Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
June 5, 2003     Hays Free Press
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June 5, 2003

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;.- J ,j - June 5, 2003 Current Events Page 3 The Free Press New Kyle majority nearly drowns swimming pool BY BILL PETERSON Editor LE--With Todd Webster's ectorai victory over Debbie Munoz to represent Kyle's east side on the Kyle City Council, many anticipated that the body's 4-3 split would shift in the direction of an activist council. That new majority debuted Tuesday evening in a rocky session. Indeed, the first substantial 4-3 vote for the new majority would have jeopardized a much anticipat- ed public swimming pool and f'Lre station, if the council didn't quickly rectify the situation. While discussing a budget amendment to approve funding for capital improvement projects to be covered by $5.135 million in bonds, Councilmember Troy Bearden said voters should be asked to approve any expenditures in excess of the bond money. At the May 20 meet- ing, the council virtually guaranteed that the projects would come to about $500,000 in excess of the bond funds, approving a $1.6 mil- lion expenditure for a swimming pool that had been planned at $1.1 million. But with Webster sworn in Tuesday night, the dynamics on council changed. And the new majority - Webster, Bearden, Lon Taylor and Cris Martinez - voted against the budget amendment. In effect, Martinez and Taylor reversed position with the Tuesday vote. At the May 20 meeting, Martinez motioned to spend $1.6 million for the swimming pool, while Taylor voted for it. Bearden voted against it and Webster wasn't yet on the council. City Manager Tom Mattis said Tuesday's vote put the city in a bind. With contracts in place to build th swimming pool and the fn'e station, the city could find itself in legal trouble if it didn't authorize the funds to cover the contracts. Furthermore, said Mattis, he simply didn't know what to do. "Voting down the motion does- n't give me any direction," he said. After more discussion, includ- ing advice from City Attorney Barney Knight, council voted on a replacement motion to approve the funds for the swimming pool and the $1.2 million fire station, but rec- ommending that all the other pro- jects in the building program be kept within the confines of the bonds. With $2.8 million committed to the swimming pool and fn station, the city has about $2.3 million to cover the costs for a new adminis- tration building, enhancements on Center Street and a renovation of the historic City Hall. Mayoral Recall, from page 1 forcing greater legislative powers for councilmembers. Meanwhile, a new minority of Mayor James Adkins and Councilmembers Mike Moore and Becky Selbera hold the line that the council-manager form of government calls for council to set direction while the city manager does the administrative work. But the new council was mostly silent until the citizens got in their licks. Dan Ekiakadis, a Spring Branch resident, started the bail rolling by presenting to City Secretary Minerva Falcon more than 400 signatures on a petition asking for a mayoral recall election. Falcon has two weeks to certify that at least 300 of the signatures meet the legal requirements to force an election, which would take place in September. Citizens seeking the recall have charged that Adkins oversaw an ille- gal executive session in February, further alleging that Adkins' simply isn't up to tbe:job. After Tuesday's meeting, Adkim reiterated his opin- ion about a recall election. "I don't mind," Adkins said. "This is the American way. We are blessed to live in a country where the citizens can vote as they'd like." Many citizens said their likes sided with Adklns, going so far as to charge that the recall effort really is a front to get at City Manager Tom Mattis. "If you've really got something on the city manager, then have the courage to gut up to the table tonight and say what's really going on," Kyle resident Lila Knight said. ,...If you are going to act on gossip, innu- endo and the word of bitter, ugly people, then a pack of fools like you are going to tear this town apart. You all claim to be big supporters of economic development for Kyle. But who is going to want to invest in Kyle after tonight?" Indeed, Kyle Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commissioner Melinda Christ said outside the meeting that she believes the recall effort is part of a larger attempt to halt development in Kyle by creat- ing an environment that's too turbu- lent for business. Some city offi- cials expressed concern that the tur- bulence in Kyle might even dis- courage HEB from following through with its plan to open a loca- tion in town.  : But the issnes Tuesday night certainly didr't end with the recall petition. In the wake of city accountant Loft Holzapfel's resignation follow- ing the city's overpayment of $10,000 to attorneys as detailed in a memo to council, Martinez and Webster both placed items on the agenda seeking a "forensic" audit of the city's finances. City Attorney Barney Knight told council that "you're looking specifically for fraud and wrong doing," in asking for a forensic audit, which is generally used in criminal investigations. "It boggles my mind that you would put that on there," Adkins said to Webster. The attorney also told coun- cilmembers that they shouldn't be shy about saying what they're look- ing for on a forensic audit, saying "Mr, Mattis is a, big boy" who should be able to handle queries no matter how closely they are directed at his activities. Knight added that the expense could be a serious mat- ter. However, Webster and Martinez both denied they are trying to find dirt on anyone, saying they want to get at the bottom of an accounting problem. "There's nothing invidious in the request for the audit just because the word 'forensic' is used," Webster said. : , The council finally deemed to send out requests for prrposals frtnn auditing from to determine if a tar- geted audit is feasible. Taylor, Webster, Bearden and Martinez each placed three items on the agenda, mostly pertaining to provisions in the charter. Among the items they sought were the estab- lishment of an ethics commission and a public information officer. "It's all part of the charter," Bearden said. "We're trying to be compliant with the charter." m r iiiii!!iiii!i!!ii ii!iJ!!!ili!!!i!! Thank YOU The Hays Youth Baseball/Softball Association would like to thank the following businesses for their support during the 2003 Spring season. The HYBSA program would not be a success without your support. Team Sponsorsg Jay Puckett Roofing & Repairs 5F Mechanical Group Inc. A's Quality Trees (2 teams) Lone Star Construction Texas Lehigh Cement Co. M&P Electric Garcia's Mexican Restaurant Beautyscape Landscaping Beth Smith, JP Pct. 2 DavCo Builders Creative Computer Sources Chaparral Surveying Custom Crete, Inc. Millennium Tile & Marble Jardine Foods Snips & Tips Shelton Auto Body Miller Well Service Marshall's Traveland Sam Cooper, CPA Sadler Masonry, Inc. Wirth Telecom Ser. Garner Heating & A/C, Inc. Team Sponsors: Main Street Dental DJ Embroidery Design Electric Clarence Cullen Co. Hill Country Springs Centex Materials The Fence Guy " Ttmbnails KD',ck Sales, Inc. Climate Mechanical B&P Automotive John Thames Excavation Walker Floors, Inc. The Fence Guy Workman Corporation Onion Creek Mortgage Wayne Weigelt - State Farm Ins. Cobra Piano Movers Corridor Mobile X-ray Buda Veterinary Clinic Firestone IH-35 - William Cannon Kyle Car Wash Vivroux Pedernales Electric Cooperative Kyle Police Depaament (7 teams) Kyle Vol. Fire Department Constable Billy Reeves Prince Plumbing Randolph Austin Co. Clarence Cullen Co. Centex Materials Titan Custom Homes Special Thanks: Budafest Sonic Progressive Insurance B&G Surveying Dan Burke, LMSW-ACP announces the c,pening of an office inBuda, Texas for .:ounseling and .00sychotherapy. INDIVIDUALS, COUPLES AND ADOLESCENTS PARENTING SKILLS For information contact Dan Burke, LMSW-ACP 320 N. Main Street, Suite 201 a at The Carrington House) Buda, Texas 512-295-7500