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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
May 29, 2013     Hays Free Press
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May 29, 2013

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Page 6A NBNS Hays Free Press May 29, 2013 + BY CYNDY SLOVAK-BARTON What makes a person want to volunteer for a city commit- tee job? It doesn't pay, it seems to be thankless, and residents gripe at you. And, yet, it is a vital part of keeping a town running,of making sure that Buda re- mains Buda. Needless to say, Buda city councilmem- bers are seek- ing volunteers for various commissions and commit- tees, and, at the same time, talk- ing about what can be done to be more sup- portive of vol- unteers and their needs. That's the result of a long discussion at a council meet- ing held Satur- day morning at Cabela's meet- ing room, as council members held a casual team-building meeting. Other items on the agenda included a presentation by city attorney Charles Zach about the requirements of the city's ethics ordinance, lessons on city government and the Texas Open Meetings Act require- ments. All-in-all, a lot to take in, and aimed directly at the newest members of the city council. All council members with the exception of George Haehn were in attendance. At this time, the city of Buda has six to seven commissions and committees working at ropes. any one time, including Plan- ning and Zoning, the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Parks and Recreation, Library Board and more. Each of these has either seven regular members, or five members and two alter- nates, depending on the com- mittee. That's alot of volunteers, and a lot of dedica- tion. At this time, c o u n - cilmember Ei- several of the leen Altmiller, whoherselfgot committees involved in the council after have term serving many years on the limits, forcing library board, put the topic volunteers off on the agenda because she felt commit- committees tee volunteers needed help. after they have "Members (of the com- spent years missions)don't feel valued learning the some times," Altmiller said. She said they are volunteer- ing to take on the tasks, but many times didn't feel the support of the council. For one reason, she said, the council policy has been to have two volunteers presented to the board for each open po- sition. Then, those volunteers are invited to the meeting, and, with two people sitting there, one of them gets rejected. Not a good feeling, Altmiller reiterated, pointing out that the rejection could make peo- ple not want to volunteer. Time and training are also an issue when it comes to the committees. Bobby Lane, councilmem- ber and former mayor, said he thinks commission members need to know what they are getting into. Education and training are important in these positions, he said. "Maybe we need to give each possible board member a 'white paper' which outlines their responsi- bilities," Lane said. At this time, several of the committees have term limits, forcing volunteers off commit- tees after they have spent years learning the ropes. In fact, councilmember Ron Fletcher decided to run for council after having exactly that happen to him. Almost all of the current council members got their start in city governance by serving on a Buda committee, including Altmiller, Fletcher, Mayor Todd Ruge and council member Jose Montoya. And, most of them have run into the problem of term limits. Will the council decide to eliminate term limits? It is a possibility, according to Ruge. "What's good for the goose is good for the gander," Ruge said, adding that the council itself had no term limits. "If we have term limits on commis- sions, then we'd have to have term limits for ourselves." Lane also pointed out that there is value in having his- torical knowledge - from those who have served a lot of years - on the committees. So, what's the final idea? Give committee volunteers some support by making sure they get their packets and read them, making sure they un- derstand their responsibilities, and by having the city staff put on a workshop, something like a citizenship academy, that is aimed at the volunteers, to help them through the process. Residents within the city limits and also within the Ex- tra-Territorial Jurisdiction can mittees by Joe Bacon :Council OpI) oncnt Father & Husband Resident of Kylc Serves on a City of Kyle Committee Attends City of Kyle Budget Meetings Regularly Attends City ofKyle Cmmcil Meetings Helped Develop Road Bond Package 40 Years of Successfid Business Experience Vole Joe Bacon Ibr Kylc City Council on June I st. I'olid+~l Adverfisenlent Paid for by the Jc~ Bat~m (;~mpalgn, Michdc G, Waldman, TreLsurc r, 231 Blucstcm St., KYLE TX, 78640 ESD Funding: Kyle talks about tax sharing Continued from pg. 1A ing to call a Sales and Use Tax election, asking voters' permis- sion to increase sales taxes in unincorporated areas within their district - Kyle's Extra Ter- ritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). If approved, the measure would allow ESD 5 to collect $0.015 in sales taxes, which amounts to about $60,000 an- nually, according to Interim Kyle Fire Chief Clay Huckaby, There are about 182 business- es operating in Kyle's ETJ, he said. Kyle officials, however, wor- ry that the ESD 5's collection of sales taxes within the city's ETJ would prevent annexation, as sales tax revenue would be ear- marked for a separate entity. "For us, sales tax is huge," Kyle council member Da- vid Wilson said. "For us to do things in the future (roads, maintenance, infrastructure improvements, etc.), sales tax has to be that tool. Plus, we buy down our tax rate, to keep our taxes as low as possible for people that live in this com- munity with sales tax, too." Businesses within Kyle col- lect sales taxes at a $0.0825 rate- $0.0625 goes to the state, $0.005 goes to Hays County, and $0.015 is returned to Kyle, $0.005 of which is used for property tax reduction in the city. Kyle officials could thwart the ESD 5's efforts to collect sales taxes in its ETJ by annex- ing territory, or by building a campaign against a Sales and Use Tax election, as Buda did with ESD 8 in 2011. Buda's efforts in 2011 killed ESD 8's attempt at collecting sales taxes in their ETJ, but a later effort this May was suc- cessful after ESD 8 and the city agreed on revenue sharing terms. ESD 5 commissioners have, from the beginning, planned on including Kyle in their at- tempt at collecting sales taxes in the city's ETJ, ESD 5 Presi- dent Beth Smith said, adding that an interlocal agreement specifying future revenue sharing has always been in the plans. In ESD 8, the district would collect a $0.015 sales tax in un- incorporated areas of Buda, but if and when Buda annexes areas of its ETJ, that sales tax would then be divided three ways - $0.005 for the ESD 8, $0.005 for Buda and $0.005 for Buda's Economic Develop- ment Corporation. Kyle, too, was included in that agreement as parts of ESD 8 cover areas ofthe city's north- make sure that I secure those west ETL If and when Kyle an- resources for our newly an- nexes those portions under nexed citizens," she said. ESD 8, the district would keep Despite not annexing any $0.005 of the sales tax collect- areas yet, the city is poised to ed and the city would take in move forward and Johnson $0.01 of that revenue, said all resources and revenues Kyle has begun annexation should be available to Kyle, "to efforts, as they are en~fi.tled to turn around and provide ade- annex 30 percent their land quate levels of service to those area, though the process has areas." been, admittedly, slow. Both entities agreed on re- Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson searching and discussing a said the city has had annexa- potential intedocal agreement tion in its sights since last year, that would satisfy each gov- dating before any discussions ernment's need, with review of of ESD 5's sales tax ambition. Memorandums of Understand- "Our plan, and the reason, ing to be held this summer. for annexation is to: number Huckaby said that if ESD 5 1 - help protect the value of wants a November Sales and the city and have a hand in the Use Tax election, they would planning of areas in our ETJ, have to call the election some- which is important to the com- time in late August. munity; and number 2 - an- Council members also nex areas that we feel are par- showed interest in setting up ticularly prone to commercial a separate ESD for emergency growth in the future," Johnson medical services (EMS). Such said. "Those commercial areas an entity could also collect are particularly important to a max $0.10 tax per $100 of us in being able to provide re- property valuation within its sources to our citizens." borders. "Obviously; any area that Huckaby said 70 percent of we would annex, we'd want to fire calls are for EMS - about make sure we have all the re- 10 to 15 per day. 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