Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 18, 2017     Hays Free Press
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January 18, 2017

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+ Page 2A HEWS Hays Free Press January 18, 2017 The Hays Free Press (ISSN 1087-9323) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., Re. Box 339, Buda, TX 78610. Periodicals postage paid at Buda, TX 78610 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Barton Publications, Inc., Re. Box 339, Buda, TX 78610. ISSN#1087-9323 NEWS TIPS If you think it's newsl we probably do too! Newsroom phone: 512-268-7862 E-mail:. news@haysfreepress. com Mail: 113 W. Center Street, Kyle, TX 78640 CORRECTIONS Any erroneous reflection upon the character, standing or reputation of any person, firm or corporation which may appear in the pages of the Hays Free Press will be corrected upon being brought to the attention of the publisher. DEADLINES The deadline for display advertising and any contributed news copy in the Hays Free Press is 5 p.m. Friday the week prior to publication. The deadline for Letters to the Editor and classified word advertising in the Hays Free Press is noon Monday the week of publication, though we encourage readers and advertisers to observe the Friday deadline. LEFrERS GUIDELINES We welcome locally written letters to the editor on timely topics of community interest. We ask that you keep them to about 350 words in length and that you not indulge in personal attacks on private individuals. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. All letters should be signed by the author and include a daytime phone number where the author can be contacted for verification. Letter writers are limited to one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to csb@ HISTORY Founded April 10, 1903, by Thomas Fletcher Harwell as The Kyle News, with offices on the corner of Burleson and Miller streets in the town's oldest remaining building. It merged into The Hays County Citizen in 1956. The paper consolidated with The Free Press in October, 1978. During its more than 100-year history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and Buda. ,I BY SAMANTHA SMITH Various issues ranging from fireworks to stop signs in one Kyle neighborhood led the Kyle Police Department (KPD) to hold a meeting to address public concerns. The Kyle Public Works building played host to the meeting between residents from the Four Seasons Farm neighborhood and Kyle Police. Captain Pedro Hernandez and Lt. Andre Marmolejo headed up the impromptu meeting, with the idea coming from Kyle Police Chief ]eft Barnett. Only eight residents from the Four Seasons subdivision, however, were present Hernandez said a Four Seasons resident emailed Barnett a list of concerns, one of which was about fireworks used on NewYear's Eve in the neighborhood. Hernandez and Marmolejo cited a lack of manpower to be everywhere all at once on "More staff means we can handle more criminal enterprise activities ... Kyle isn't immune to gang violence but most of the time, we are worried about the larger criminal enterprises like the Mexican mafia." - Lt. Andre Marmolejo of the Kyle Police Department a busy holiday like New Year's Eve. "We had three fireworks calls that night and all three of them received good response times," Hemandez said. The second issue extended to residents failing to stop at stop signs throughout the neighborhood. Marmolejo said filing' a complaint, whether online or over the phone, would help police with those issues. Residents were also concerned about aggressive drivers, signage for directions not to park on both sides of the street and current gang activity in Kyle. Marmolejo said KPD currently has 17 patrol officers with a full budget that could support 24 patrol officers. Currently there are 7 spots open on the Kyle Police force. "More staff means we can handle more criminal enterprise activities," Marmolejo said, "Kyle isn't immune to gang violence but most of the time, we are worried about the larger criminal enterprises like the Mexican mafia." During the meeting, Hernandez said calls coming from the Four Seasons neighborhood constituted "less than 1 percent" of emergency calls in the city. Hernandez said active communication between neighbors, along with regular calls to the police department, has led to the low call rate. "From January 2016 to present, the Four Seasons neighborhood has had five houses broken into and nine cars broken into," Hernandez said, "Which is really less than 1 percent of the total crime in the city." Residents present at the meeting spoke directly to each other at one point trying to ascertain whether or not there was an active neighborhood watch in the subdivision. Residents discovered there isn't an official neighborhood watch, but instead a network of neighbors looking out for each other. Some residents also wanted to know when a new police department building, which features an estimated $20 million price tag, would be in the works for the department. KPD is currently operating out of a building that was once a bank. "The city has considered it, but right now there aren't any funds for it," Hernandez said. "I have been a cop for 20 years in Kyle and I really want a new building." Hernandez and Mar- molejo encouraged the use of social media plat- forms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to communi- cate with neighbors. They also stressed the impor- tance of getting neighbors phone numbers for more immediate contact. "There are times when residents post concerns on these platforms then ask us (Kyle Police) why we didn't address them and when we ask if they repbrted it to the KPD, they tell us they didn't be- cause they posted it to the social media platform," Marmolejo said. Residents present at the meeting were encour- aged to use the website and call the non-emer- gency KPD number with any concerns they have, big or small. "No matter how short staffed we are we find a way to get the job done," Hernandez said, "We are here to serve the community." Sellers: Contract approved for city manager Continued from pg. 1A ment agreement when compared to those of city managers in neighboring cities. With the approval of the employment agree- ment, Sellers' contract was extended to Dec. 31, 2019. Sellers will receive an $600 car allowance stipend in addition to his salary, a $300 increase from his previous con- tract. Webster pointed om the Buda and San Marcos city managers also receive an $800 car aiI6wance. "This is a person who is the CEO, in essence, of our city, who is in charge of all of our depart- ment heads, all of our employees, in charge of ensuring that we are spending the tax payers' money wisely and that than the one proposed too politically divisive. we're being financially in December that would"In order to retain prudent," said Mayor have allowed the city a good city manager Pro Tem Damon Fogley. to purchase a $550,000you have to pay money "From what I've seen as home for Sellers and fu- for a good city manag- a council member, I've ture city managers to live er," Fogley said of the been very impressed by in. Had this option been employment agreement. the performance of our selected, Sellers' base "There are competitors city manager." salary would have beenout there, other cities The council agreed reduced by $28,000. that want good leaders that the employment However, after public and we're seeing that all agreement is more con- outcry, Sellers declined over the place. So I see it ventionally acceptable the offer, saying it was as a retention tool." Zoning: Hospital in Buda? Continued from pg. 1A "The key is the future growth in the area. updated medical Buda Mayor Todd Ruge facility," Sparks said in a later interview said regarding the that a new medical major change in the facility on east of Buda amendment to the may mean a greater need consent agreement, for executive housing, Sparks said that so the creation of a high the amendment was end neighborhood could proposed by Sunfield be possible. to rezone the land for a "Generally you need medical center, two types of housing 'At this point I don't near a hospital, executive know who is looking housing and affordable at this," Sparks said housing," Ruge said, "It's regarding the name of another thing we have to the company interested consider." in the proposed medical At this time it is facility, unknown which medical According to Sparks, company would call the there are two hospitals facility home but Ruge within a few miles of said the residents of the city of Buda, Seton Buda would see the new of Hays and St. Davids, medical facility "coming but a medical center soon." within Buda's ETJ would At this time there is no not only be convenient definitive timeline for the for Buda residents, but opening of the proposed would also encourage medical facility. 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PAWS Shelter and Humane Society is a non-profit, no-kill shelter operated primarily on donations and adoptions. 500 FM 150 E, Kyle, TX. 512 268-1611 All animals are fully vaccinated, spay/neutered, microchipped and dewormed. Buda Lions Club 410 Barton Crossing WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25th ,- 3 to 4:15 pm Country Inn & Suites 7400 N. 1-35 Frontage Rd. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25th ~ 6 to 7:15 pm Presented by: ALPHA OMEGA FAMILY SERVICES All new clients are provided with consultations by an independent qualified attorney who will help you determine the best plan for your family. + il I 1] E( 1