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May 1, 2003     Hays Free Press
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Page 8 The Free Press Current Events May 1, 2003 q[00hilcote files for r00,00-election to Buda City Council wo years ago I was elected to the Buda City Council. I made a promise to support open government and keep taxes low. I vowed to pro- mote economic development and strengthen our neighborhood groups. It hasn't been easy, but with the help of many dedicated citizens, we haven't achieved everything we set out to do, but we made a great start. Now I am running for re-election on May 3. As a public service, the Free Press allows political candidates one opportunity to announce their candi- dacy. Rather than list all of the accomplishments and promises, I would like to take this opportunity to answer some of the questions that were posed to me this last weekend at the forum sponsored by the Buda Old Town Association. Support of Open Records & Open Meetings Laws What a difference a year makes. It seems not that long ago that every time you opened the paper, there was another story about Buda. All too often, that story wasn't very positive and didn't paint a very flattering pic- ture of our community. One of those stories concerned violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act. I have been ques- tioned regarding my involvement during this incident -- specifically my contacting the 'Texas Attorney General's office and the District Attorney. I have not, nor will I, ever apologize for supporting the Texas Open Meetings Law. In fact, I took an oath to uphold the laws of this state and made a promise three years ago, when I first ran, to specifically support open government. These incidents have been 'eferred to as "alleged" violations, but in fact, at a City Council retreat in San Marcos, each of the city coun- cil members, unanimously signed a resolution stating that mistakes had been made and vowed to never let it happen again. Therefore, these were no longer "alleged" violations, but "admitted" violations. The process worked and the public trust will be better for it. Voted for the Budget and the Rollback I have been asked how I could vote for the budget, but then also supported the rollback of the increased tax rate. So that citizens can have input on specifics, we must first adopt a budget, then have pub- lic hearings, then adopt the tax rate. I supported public hearings so that citizens could review the budget, so I voted "Yes." But, I also felt that we had not done everything we could to pursue other sources of income, such as state and federal grants, to help pay for some of these pro- grams, particularly infrastructure. As a founding member of the Buda Chamber of Commerce, I believe that we should continue our efforts to grow the commercial tax base and relieve the pressure on the individ- ual homeowner. As a single mother, I could not support raising the taxes that high during this economy. For those reasons, I voted for the roll- back. Cathy Chilcote Code Enforcement I have been asked what my posi- tion is on a full time code enforcement officer (someone to make sure people are following our city ordinances). While I believe this is important, I believe we can accolnplish this objec- tive with existing personnel and do not need a full time person. As we grow the tax base and bring in new revenue that may be a possibility, but until then, I think we should maximize our resources on streets, drainage, fn'e & EMS and other issues. Our future will be filled with many challenges and I hope you will trust in me, again, to meet those challenges for the City of Buda. Please vote this Saturday, May 3, Buda City Hall. Powers takes Carb00r to task TO SERVE YOU BETTER, WE NEEDED MORE ROOM TO OPERATE As part of South Austin Hospital's $50 million expansion project, our South Entrance will be temporarily relocated effective May 5, 2003. All patients and visitors, including individuals seeking Emergency Room admission, are directed to the North Entrance (closest to Ben White Blvd.). As our way of saying thank you for your patience and understanding during this time, we will be providing shuttle transportation from our parking lot to the North Entrance 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, throughout the expansion. South Austin Hospital is located at g01 West Ben White Blvd. o+ ,t SY[U00I EN T TO P FIOS PITA LS BY BRENT STRONG Staff Writer SAN MARCOS - The Hays County Commissioners' Court has become notorious of' late for its arguments, many of which pit Pct. 2 Commissioner Susie Carter against a fellow commissioner or a Hays County employee. i .lmst week, Carter took it.a ste[ :ai l c Hays t ( ltv " JUt e im  Power's authority to pull another court member's agenda item from courL Powers clarified his authority this week with a three-page letter from Hays County District Attorney Michael Wenk, as well as a press release. While any com- missioner can place an item on the agenda, Wenk ruled that the court has vested the judge with the authority to pull items off the agenda. The letter, written by Wenk, said, "I have reviewed the Texas Open Meetings Act, the Hays County Agenda Guidelines, sev- eral Attorney General Opinions and the court opinion resulting from the lawsuit filed against Hays County by the Hays County Water Planning Partnership. Based on my review of these rul- hags, it is my view that the court has properly enacted rules to gov- ern the preparation of the agenda through the adoption of the Hays County Agenda Guidelines. I believe the court is operating legally." Wenk's letter said the com- missioners took the right action to delegate the duty of preparing the agenda to Powers. Wenk went on to say he was impressed with the effort demonstrated in the guide- lines to ensure the court's compli- ance with all state laws The letter .   ,: contained guldehnes ftr the role : of the county judglweU as guidelines for suttiient public notice on specific issues. Wenk included in his letter a few recommendations. "It is my strong recommenda- tion to each of you," the letter said, "that you not withhold any information relevant to an agenda posting (to include but not limited to): the details of the topic to be discussed, names of individuals expected to appear before the court to offer testimony or present information, and also define what action is proposed for the court's consideration supported by all available, relevant background information. "I recommend that the county judge be aggressive in his duty to enforce the guidelines and that each member of the court do everything possible to comply with the rules contained in the guidelines" The release, typed on Power's letterhead, gives a brief overview of the issue leading to the letter from Wenk. The release also men- May 11 FACIALS MASSAGE PEDICURES. MANICURES COLOR NAILS WAXING TANNING HAIR HAIR REMOVAL  / For the Whole "Your Oasis Away" Family dons Powers set up an appoint- ment for Carter, Wenk, Special Counsel Jacqueline Cullom Murphy and himself to meet and discuss the issue, but Carter declined to meet at the scheduled appointment and made contact by phone instead. In other developments: The proposed revisions to the Hays County Subdivision and Development Regulations will be taken up in a public hearing on May 6 during commissioners' court. " N S.+Dawd s m I SOUTH Ausr00 HOSPITAL i ",'' "1'. .... r J'! H !i t, "" I i .... 512.447.221 i ...... '" www.southaustinhospital.com 8 NAT NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION www.or DAY To learn more about teaching and the teaching prolon visit www.nea.org/teacherday HAYS EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION . TSTA/NEA fi, #