Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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March 6, 2003     Hays Free Press
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March 6, 2003
 

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ng officials 'looking forward'to performance review BY BILL PETERSON Editor HAYS CISD--Just more than a week after the failure of a $105 bond election, the Hays CISD received word that the Comptroller's office is going to look into its finances. However, the announcement didn't take the district by sur- prise. Interim Superintendent Marvin Crawford said this week that former Superintendent Michael Hinojosa told him the Comptroller's office was com- ing during the transition last summer. Hays CISD Director of Finance Annette Folmar said her office has been assembling materials for the audit since before Christmas. Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhom said her office will complete a Texas School Performance Review (TSPR) on the Hays CISD and release the report in August. Strayhorn called attention to three factors prompting the review, citing fig- ures for the 2001-2002 school year: The school district spent 43.4 cents per dollar on instruc- tion, compared with a state aver- age of 51 cents. The district's fund balance district could face challenges in: was 5.2 percent of its budget, ' the future if cost effectiveness: well below the state's 10 percent rule of thumb. The district's tax rate ($1.5963) was high, though the comptroller noted it decreased 11 cents fron~ 1999 to 2001 "despite the district's low fund balance." Said Strayhorn, "These financial indicators imply the and efficiency matters are nol~ improved immediately." Hays CISD officials said they weren't disappointed byl the comptroller's announce-. ment. "She told us a year ago that: she was coming to visit us"'I BY BRENT STRONG Staff Writer B U DA--It's been nearly one month since Michael Cervenka's funeral services, yet it still hasn't been enough time to heal the Cervenka family's wounds. A steady dose of friendship and faith seem to be the cmly medicine helping the family to cope with the The pain stems from Feb. 10, when Michael Cervenka was found shot to death in his Nextel All-Star Wireless busi- ness on Ben White Blvd. in Austin. His business partner, Glenn Newton, surrendered to authorities later that morning and is charged with Cervenka's Faith is one of the biggest reasom fmmly can dexd with Ccrvenka's 'death. Both Shelli Cervenka and her family said they can't heal without it. "What's picking us up every single day and putting one foot in frbnt of the other is the prayer, "Shelli Cervenka said. "I could- n't get out of bed without that That is the best gift we've receiv I only cope day to day because of the support of prayer" People have not only offered Shelli Cervenka prayer, but have taken her aside to separate rooms to pray with her. The family also is receiving a large base of support from the com- munity. The community has rallied Monty Maulding visits with Bo~ and Shelli Cervenka. (photo by Brent Strong) behind the Cervenka ~y since the incident Close have demonstrated just how much Michael Cervenka was loved and how much he meant to them, but it's not only close friends sending kind words to the family. A gas station attendant sent along his sorrow in a card addressed to the family. A clerk at the cleaner Cervenka fre- quented began to weep when she heard the news. Grocery store employees where Cervenka shopped brought gro- ceries for the family. Shelli Cervenka said the number of people offering help has been overwbelming. "You think you have a few friends" Shelli Cervenka said. 'q'hen you find out you have a few hundred friends?' People have helped with tak- ing the boys to teeball practice, taking the kids to movies and playing with them in the yard. The favors people are doing are a testament to Cervenka's kindness, according to the fami- ly. The display of companion- ship has also been used by Cervenka's father, Bob, as a way to help himself deal with the sit- uation. 'q'here's a hole in our hearts we'll never recover from," Bob Cervenka said. "Based on what we've seen, it's comforting that Michael was such a touching person to others for Christ." There are numerous stories in the area about residents rededicating themselves to the church because of Michael Cervenka's death. One of Cervenka's best friends tin'ned to the ohurch in the ~ as have a few of Cervenka's family members, including one of Cervenka's cousins. The next obstacle for the family to deal with will come on March 10, when Newton makes his first public appearance in court. The judge is expected to set a trial date for Newton at his 1:30 p.m. appearance. Memorial gifts can be mailed to the Cervenka Boys College Fund c/o Hays Hills Baptist Church, 1401 N FM 1626 Buda, Tx 78610. Make checks payable to Hays Hills Baptist Church and indicate on the check that the money is for the Cervenka College Fund. Gifts are tax deductible. BY BILL PETERSON Editor KBYLE----Dan Ekakiadis, a Spring ranch resident, said he would have, brought jokes to Tuesday night's Kyle City Council meeting if he had known it were going to be a roast for Mayor James Adkim and the council. Instead, Ekakiadis brought one of few criticisms to the council, which mostly heard from a half-dozen citizens in support following its controversial dealings with the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BS/EACD) and the announcement of an effort to recall Adkins, While some speakers said differences of opinion on the council are healthy and democratic, Ekakiadis, who has thought about running for council, said such "diversity needs to be brought together" The council has been split in recent months between one faction that wants increased council and citizen input at the front end of the legislative process and another faction that believes citizens and the council should deliberate after City Manager Tom Mattis has drafted legisla- tion. Compounding the differences of opin- ion, the city recently agreed to pay its entire $129,124.71 fine to the BS/EACD after a contentious round of negotiations that included payments to an attorney spe- cializing in water issues. Sherry Anderson, who said last month that she is working on a recall of the mayor, told citizens in Tuesday night's open session that the city paid for legal services on the matter ($18,000 through December 2002) and still paid the entire fine. However, the broad majority of speak- ers Tuesday night said Adkius and the council should be commended for their wodc Two of the most vehement in sup- port were former Mayor Pete King and former Councilmember Doun Brooks. "I say to you, "God bless Kyle!'" Brooks said to loud applause at the end of his remarks. 'q'here are only two kinds of city man- agers," Brooks opened. "Some are dead and the others are controversial. So, seeing you walk around here is good news for you, sir," Brooks continued as he looked towards Mattis. "All of you are doing your best by your lights and that's all we have a right to expect," Brooks said to council. Bob Barton, publisher of The Free Press and a member of the committee that wrote the city charter, said in open session that recall elections should be conducted only under extreme circumstances, as the mayor and councilmembers all are up for election every three years. Krug said that if a petition ever circu- lates, he hopes it comes around to him. Krug said he won't sign it, but he'll share Former Kyte Mayor Pete Krug spoke in support of Mayor James Adkins in front of the city council Tuesday night. (photo by Bi// Peterson) his low opinion of a recall with the peti- tioner. Councilmember Mike Moore rose from his place and spoke as a citizen, say- ing Mattis did not cause the city's prob- lems, but diagnosed them. Mattis became Kyle's city manager on Jan. 21, 2002. "I really support the mayor, and I real- ly support the city manager" Moore said. "The city manager jumped into a lot of bad stuff when he came here?' a's BY BaErcr STRONG Staff Writer B UDA-Law enforcement's future in Buda could be hang- ing in the balance today (March 6). The Buda Public Safety Commission is meeting to finalize its plans for a vote concerning the feasiblity of a police department in Buda. "I believe now is the time," Public Safety Commission Chairman and City Council Member Hutch White said. "If next year isn't the time for this, then its coming very quickly. We at least need to have a plan." White said the consensus plan is to have a two-man force. One officer will be the chief hnd the other will be the deputy. One of the functions of the chief in the first year will be to secure grants for the force. Grants will be essential for diverting much of the cost associated with establish- ing a police force, such as purchas- ing cars and equipment. Opponents of law enforcement in Buda say the current system using the Hays County Sherrif's depart- ment is sufficient. Proponents for the police department say its impor- tant to stay ahead of the growth curve. Public involvement is impera- tive, according to Buda City Administrator Bob Mathis. "I'd like to see this as a commit- ment by the public because this will be a ,tax increase to have the police department;' Mathis said. Voters rolled back the tax rate in Buda on Feb. I. to 13.1 cents per $100 of assessed value from 21.99. The city will push for an increase in public involvement to avoid the voter backlash seen in February. White said he wants the commis- sion to spend time coming up with facts, the function of the police department and the costs before putting it to the voters. Before it goes to a vote, White plans on hav- ing public workshops throughout the spring and summer. The earliest a police department could go on Buda's payroll would be for next year's budget, which will be set this fall. Some of the known costs associ- ated with a department are the pur- chase of two police cars, salaries, infrastructure for the court and equipment for the cars. White said the commission hopes to initially subsidize the endeavor through grants. His hopes also rest on a future spike in sales tax revenue with the opening like the proposed Simon Mall in Buda. Such a sales tax spike would replace the grant funding that is to fund a Buda police force for its first two years. The Public Safety Commission will meet on March 10 s at 7 p.m. at City Hall to take its final vote on its #