New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 23, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
City sued again on voting plan
By DYANNE FRY Staff writer
The City of New Braunfels joined the New Braunfels ISD on the federal court rolls Friday morning, when the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and Texas Rural Legal Aid filed a lawsuit challenging the city’s new election system.
MALDEF and Legal Aid filed the New Braunfels suit at IO a.m. in San Antonio’s federal district court, along with a suit against the Seguin Independent School District. Both actions are in protest of the at-large-by-place method of electing representatives, which MALDEF contends discriminates against minority candidates and voters.
“In New Braunfels, we are challenging most particularly the maintenance of the three at-large places,’’ said MALDEF attorney Judith Sanders-
Comal County forecast calls for sunny today, mostly clear tonight, and sunny and warm Saturday. Winds will be northeasterly at 5-10 mph today, light and easterly tonight, and southeasterly near IO mph Saturday. Sunset will be at 7.27 p.m., and sunrise Saturday will be at 7:20 a.m.
Australia II and Liberty meet Saturday in the deciding race of the America’s Cup yachting series, with the longest winning streak in sporting history an the line. Sports. Paps SA.
Smithson Valley got a complete team effort to defeat Southside in both teams' District 2&-3A opener Thursday night at Smithson Valley. Sports. Papa SA.
DEATHS ......................... 3A
STOCKS ........................ 12A
Castro. Last April, New Braunfels changed its City Council election system from seven at-large places to four single-member districts and three at-large places. In August, one of the single-member districts elected the first Mexican American councilman since 1976.
In this new suit, MALDEF is asking the city to implement “a constitutional single-member district plan,’’ Sanders-Castro said.
The suit against the Seguin ISD is similar to the one MALDEF filed against the New Braunfels ISD last April. Both boards now have seven members, all elected at large by majority vote.
The NBISD suit is now in the discovery phase, and won’t come to court for several months yet. The district is now taking steps to revise its system without court action. It has scheduled a public hearing Oct. 4, to discuss conversion to a district election plan.
Peace plan rumored in Mideast
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) — The USS New Jersey, the world's only active battleship, steamed toward Beirut today as the Lebanese government leaked a report that a new peace plan had been drafted to halt the bloody civil war.
Beirut radio stations and newspapers said U.S. and Saudi mediators had worked out a comprehensive plan to halt the fighting and convene a Moslem-Chnstian national reconciliation conference in Saudi Arabia.
The officially leaked reports said President Amin Gemayel’s pro-American administration and the Soviet-backed Syrian government were due to make a final decision on the new plan by Saturday. Syria has been supporting Druse militiamen and Palestinian guerrillas in fighting against the Lebanese army over the past 19 days.
If the peace plan is approved, a ceasefire policed by 600 U.N. observers would be convened and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia would invitate Gemayel and leaders of warring Lebanese factions to begin reconciliation talks either in the Saudi capital of Riyadh or the Red Sea port of Jidda, the radios and newspapers said.
News of the peace proposal came after eight hours of talks which U.S. presidential envoy Robert C. McFarlane and Saudi mediator Rafik Harm held Thursday rn Beirut with Gemayel, Foreign Minister
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FRIDAY September 23,1983 25 centsNew Braunfels, Texas Vol. 92 - No. 190 20 Pages - 2 Sections (LISPS 377-8801
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Pets on parade
Children and the»r pets opened the county fair parade this morning
and, as usual, there were some interesting costumes on both Top left. Adam Trottmger and his goat clown around before the par ade starts Top right, Erin Mot/ $ kitten seems decidedly unim pressed by ait the commotion around her Lower photo, a good sized cow dog dwarfs a black Chihuahua in Wuest s parking lot Fair winners. more photos, insideCounty won't back Edwards tax rate resolutionBy PATRICIA YZNAGA KING Wire editor
Comal County Commissioners refused to take action Thursday on a resolution Thursday to support the 1.7-ient Edwards Underground Water District tax rate.
While the commissioners told Edwards board member Oliver Hats they supported his efforts as an individual, there were too many questions that had to be answered in order to support a resolution.
Haas asked the commissioners to support the 1.7-cent per $100 valuation property tax rate. He said Bexar County would be the only county paying substantially higher taxes if the 1.7-cent rate goes into effect.
The Bexar County Appraisal District reappraised all properties at fair market value Comal County did that work last year, and is already paying the 1.7-cent rate.
The Edwards board lowered the tax rate from 2 cents to 1.7 cents last year in partial compensation for the property reappraisal. Now that property values have been reset in Bexar County, the district’s most populous county, the EUWD could set the tax rate at 0.9 cents per HOO valuation and still have enough money for operating costs, Haas told the commissioners.
When asked by Commissioner Precinct I J.L. “Jumbo” Evans what would be used with the remaining 0.8 cents of the tax rate, Haas said he
wanted to see the district use the surplus funds to develop surface water.
“All people along the underground stretch would gain” from surface water development, Haas said.
“It doesn’t take a water expert to see that we're heading toward a problem.” he said. “We would have to come up with a source of water that we could use rn conduction with Edwards water.”
Haas could not give the commissioners a specific answer as to how the district cam about the 1.7-cent rate.
“I couldn’t tell you about the specifics because I don’t know (yet) what they are,’’ he said.
Commissioner Precinct 2 Monroe
Wetz voiced the most criticism about the taxing process ami Bexar County This is my beef — they (Bexar County) should have done something a long time ago," WetI said. •We’re only a few paying the lax San Antonio is the biggest user mf Edwards water). I don't disagree with getting surface water, but people who ate using it should pay for it "
Haas told Wetz that the taxing or fee problem “has been a sore point.” Tile district tried and failed to pass legislation which would require permits to transport water or for users to pay a fee Haas said the district still hopes to pass some sort of legislation along those lines.
Wetz said he felt Bexar County would benefit more from the tax rate
than the other counties Comal. Hays. Mt-dina and Uvalde i w ouid
i don't feel Uke paving more and more taxes and they ( Bexar County) won't do any thing about the waler,” he said “I don’t want to pay more money without knowing what the budget is We can't do that to the county "
Wet/ told Haas he would not offer
his support for the tax rate.
“Today I can't back you because you re asking for a blank check, he said If the entire district would benefit from the tax, he would support it. Wetz said
“The water is going to go to who needs it most ami that is San An
tonio," he said “San Antonio is looking for Hays and Comal to pay the
Evans said he had a different concern about the tax rate
The concern on my mind is the arbitrary figure," he said “I don't know how we can endorse a 17-cent tax if we don't know what the figure is
based on "
Although Wet/ said he supported Haas's efforts as an individual, he repeated hts complaints about the taxes
“I don't think a small portion should be playing Santa Claus," be said. A greater portion of people are using this than are pay ing for it.”
Antonians plan to buy
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Funds shortage softened by odd tax year—Curtis
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I Amine Cm tis. business manager for the New Braunfels ISD, has come up with one more reason for leaving the district’s odd tax collec tion schedule just the way it is.
Curtis got word Thursday that NBlSDs September allotment of “state available funds" will be considerably short of the mark This money, taken from various state revenues, are handed out to public school districts at a monthly rate of $40 per student
Based on its average daily attendance, New Braunfels should be getting $151,636 this month But (XI and gas revenues are down this year, and State Comptroller Bob Bullock has declared the funds “not available.” Until further notice, Curtis’ office will get only |8,17t
“I guess they knew what they were doing
when they called it state available funds,’” Curtis said
That's not just our school district. It’s affecting every school district in Texas,’ he added
That’s his point Curtis thinks other districts will be much harder hit than New Braunfels, which has already collected most of its taxes for 19l3-$4. Most other school districts, including the Comal ISD, won’t start collecting until October And yet, school has already been in session for almost a month.
“I’m not saying we don’t have a need for (the state funds). But we’re not going to have to go borrow any money," the NBISD executive said.
The state available fund is just one of three sources of state money for public
school districts The other two are not affected by drops in revenue, Curtis said Ifs always been understood that the third payment might not come through; but in practice, the payments have been very regular until tius year, he added “We do come to depend on them "
Although he wasn't officially notified until Thursday , Curtis said be d already had wind of the cutback on Monday night, when representatives of the different taxing entities in Comal County met to latti about putting all their billing and coUoc-tions in one office.
Officials of NBISD and the Qty of New Braunfels, which use the same tax office, see willing to consider it if they don’t have
See TAX YEAR, Page UA