Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 13, 2003     Hays Free Press
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February 13, 2003

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HA S q FEBRUARY 13, 2003 VOL. 30 NO. 6 iHi~2ii~i~iii~i~iii~iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iiiiiii~Tii~i~i!iiiiiiiiiiiiii~i~i~iiii~ii~iiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!ii~ii!iiiiiiiiiiiiii i iiiiiiiii?' : :::` iii i i iiiiiiiiiiiiii i i i i i iiiii i1i i i i i i i iii i i i i i i i i i i i iii i i i i i @i i i i iiiiiiii ii;,!,ip iiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiii iliiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Bond has been set at $850,000. Friends of the two men have expressed utter disbelief at the fatal end of their friend- ship. Along with their own friendship, their wives, Tracy Newton and Shelli Cervenka, have been friends going back to childhood. Both wives teach at Buda Primary School. Buda Elementary Principal Gil Peyton said the mood among the staff on campus remains one of grief and puzzlement. He said staff members have visited with and remain supportive of both women. Peyton said both teachers are taking personal leave. "The staff is obviously still shocked, amazed and saddened" Peyton said. "I was a witness to some of the tremendous acts of compassion they have. In addition to the sad- ness we feel is support for both colleagues" A witnesses told police they saw a man running from All-Star Wireless, jointly owned by Newton and Cervenka, shortly before noon Monday. The man, Newton, soon arrived at Buda Prirnary. Sgt. Allan Bridges, spokesperson for the Hays County Sheriff's Office, said Newton went to speak with his wife, who was teach- ing at the school. By one account, Tmcy Newton went "hysterical" when she heard what her husband had to tell her. "He talked to her, then called the Austin Yes, it did snow -- in the early morning hours Saturday, Feb. 8. Leah Hohertz made the most of it by.making these Texas-size snowmen. The photo was taken by her dad, Allen Hickman, and sup- plied by proud grandpa, Roy Gordon. Cervenka murder, pg. 9 Michael Cervenka Seeking party with San Marcos BY BRENT STRONG Staff Writer COUNTY-In what has become a common theme these past couple of weeks, Hays County authorized addi- tional pay raises of more than $1.1 million for non-elected officials at this week's session of the commissioners court. Of that amount, $700,000 was budgeted this year. Because the budget cycle is halfway through, another $800,000 will have to be bud- geted in next year's cycle. The raises are part of a plan for Hays County to gain salary parity with the City of San Marcos and allow the county to retain its employees after train- ing them. Hays County has been losing employees to high- er salaries in San Marcos for years. The commissioners voted, 4-1, for the raises. Pet. 2 Commissioner Susie Carter cast the lone dissenting vote. Carter said the county needed to have a workshop to educate the public and the court on the raises before hastily jumping into such a large expense. Waters Consulting Group put together a plan for giving raises based on years of experi- ence and a job's position in the county hierarchy. The county administrator is the highest paid job in the county at $90,000. Carter questioned the con- sultant's criteria for pay increases, which "did not include education. Carter point- ed out that an animal control officer could be making between $26,710 and $37,877 under the new plan. She said the animal control officer salary is larger than some col- lege educated positions in the county. Law enforcement will account for more than half of the increases - $752,414. The second largest area of increases is non-exempt employees, with County Pay Raises, pg. 2 BY BILL PETERSON Editor HAYS CISD-W~tha controver- bond election in the Hays CISD little more than a week away, debate shifted Monday night to the district's capacity, particularly at the middle school level. In an effort to sway the undecid- won't reach their combined capaci- ty of 2,600 until 2008 or 2009. For that reason, among others, a group in opposition to the bond says it would be wise to wait out the econ- omy and the legislature before deciding to take on more bond debt. The school district says talk of full capacity oversimplifies matters and has begun to talk in terms of ed at the final public hearing on the $105 million bond before the Feb. 22 election, school board members pushed an ideal of neighborhood schools that aren't filled completely to capacity. Two former members of the Hays CISD Board of Trustees, Bryce Bales and Tommy Seargeant, have argued recently that the dis- trict's three middle schools - Dahlstrom, Wallace and Barton - "practical capaci- ty," which is about 90 percent of full capacity. Board members said education is better advanced if the students aren't packed in full classrooms. The school district puts the '~ractical capacity" of its middle schools at 2,340. To the notion of practical capac- ity, Bales cries "Foul!" And he has a Bond Banter, pg. 10 School Board members, from left to right, Joe Mufioz, David Wiley, Joe Hernandez, Chip DuPont, and Christie Pogue discuss school board issues at Monday night's bond hearing. (photo by Bill Peterson) BY BILL PETERSON Editor I LE - The dream of eco- omic development may require more initiative from the City of Kyle than it had expected. Kyle City Manager Tom Mattis told the Kyle Chamber of Commerce Tuesday that the city is taking preliminary steps toward deciding if it will finance a proposed extension of FM 1626 from FM 2770 to the Bunton Overpass on Interstate-35. The proposed road has long been envisioned as a major business arterial for Kyle, lying between a bursting Plum Creek residential development and IH-35 north of the city center. Like the Hays County gov- ernment, which hasn't received an encouraging response from TxDOT since offering $21 mil- lion of county bond money toward state road projects in the county, Kyle also has run into TxDOT's perennial budget con- straints. "If we're going to wait on TxDOT, we're going to wait a very long time" Mattis said. Mattis said Tax Increment Financing (TIF) may be the answer. Basically, the plan would call for the city to freeze its tax revenues on property along which the road is built, then go ahead and build the road. As busi- nesses set up on the road and the value of the property thereby increases, the city would apply the difference between the "frozen" tax revenues and the additional tax revenues toward paying off the road. Mattis said cities are increas- New HEB, New Road? pg. 2