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Kyle, Texas
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April 17, 2013     Hays Free Press
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+ CLASSIFIEDS * PUBLIC NOTICES SERVICE DIRECTORY HaysFreePress.com April 17, 2013 in BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com A MUD is a political sub- division of the State of Texas, created by the legislature and authorized by the Texas Com- mission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to provide water, sewage, drainage and other services within the MUD boundaries. These districts are a taxing entity and typically have the power of eminent do- main. based L&F Distributors, an An- "I'm not going to tell someone heuser-Busch beer distributor. The company is owned by the what they can or can not do on GregLaMantiafamily. The plight of a 5,000-acre ranch near Wimberley contin- THE LATEST ISSUE ues to stir up controversy as it their land as long as they are The Citizens Alliance for has for more than a decade. Responsible Development This time, private property complying with the law." (CARD), a Hays Countyvolun- rights are being pit against teer organization, has started environmental concerns - a an outreach campaign to battle similar to others brew- -Jason Isaac, State Rep. Dist. 45 warn Hays County residents ing around the state. And two of LaMantia's intent to create state legislators, Rep. Jason THE BACKGROUND River, the fabled waterfall area accident in October 2009 in a MUD on his property. Ac- isaac, District 45, and Sen. Once known as the Fulton had been a summer weekendHouston. cording to Jim McMeans, the Donna Campbell, District 25, Ranch, later the McCoy Ranch, destination for generations of His ranch was eventually founder of CARD, both the are facing the ire of a local en- it sits on the Blanco River. It's a Hays citizens. The ranch's for- sold - but not without contro- Wimberley City Council and vironmental group for their 5,000-acre tract inWimberley's mer owner, Hays County law- versy from his self-proclaimed the Hays County Commission- purported role in trying to extraterritorial jurisdiction, yer and philanthropist John common lawwife. Hays Coun- ers declined to pass a resolu- circumvent the conventional The property contains a sec- O'Quinn cut off that whenty records show the property tion to approve the MUD. method for creating a Munici- tion called "Little Arkansas." he purchased the property in was sold in 2011 to a holding McMeans said it's uncharac- pal Utility District (MUD). With its access on the Blanco 2001. O'Quinn, died in an auto company owned by McAllen-teristic for state officials to in- troduce bills creating a MUD without the approval of local entities. County Commission- er Will Conley and Judge Bert Cobb oppose the MUD, According to McMeans, La- Mantia told county commis- sioners and Isaac that he would like to put the property under a conservation easement, but only after he has enhanced its value as a tax write-off by mak- ing it a MUD. McMeans said,"Our concern is that once the ranch becomes a MUD, the conservation ease- ment could be conveniently forgotten. That would leave a giant taxation district ripe for any kind of exploitation." MUD v PROPFJRTY RIGHTS, pg. 4D Customer service skills and work ethic key in retail success BY MOSES LEOS III moses@haysfreepress.com It is no surprise that the retail indus- try is booming locally. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook Bureau of Labor and Statistics, posi- tions in retail and sales are forecasted to grow by 17 percent between 2010 and 2020. Those living in north Hays County have witnessed this for some time, as a number of retail chains have popped up along 1-35. Of course, the boom in retail stores brings along with it a need to fill posi- tions, primarily on the sales floor. For many, a career in retail begins on the floor. But, what do managers look for when hiring these workers? CLOTHING STORES The term "looks can be deceiving" especially applies to those working in clothing retail chains. Customers might notice employees working the floor, organizing material and ensur- ing that the items are properly dis- played. But that is not the only thing retail clerks do. "For anyone that is applying, just looking for a job is not enough," said Ruby Porter, store manager at Kohl's in Kyle. "We (as managers) want to find people who have good personal skills; to see just how friendly they are." Porter that the person who works in the service industry is always the first and last thing a customer sees. The ability to be a friendly, personable individual is "most important" in the eyes of managers. Good communication skills, as well as a background in customer ser- vice, go a long way. Experience is not entirely necessary, but having com- munication skills helps in the hiring process. A strong work ethic and initiative provides another avenue for people applying for positions in clothing stores. "It is up to the person to want more, to move up with the company ... you earn your training, no one else gives it to you,' you have to show that you want to move up." - Patty Campos, central checkout manager at H-E-B Plus in Kyle those chosen for the next leadership position. "It is really important," Porter said. "A person cannot stand around for long periods of time. Those who have GROCERY STORES the ability to multi-task and are com- mitted will succeed." Teamwork plays a vital role in the operation of any store, Porter said. 'At any time, there could be only one or two managers on the floor," she said. "We are not always sure what is going code for a green bell pepper is (4065), on. Therefore, we trust that our associ- or counting change back is not the ates know what to do." sole job of a cashier. So much more Training for these positions varies, depending on the store or position. The key to success relies on a person's ability to work well with customers, and provide exemplary service, Porter said. Employees who are driven, have outstanding customer service and are able to retain and understand knowledge quickly and efficiently are Memorizing grocery codes, scan- ning groceries, bagging items- that is what many envision an employee in the grocery industry does all day long. However, remembering what the goes into this profession. For many grocery stores, providing outstand- ing customer service is expected from everyone in the service industry. Patty Campos, central checkout manager at H-E-B Plus in Kyle, said the ability to gauge a person's cus- tomer service begins with the initial phone interview. "When we call, we try to gauge how friendly a prospec- tive applicant is," Campos said. "We as managers ask ourselves, 'will this per- son give me 110% on the sales floor?" For many managers, the first face- to-face interview gives them a chance to see a future employee's people skills. "When (managers) interview (prospective employees), we ask ourselves, 'were they friendly, were they smiling?' The moment we ap- proach the partners, we notice if they are smiling; and whether they intro- duced themselves or not." Managers also take into account how a person is dressed when they enter in an interview. '9, person who wants a job will take the extra mile to look nice," Campos said. Service skills are needed in this profession, yet nothing can replace a genuine work ethic. That is the key when it comes to the grocery store industry. While scanning, bagging groceries and other details of the posi- tion are important, being able to aid customers is paramount. Going an extra mile to provide customer service is something most grocery stores, like H-E-B, are looking for. Being available during peak hours of the day, or during holidays, is also a plus when wanting to impress manag- ers. Grocery store managers also look for emp|oyees who are accountable and who work efficiently and profes- sionally. What's the training in grocery stores? At this point, managers point out the physical rigors of working in the industry. From having to pick up heavy grocery items, to working at a fast, efficient pace, employees are shown that the grocery store business is much more than sliding a bar code across a scanner. Advancemem within grocery stores is a possibility, especially within H-E- B. From store management to leader- ship positions, employees are able to reach high status, no matter where they begin. Yet, the drive employees have in their job goes a long way to- ward advancement. "It is up to the (employee) to sa~ 'they want more,' Campos said. "It is up to the person to want more, to move up with the company. I've been told, 'you earn your training, no one else gives it to you,' you have to show that you want to move up." I BY ANDY SEVlLLA andy@haysfreepress.com Kyle and Buda took in double-digit increases in April sales tax allocations compared to the previous year, Texas Comptroller figures show. Kyle received $270,777 in April sales tax collections, an increase of 14.17 year, taking a 6.8 percent jump, ac- percentfromthesamemonthlastyear, cording to a Texas Comptroller news while Buda had a larger jump from the release. previous year, taking in $311,777 this "Sales tax revenue growth was seen month, a 17.76 percent increase, in both the ~ and consumer April sales tax allocations represent sectors of the said Texas reported February sales. Comptroller in the re- As a whole, Texas' April sales tax revenues increased from the previous as retail trade. Sales tax revenue has now increased for 36 consecutive months (in Texas)." Kyle has seen a 15.6 percent in- crease in sales tax revenue in the first four months of 2013, compared to the same reporting period last year, re- portedly taking in $1,272,633 to date. See SALES TAXES, pg. 4D FINANCIAL yApU probably aren't too orried about it, but ril is Stress Awareness Month. Each year, the Health Resource Network spon- sors this "month" to inform people about the dangers of stress and to, share successful to reduce stress in all walks of life - including your investment activities. How can you cut down on the various stresses associated with investing? Here are a few possible "stress-busters": Know your risk tolerance. If you're constantly worry- ing about the value of your investments, your portfolio may simply be too volatile for your individual risk tolerance. Conversely, if you're always feeling that your invest- ments will never provide you with the growth you need to achieve your long-term goals, you might be investing too conservatively. Know what to expect from your investments. Uncertain- ty is often a leading cause of stress. So when you purchase investments that are mysteri- ous to you, you shouldn't be surprised if they perform in ways that raise your stress lev- els. Never invest in something unless you fully understand its characteristics and risk potential. Be prepared for market volatility. Over the long term, the financial markets have trended upward, though their past performance can't guar- antee future results. Yet for periods of months, and even years, these same markets can sputter and decline. So when you invest, be aware of this volatility; if you're prepared for it, you won't be shocked when it happens, and you should be able to better keep stress at bay. Maintain realistic expec- tations. If you think your investments are going to earn a very high rate of return, year after year, you are more than likely going to be disap- pointed - and you could eas- ily get "stressed out." You're much better off, from a stress standpoint, not to expect eye- popping results. Diversify your portfolio. If you were only toown one asset class, such as growth stocks, and that particular segment took a big hit during a market drop, your whole portfolio could suffer, and it could take years to recover- causing you no end of stress. But if you spread your invest- ment dollars among a range of vehicles - stocks, bonds, government securities and so on - your portfolio has a bet- See FINANCIAL FOCUS, pg. 4D