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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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March 16, 2011     Hays Free Press
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Page 6A HE'WS Hays Free Press March 16, 2011 + ProViding compassionate, high quality medicine and surgery for dogs and c~t~ Mon-Fr i, 7am-6pm Saturday, 9am-5pm .~. Closed Wed & Sun Call (512) 268-PETS for an appointment today www.Ph.nCreekVet.com Located at 4100 Everett, Ste 100, next to the Performing Arts Center in Kyle NCUA + BY BOB BARTON toward creating a "safe" district for fellow Republican incumbent Su- bob@haysfreepress.com sic Carter of the Uhland area. Murry's proposal advocated Once every decade county gov- splitting a portion of downtown ernment has to- ready or not- en- Kyle, then strongly Democratic, gageinaredistrictingprocessto es- out of the Carter district. The plan tablish boundaries for its four area commissioners. There is plenty of redistricting to be done. Precinct 2, which encom- passes the Kyie and Buda areas, swelled to 52,671 people in the last 10 years, far more than either the 33,893 in Precinct 3 (W'unberley area) and the 31,980 in Precinct 4 eventually failed, aided by strong opposition from former Kyle May- or James Atkins and a majority of his city council. Only Ingalsbe remains on the current court and this year's deci- sions will probably center on the 1,000 pound gorilla in this year's data relating to where the county's (Dripping Springs area). Precinct citizenry lives. 1, which includes a large chunk of The current data shows that San Marcos and eastern Kyie, is the 64,643 of its residents live in either closest of all of them to the right size with 38,593 residents. It's a function that has occurred in Hays since the current constitu- tion was adopted nearly 150 years ago. With the recent completion of the U.S. census which shows that the Hays population has spiraled to 157,107, the Commissioners Court has appointed a four member panel to begin work on the process that will go into effect with next year's elections. The Commissioners Court last month appointed two of their own to the committee, Commission- ers Will Conley of Wunberley and Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe of San Marcos, as well as Republican Party chair Bud "~more of Buda and Democratic Party chair Jon Leon- ard of San Marcos. Several county staffers, induding Election Administrator Joyce Cowan, wfllbe adding expertise to the process and Altomey Rolando Rios of San An- tonio, who advised the court i0 years ago in their redistri work will again serve in that capacity Back in 2001 there were a se- ries of heated meetings and a half dozen redistricting plans under consideration, with many of the gatherings quite heated. At that time the principal fight occurred between a group headed by then Republican Chairman Emie Murry of San Marcos, who accused Coun- ty Judge Jim Powerg and commis- sioners Will Bumett and Russ Mo- linaar, all three of whom were also Republicans, of refusing to work the Buda or Kyle vicinity, along with another 54,248 in San Marcos and its immediate suburbs. That's more than 75 percent of the residents of the county living clustered along interstate 35, but currently only newly elected Commissioner Mark Jones of Kyle and Ingalsbe live in one of the three corridor cities. Conley, who was elected original- ly from San Marcos, now lives in the Wtmberley area, and newly elected commissioner Ray Whisenant is a Dripping Springs resident. The 10 precincts located in the westem part of the county contain only 38,206 of the county's residents. That amounts to only 24.3 percent of the total county census. To a lesser extent the same con- dition existed a decade ago, but any correction got bogged down when the inter-party Republican dispute over the Precinct 2 realignment be- came so pronounced. Community leaders from the fast-growing corridor will almost certainly push for a more balanced realignment this time, aimed at correcting the existing statistical imbalance that has grown even larger over the last decade. No timetable has yet been es- tablished, but the redistricting ~ommittee is expected to conduct hearings in all of the sections of the county before drawing the final boundary lines in summer or early fall. Next spring's party primaries will be the first election in the next 10 year cycle to be governed by this year's realignment. Kyle ElectiOns: And they're off Continued from p'g. 1A fill the unexpired term of former mayor Mike Gonzalez, who resigned to pursue higher office. Now competing for a full three-year term, she faces Graham Mendel, 33, a patient services representative at Bee Caves Urgent Care and resident of the Southlake Ranch.Not a partic- ularly familiar face to City Hall, Mendel gets the benefit of running without a record on municipal issues. In an interview on Monday, he said ventured few specifics but a cut a wide swath on general issues such as con- straining city spending, supporting business and in- dustry expansion and improving roads and sidewalks. He did say that he opposed the city's purchase of land on Scott Street for a new library; he said he preferred one of the sites being offered by developers as part of their public land dedication. "We need to focus on what the city needs and spend accordingly. Spending it for land when land was do- nated- that's one specific topic that upset me," Mendel said. Support for an Old Town Kyle location for the library, now under construction, animated much of Johnson's support last time around among certain factions. She can also claim what not many incumbents can in this economy: a tax decrease. The council this fiscal year shaved .85 cents offthe tax rate for $100 in property, an accomplishment that Johnson, 25, is making a center- piece of her re-election campaign. Also this week, Hometown Kyle subdivision resident Ron Shermam, 41, filed to run against council member David Wilsora for Place 4, which covers nearly all of the city west of tthe Union Pacific railroad tracks. For Dis- trict 2, which encompasses southern and part of east- ern Kyle, in(cumbent Becky Selberra faces Waterleaf subdivision tresident Jean Putnam, 55. Both Sherrman, the facilities custodial manager for Aramark at St. Edwards Universi~, and Putnam, a housekeeper, both said budget and tax concerns are the top reason for their nmning. Said Putnam, "I'm concerned about the national debt and ... really the best place to start with debt is in our back yard and our own community. I'm tired of sit- ting around and doing nothing." "The biggest [issue[ I know of is the budget. I'm very conservative in dealing with finances and I like to se a balanced budget .... I'd like to see a little more account- ability," Sherman said, saying he opposes the practice of using utility fund revenue to offset general fund shortfalls. Continued from 10g. 1A Boser, 30, iis an operations manager who lives in Kyle. Bryant, 37, works as a office manager. Her husband, Ray Bryant, served 0.n ~Kyle City Council and made an unsuccessful bid':~r Hays County Commissioner, losing out to RepublicrliiiMark Jones. The city off Buda, h~y, ~ see a politicalbattle as incumbent bAayor ~ob~Lhne seeks to hold his seat for a second tenm ag~)d~allenger Sarah Mangham, the citys former, finance ~ector. Lane previously served as a councilmember. incumbent council member Scott Dodd did not draw a challenger. Planning and Zoning Commissioner Dawn Schaelffer is running unopposed for the seat be- ing vacated by long-term incumbent Tom Crouse. Rising Gas Prices Continued from pg. 1A it. "We have built into our fuel budget increases in price so that if the price stays low, well, then we just saved that money," he said. '~nd if prices go up, we think we'll be just fine with what we've got budgeted." The district has no plans to consolidate routes or make other cuts in response to the fuel prices, Scherff added. "We don't provide any un- necessary service," he said, "so it's not like we can curtail service." As for consumers and commuters, most Buda-Kyle residents get in the car to go to work, with 80 percent commuting alone and 13.4 percent carpooling. Less than one percent walk or use public transit, while 4.7 percent work from home. The median travel time to work is 33.8 minutes, higher than the national average of 25.2 minutes. More than one-quarter of households have three vehicles. People might be com- plaining about the price at the pump, but transporta- tion experts don't expect consumers to drive less or "We don't provide any u n n ecessary service, so it's not like we can curtail service." Deputy - Carter Scherff, Superintendent of the Hays CISD buy more fuel-efficient vehi- cles until the price per gallon crosses the $4 threshold. One driver making a change, though, is Lally, the Pizza Classics delivery guy. He's leaving the pizza busi- ness altogether. From now on, he'll be driving his V8 to a desk job as a data proces- sor in Austin. "We're happy that he's got something," Rock said. "His last day's Wednesday." 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