Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 30, 2013     Hays Free Press
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January 30, 2013

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Page 2A NEWS Hays Free Press January 30, 2013 + The Hays Free Press (ISSN 1087-9323) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., 122 N. Main St., Buda, TX 78610. Periodicals postage paid at Buda, TX 78610 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Barton Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 339, Buda, TX 78610. ISSN#1087-9323 NEWS TIPS If you think it's news, we probably do tool Newsroom phone: 512-268-7862 E-mail: news@haysfreepress. com Mail: P.O. Box 339, Buda, Texas 78610 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 br ought to the attention of the publisher. DF.ADLINES 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 Editol; 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. LETTERS 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 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. Road Bond Continued from pg. 1A package addressing all five roads. '?ts for a bond package improving all five many of you know, I've been trying to roads. work on getting a capital improvement '~s I listened to the people in here, plan for the city for a very long time and you have convinced me. I didn't think I'm just really happy that we're at this it was possible, because I've stood my point ... I couldn't be more thrilled and ground, but you have convinced me," happy that we're moving forward." Bryant told the audience of his support For several months, council members for the bond package. have been strategizing and deliberating But Bryant, who has consistently on a bond package that would improve voiced dissent for a bond election ad- several city roads in disrepair, though dressing all five roads because of the as- the point of contention on council has sociated costs, tax implications and im- been how many roads to move forward pending city expenses, said that those with, considering costs and taxing im- concerns remain despite his newly plications, found support for the project. Bryant A majority of council have in past dis- said the water and wastewater rates are cussions seemed inclined to forgo Kyle expected to increase next fiscal year, the residents' recommendation to move Austin Community College tax is set to forward with improvements to the five begin, the wastewater treatment plant's roads identified as priority, instead lean- imminent expansion and the fast ap- ing toward a compromise that would proaching Lone Star Rail are among a have provided for the engineering of all plethora of other city expenses that con- five roads, but only reconstruction of cem him. three. "I hear you and (I have) listened very In an aboutface, however, Council intently," Bryant said. "So l really believe Member Brad Pickett motioned to put that you have made a decision that giv- all five roads in a $35.3 million bond en all the things I've named, that you're package before voter in May. willing to stop kicking the can down the "I do have some concerns about the road, and to bite the bullet, and to take costs, especially for our fixed income care of Kyle and make it the place that citizens, which we do have a sizeable we all know it can be. You have don- amount of those, and how this affects vinced me, and my vote will be to vote them, but we do need to let the citizens for the five roads." speak and this is the best way to do it," The city's mobility committee held Pickett said. two public information sessions de- At full bond sale, the cost of the pro- tailing the priority options council was posal is estimated to increase the tax considering for a road bond package - rate by $0.2075 per $100 of assessed engineering and reconstruction all five property valuation, or an increase of roads; and engineering all five roads and $260 on the average Kyle home valued reconstructingthree-onlan. 19andJan. at $125,097. 26. At those meetings, residents in at- \ ?- Proposed "--.C / / / / Kyle's current tax rate is $0.5244 per tendance were provided with abundant $100ofassessedpropertyvaluation, and information on costs, taxes, proposed known, but let's hear what people have to we can pull out, because we do need if the road bond package is approved by roads and proposed bonds, as well as sa~" said Council Member DavidWflson. roads, we do need this infrastructure." voters, residents could see a tax rate of with a survey allowing for feedback. But the uncertainty of what people Now that council members have $0.7319 per $100 of assessed property Bacon presented council members may say at the ballot box causes a little unanimously directed staffto formulate valuation in as soon as six years, if the with survey results illustrating that the alarm for a council member who has an ordinance calling for a $35.3 million present tax rate does not increase, ac- majority of respondents preferred the advised the need for a secondary at- road bond election, at their Feb. 5 meet- cording to the city's proposed timeline improvement of all five roads. Only one rangement, ing they will take the matter up on first ofconstrnction, resident who took the survey preferred "I do caution council," said Council reading. Two positive council votes will "There's going to be a time when the reconstruction of only three roads, Member Samantha Bellows-LeMense. be necessaryforthebondelectiontobe you're not judged by taxing your citi- meanwhile two respondents prefered "Because the greatest concern is not called. zens," mobility committee member Joe neither option. About 19 respondents that it goes to the ballot and passes, my City Attorney Julian Grant said the Bacon told council members. "You're did not identify a preference,greatest concem is it goes to the ballot election must be called by March 1. going to be judged by what you didn't "We have to listen to what people say, and fails. So I do urge us to start think- '~s a council we're ready to bring this do for your citizens, by what responsi- the surveys have come in, we heard you ing of a Plan B, because we don't have to the voters, and it's well past due for a bilities you didn't take care of." speak, committees have worked on it one. I'm completely okay with allowing lot of these roads to be fixed, and they Council Member Ray Bryant, who very carefully and I'm hearing that we the citizens to use their voice and tell us are dangerous and it is a hazard to our seconded Pickett's motion, also shocked need to step up to the plate and give it to what they want, but if they say 'no,' we citizens and noone should have to drive the audience when he voiced support the citizens for a vote, and it may well be need to have something in the back that on them," Johnson said. Open Meetings Continued from pg. 1A posting in particular." advancing to the council's defense, said sponsibility for not posting the Jan. 19 "I apologize," Kyle Mayor Lucy John- that "graveyard humor or front line hu- mobility committee meeting and has son said 1hesday about the joking ban- mor" is sometimes needed in serious affirmed the council members' blame- ter council members exercised while predicaments, lessness. waiting to begin a scheduled special "I see nothing wrong with using hu- The violation of the Texas Open Meet- called council meeting. "I often make mor to diffuse a tense situation," Lam- ings Act came into play when a council many inappropriate jokes in the course bert said. member spoke out during the meeting of my day, but that doesn't mean that I Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott without realizing that she was violating don't take these things seriously." recently introduced a handbook to clar- the law. Johnson said that the council mem- ify and enhance understanding of the Lambert said last week that Kyle fol- bers who tmknowingiy violated state Texas Open Meetings Act, emphasizing lows "all policies, rules and procedures law "took it very hard," and that last the importance of govemment officials that require all public meetings, gath- week before a special called council to make sure meetings are open and erings and city sponsored events to be meeting, she decided to "joke" about posted properly, certified and posted. This simply was an the situation, because "it clearly wasn't "The Texas Open Meetings Act hon- oversight. There is no willful intent to their fault." ors the principle that government at all violate the law." Johnson said she is "very sorry" that levels in this state should operate in a Johnson said city staff has "assured" her jokes have distracted from the' way that is open and accessible to the her that the problem with not posting a "greater issue." people," Abbott wrote, meeting would not happen again, and CityManagerLannyLambert, quickly Kyle's city staff has accepted all re- in fact, she said the city has been bet- ter at posting meetings than in previous years. For the third consecutive year, Kyle has received a GOLD Leadership Circle Award from the Texas Comptroller's of- rice for exceeding government transpar- ency standards set by the state agency, according to a city press release. The City of Kyle was recognized with having the city's budget, check register and financial performance reports on- line. Additionally, Kyle has previous year's financial audits, contact information for city council members and key staff, mu- nicipal codes and past city council meet- ing agendas and minutes available from the web site, the release stated. Audio of the council members joking can be found linked to this story on our website at + A VEE CORPORATION PRODUCTION m "THEATRE AT THE FRANK ERWIN CENTER Buda Run-Off Election: Still no winner Continued from pg. 1A no major headline to drive the run off (sic) election in March," race." Hopkins wrote in an email. Chilcote said she is not in- He also complimented his clined to throw her support be- opponents. hindeitherofthetworemaining "The supporters for Mrs. candidates and does not plan to Proctor and Ms. Chilcote should vote in the rtm-off election, be pleasedwith their candidates Chilcote served several terms (sic) campaigns and hard work. on the Buda City Council. Both Amy and Cathy performed Of his 48 percent of the vote, their efforts in a respectful fash- Hopkins said he is very pleased, ion," Hopkins wrote. "The results reflects (sic) Proctor did not respond to my supporters (sic) efforts for the questionnaire sent to her my election to the Buda City by Hays Free Press prior to pub- Council. I look forward to the lication, nor did she return a We offer affordable powder coated wrought iron for all of your fencing needs - prefab panels, posts, gates, drive gates and hardware. IFENCE SUPPLYI 10% off for all military and government employees. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! 512-312-4699 www.AustinFencesupply.Com Gene@AustinFencesupply.Com weekend phone call after Satur- day's special election. Her husband, Wayne Proctor, called and said his wife prefers to provide answers in writing. He later submitted, in person, a typed sheet of paper using an anecdotal statement to ex- plain the preference for writ- ten versus in-person answers, however, the information does not have Amy Proctor's name or signature on it. The statement said, in part, "Early in the campaign, I was having a conversation with one of the city officials about the procedures for electioneering. A week or so later, I heard parts of the conversation come back to me completely distorted and out of context (nothing seri- ous) ." It went on to say, "I asked the official in the future to keep our conversations just between the two of us." Later in the statement, it said, "I was informed by the official that this was a public office and any conversation we had was public information." Wayne Proctor also delivered a two-page hand-written letter, but it did not answer all of the questions from the Hays Free Press. Proctor wrote, in part, "I have strong convictions about the problems Buda is facing in the ~mre. We have uncontrolled owth, increasing traffic, in- creasing costs to the citizens of Buda to pay for the increasing need for water, sewer manage- ment, building more road, and repairing the existing ones." The Buda City Council Place 2 rtm-off election will take place 20 to 45 days after of the can- vassing of the Jan. 26 special election results.