions. The amendment would empower the Legislature to enact parole laws. Constitutional language specifying the qualifications and terms of office for members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles is eliminated The constitution*] language governing the composition of the Board of Pardons and Paroles and the manner of filling vacancies on the Board is eliminated
The proposed amendment will appear on the ballot as follows: “The constitutional amendment lo change the Board of Pardons and Parole* from a constitutional agency to a statutory agency and to give the board power to revoke parole* ”
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