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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
March 6, 2013     Hays Free Press
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March 6, 2013

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Hays Free Press u March 6, 2013 NEWS Page 3A F BY ANDY SEVILLA "Unfortunatel3~ President Obama appears more focused on playing a sequestration blame game than on prevent- ing spending cuts that would hurt the economy" Con- gressman Lamar Smith said in a statement about au- tomatic budget cuts that were Iriggered after Democrat and Republican leaders remained stagnant in the ever-present budget faceoff. President Barack SMITH Obama ordered the $85 billion cuts in U.S. govem- ment spending Friday night after Washington leaders failed to reach a deal to thwart the au- tomatic reductions brokered in 2011. Officials now will have to adjust bud- gets through Octo- ber making way for the monetary slash- ing to take hold. "Not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away. The pain though ~11 be real," MSNBC reported D0fifiErl" Obama as telling journalists in the lames S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 1, shortly after meeting with Congressional lead- ership. "Beginning this week, many middle-class fami- lies will have their lives disrupted in significant ways." Sarah Dohl, spokesperson for lo- cal Congressman Lloyd Doggett, said the immediate local impacts are still "not 100% clear," but did WILLIAMS announce that public schools will be impacted. "I thinkwe should be looking at a combination of revenue and more reasoned spending cuts instead of slashing every- thing from the Border Patrol to educational assistance so students can achieve their full potential and so our public schools have a little bit of help after the devastating cuts of Governor Perry and those that are pending in the Legislature now," Doggett, who represents the eastern portion of Hays County along Interstate 35, said in a statement. "I'd say let's get a little revenue from the gi- ant oil companies, by closIng some of their tax loopholes." On theWhite House website, President Obamalays out aplan that "will avoid the sequestra- fion's harmful budget cuts and reduce the deficit in a balanced way- by cutting spending~ finding savings in entitlement programs and closing tax loop- holes." The website states that the President believes focus should be aimed at growing the economy and strengthening the middle class. However, Smith, who repre- sents a central north-to-south strip of Hays County, said Obama has not proposed spe- cific budget cuts to help avert sequestration. "The (sequestration) cuts are regrettable but avoidable," Smith said. "House Republicans have twice passed legislation that would have avoided se- questration cuts. The Senate has not passed a single bill to avoid the cuts. Sequestration was the White House's idea.And yet the President hasn't proposed any specific spending cuts to help avert sequestration." Doggett, echoing Obama, said spending cuts alone are not the solution to the nation's economic challenges. He said revenue, too, is paramount In finding "balance," with Doggett calling on the public for support. "It will take de- termined efforts to overcome Repub- lican intransigence to solve that prob- lem and we need the continued Input and counsel and demands of a con- cemed public to get Republicans to work with us to resolve the economic chal- lenges we face in a balanced way where everyone partici- pates in resolving the problem" According to the White House website, the sequester will cut ~:~ .... "~iiii afterschool and i~' other programs for i~i! ~i~::.:: nearly 1.2 million ii~ i~ii!ii kids, eliminate more ~;~?, ......... than 4 million meals ~i~ .... ~ ~for sick and home- ~i~ ...... %~ .bound seniors, elim- inate jobs for 30,000 teachers and school staff and cut funding for thousands of first responders, among other things. The de- fense department is expected to take the brunt of the auto- matic cuts. "The whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get to- gether and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth," Obama is quoted as saying on theWhite House website. 'And so this was all designed to say we can't do these bad cuts; let's do some- thing smarter. That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration." Congressman Roger Wil- liams, whose district Includes western Hays County, said on the House floor that the se- quester, whom he attributes to Obama, "is bad for America." "There's no getting around it. Good programs are going to be cut, good people are go- ing to be furloughed, and bad leadership from President Obama is to blame," Wdliams said. "In the last 4 years, almost every important budget dead- line has been met with im- passe, and little has been done to enact a responsible budget. Systematic failure to perform the most basic responsibilities of governing has led us to the catastrophic sequestration." The sequestration, however, was led to by both parties' fail- ure to reach a budget deal. Re- publicans have voiced strong opposition against tax In- creases, while Democrats have fought for a combination of tax jumps for the wealthier Ameri- cans and lowered spending. "I believe such a balanced approach that combines tax reform with some additional spending reforms, done In a smart, thoughtful way is the best way to finish the job of deficit reduction and avoid these cuts once and for all that could hurt our economy, slow our recovery, put people out of work. And most Americans agree with me," Obama said on the White House website. lines? Then request safe tree trimming by logging in through our website, You can also safely and quickly report the issue by calling us at 1-888-554-4732. Do not attempt to trim trees and foliage near power lines yourself. Trimming near lines is dangerous and should always be left to our professionals. 1938-2013 POWER OF COMMUNITY PEDERNALE$ ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE BY GARY ZUPANCIC FM2001 to SH21, the addition commercial motor vehicles, the Garlic Creek Park Trail to of a continuous turn lane and namely tractor trailers, from the Safe Routes to Schools shoulders on FM 967 north 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. passed on the Project is in the works. This fromFM 1626. first reading. The ordinance estimated $82,000 project Withawiderangeofsubjects The council approved a per- would carry a $500 penalty for includes a bridge over Gar- on the Buda agenda, council formance agreement between those parking within city lim- lic Creek. Council member members dove in, taking on Buda's Economic Develop-its. RVs and tour buses would George Haehn asked if "there road projects, new businesses ment Commission and CSI be exempt. Council members was any money available to and parking ordinances. Printing, which is relocating noted that Cabelas was sup- get this done" before the start Hays County Pct. 2 Com- from the city ofAustin. Within posed to have "no commercial of the 2013-14 school year. missioner Mark Jones gave five years the company plans parking" signs posted. The or- The council directed City a presentation on ongoing to employ 57 new employees dinances passed its first read- Engineer Stanley Fees to re- projects, including the wid- from Hays County. ing, but the council requested search different scenarios to ening of FM 967, the Buda An ordinance prohibit- that staff"beef it up" more. be presented to council by the track bypass, realignment of ing overnight parking ofA possible trail to connect next meeting. BY ANDY SEVILLA Just as he took the helm at the Kyle Fire Department last week, interim Chief Clay Huckaby was tasked with lay- ing the groundwork to call for a Use and Sales Tax Election to help fund fire services in a growing region. "When I walked through the door, one of the first things that was asked of me is, 'when can ya'll go for sales tax election?'" Huckaby said at the Feb. 27 meeting of the Emergency Service District No. 5 (ESD 5). Though ESD 5 commis- sioners decided to forgo call- ing the election for May, all voiced interest in calling a Use and Sales Tax Election in November. The desperation for extra money was all too tangible as commissioners described the years-in-the-works project. "We have no choice but to find an alternate source of funding," said ESD 5 Commis- sioner Mike Fulton. "We're at that point where our options are - find another source of funding or shrink the fire de- partment with the cost of in- flation each year. Those are the only two options that we have ... we are at our maxi- mum funding." Not wanting to repeat a vi- cious scene that could pit a city against a fire department, as Huckaby has at least once experienced in his career, he cautioned that pursuing sales tax collections in the extrater- ritorial jurisdiction (ET]) of Kyle may be something to be granted more consideration. "There are agreements you can possibly work up within the city," Huckaby said. "I know that with this time frame, that was not re- searched. And that may be something you may want to research if you decided to go for a future (use and sales tax) election." Huckaby said ESD 5 could take in about $60,000 annu- ally in sales tax collections at a $0.015 rate, from the 182 businesses operating in Kyle's ETJ. He said the comptroller's office informed him that 827 businesses were identified within the 78640 zip code. However, of those 827, only 182 were not already tapped at their two-cent max. Taxing entities can col- lect up to $0.02 on a sales tax above the $0.0625 the state automatically charges for purchases. In Hays County, $0.005 is allocated for the county, and cities collect $0.015 on purchases made within their boundaries. ESD 5, however, wants to collect the $0.015 sales tax on purchases made in their service region in areas not al- ready annexed into cities. But, city officials have voiced discontent with the move. "We're at thatpoint where our options are -find another source offunding or shrink the fire department with the cost of inflation each year. Those are the only two options that we have... we are at our maximum funding." -Mike Fulton, ESD 5 Commissioner "This calling of the election kind of caught us off guard," Assistant Kyle City Manager James Earp told ESD 5 com- missioners. "I don't feel that we were brought along on board as to the plans of this election, the needs for the election." "We would first ask that the board not call the elec- tion for the sales tax, and in the event the board has made up their mind to call the election for the sales tax, we would ask that we be given the opportunity to sit down and actually hammer out some sort of an agree- ment that both sides can live with long term." Though Earp desci'ibed being blind sighted by the calling of a sales tax election, ESD 5 commissioners were under the impression that conversations allegedly had over a year ago gave them proper footing. "Every time we've con- sidered this it's been with the idea that we would work cooperatively With the city for future revenue funding," Commissioner Susan Meckel said. October 20, 2011, minutes show the commission dis- cussed the matter. And, min- utes for their Dec. 14, 2011, meeting state that Commis- To learn more about safe tree care, or to request tree trimming in your area, go to >> PHOTO BY CYNDY SLOVAK-BARTON " is calling : of the election kind of caught us off guard. I don?feel that we were brought along on board as to the plans of this election, the needs for the election." -James Earp, Assistant Kyle City Manager sioner Beth Smith "discussed the issue With Kyle City Man- ager (Lanny Lambert) who seemed agreeable to work- ing With the ESD for sales tax collection outside of city ju- risdiction, With some poten- tial agreement on continued shared funding as the city an- nexes territory." Lambert, however, says he does not recollect that alleged 2011 conversation, and, fur- thermore, would not quickly give up future city sales tax. Commissioners ultimately decided to table the calling of a sales tax election and begin conversations With Kyle in hopes of reaching an revenue sharing agreement. 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Pisase come by ~o Marcos to meet hot! shelter and meet he~ today! 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 Please visit pawsshelter, org All animals are fully vaccinationed, spay/neutered, mierochipped and dewormed. Pets of the Week sponsored by Loeated in Kyte, Texas at 4100 Everett; next to the Pe~orm ng Arts Center and Austin Regional Clinic ; i i i