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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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June 5, 2003     Hays Free Press
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June 5, 2003
 

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Page 4 • The Free Press Editorial Page June 5, 2003 Dissent group trys to micro-manage through recall arring some unexpected hitch in the petition process, Kyle voters will spend the hot summer months debat- ing whether Mayor James Adkins, who is now serving his third term of office, will be removed from office. It definitely won't be a pleasant experience for the Mayor, who has been unop- posed the last two times he was on the ballot. Based on the only other recall election in the history of the county, it will almost certainly get nasty and highly personal. Thirty years ago, a group of San Marcans, angered by what they considered to be a huge increase in utility rates, gathered a sufficient number of petitions to force a recall elec- tion for five incumbent council members. After a bitter campaign, the recall was soundly defeated, (1,564 to 960) but it took at least five years for broken friendships to heal and the town to recover from the eco- nomic and emotional damage that was sustained during the hectic six week campaign: This newspaper was head- quartered in Kyle at the time, but we were a countywide pub- lication and we covered the election in great depth. Although there has been an enormous amount of change in every aspect of life over the intervening three decades, the emotions that govern friend- ships and interpersonal rela- tionships have probably changed the least. With a considerable degree of sorrow, we suspect that those of us who live within the city limits of Kyle are in for some rough sledoing over the next few months We are fond of quoting Emerson: "Consistency is the hob-gobblin of small minds." But, in the case of this recall election we admit to being con- sistent. We felt in 1973 that recall involves dispensing a dishon- orable discharge, or even court marshal, to a person chosen by a majority of voters on a par- ticular day and that it should not be invoked except in cases of malfeasance or outright dis- honesty• That remains our opinion today. Approximately 400 Kyle citizens signed the recall peti- tion, but we'll wager only a handful believe that James Adkins is dishonest or that he has committed acts of commis- sion or omission that warrant his dishonorable discharge from the post of Mayor. To quote from our editorial at that time of the San Marcos recall, "That is the crux of the matter. Recall is very serious and very final. It is not the proper way to settle philosoph- ical differences, petty personal quarrels, or whether an office holder is doing as good a job as a particular constituent would like for him to do." Our city charter grants the petitioners the fight to take the action that they have embarked • upon. But they are playing a most dangerous game at a time when Kyle's economic future has never been brighter and cultural, recreational and his- torical advancements are being reeled off at an impressive rate. Kyle's property tax rate is less than half what it was 10 years ago and its sales tax rev- enue has more than quadru- pled. The city has more money in the bank than it has ever had before and its expenditures last year were lower and its income greater: than had been antici- pated by its budget. Folks should be bragging about being from Kyle and not wincing at headlines in the regional newspaper and on big city television. Our cup is at least half-full, and not half-empty. Thirty-years ago, this news- paper printed a list of the peo- ple who signed the San Marcos petition and more than 20 per- cent asked that their names be removed because the petition carriers had" been less than forthright in their presenta- tions. We make no similar allega- tions against this batch of peti- tion carriers, but the recall peti- tion is now public record and the names of the signers are part of the public record. At the very least these signers will be besieged over the next few months by campaigners from both sides of the fence. There is no doubt that some of the recall leaders"true pur- pose is to try to run off City Manager Tom Mattis. Getting rid of the Mayor is just the first step before they attempt to climb that tall hill. Kyle is finally emerging from the shadows of defeatism that has pervailed since the "bust" of the late 1980s. Mattis is a key player in that revival and folks who are committed to the town's well-being will fight hard to keep him on board for a good while to come. Some of these recall leaders are also quite confused about theway the council-manager form of government operates. They want to micro-manage the operation of the city, con- trary to the wishes of the peo- ple who overwhelmingly adopted our city charter three years ago. Perhaps a workshop could be organized for them, head- lined by a political scientist who would patiently explain to them that the existing charter is the city's rulebook and wishing that it wasn't doesn't do any- thing but confuse the issue• i!!:ii!iiiii!ii!iii!!iiiii;ii!iiii!iiiiiiiiiiiii!i!iiiiii;i!iiiii ;iiiii!!iiiiiii!i!iiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiii!ii:iiii!i:;i The GNP and me o one has ever been able to explain to my satisfaction exactly what makes an economic recession begin. That may be because no one really knows, or it may be because I am too dense to understand. Thinking it might be the lat- ter, I began to read up on eco- nomics, and every economic expert, it seems, begins and ends with the Gross National Product, which is held in the same esteem as archangels. GNP - that's all the stuff that is made and sold. You know, it's something you can put your hands on and either use immediately or say, "Hmm. I have to put this somewhere. Maybe I should rent a storage unit." The GNP, I read, is crucial to our nation's health and well- being. Since I am dedicated to the country I was fortunate enough to be born in, I began to wonder what I was contributing to the GNP. Now I'm a commit- ted consumer. Any friend or fam- ily member can verify this• When I go shopping I find all kinds of things I didn't even know existed, and suddenly they seem incredibly important to ongoing life• I buy these things, and sometimes I even use them, but I don't think this activity really counts. You see, I don't make things that someone else can consume. Man, what a downer• I am probably responsible for the cur- rent distress in the economy• I sit in my office all day not produc- ing one Countable item - not a light bulb, a barbecue skewer or a disposable diaper.: l,'m a failure under the GNP rules, and I start- ed to think of all the other people who are failures and probably should have their citizenship revoked. Take teachers, for example. Do teachers produce anything that can be counted and priced? Absolutely not. It is obvious, therefore, that teachers should be outlawed, with the possible exception of those who teach others how tomake something - like plastic garbage bags or a stone ix. Stone axes were very big at one time, and if we do away with teachers they may come back into vogue. They could be sold. Stone axes are good; teachers are bad. Okay, so how about physi- cians, dentists, nurses and med- ical technicians? My dentist once made a tooth for me and installed it. I paid for it, so I guess he qual- ifies as a GNP contributor, but others in this category are 'defi- nitely ix-nay. They need to get to work making something. This is just the tip of the ice- berg. We have to think carefully about these things and weed out the drones or the GNP is in big trouble. If the GNP goes south, I'm told, this nation will be like a big mudslide down a California mountain. : , : What about musicians? itt'. one is sort of disappointing to me because I've been trying to pound my way through "Rhapsody in Blue" for six months, and just as I'm about to master it, I discover it's my patriotic duty to turn in my piano. Once I started thinking correctly, it all became clear. Musicians who produce CDs that can be sold are good. Musicians who do not produce CDs are bad. Ice T, with his rap about looting, rape and cop- killing, is extra good, because millions of his recordings are sold , for money, believe it or not. School band concerts and community orchestras are bad. Sometimes they don't even charge admission, for heaven's sake. How is that supposed to help the economy? Then there are drugs, legal and illegal varieties. These are both good because they are man- ufactured items sold at prices that exceed the cost of produc- tion. Profits on one group are net taxed, of course, but that could be fixed. Besides, once we get everyone to work making some- thing profitable, we won't need many taxes. Prisons present a problem. Obviously we have to have them; otherwise we wouldn't know who the criminals were. Wetky produce license plates (or used to), buttons, and rocks chopped up into sizes suitable for building more prisons. Maybe that's productive, but I'm not sure if they make a profit. We'll have to put prisons down as marginal, and the same can be said for the court system. Courts are a real drag on the economy, but they do produce criminals, who are necessary if we are to continue the productive work that may or may not be done in prisons. This brings us to another marginal group, the accountants, slugs who don't produce one single thing besides marks on paper. Someone has to keep track of what has been produced, however, and tell us if a profit is being made on these things, so accountants may have to stay in spite of their obvious lack of real productivity. Children are the most notori- :   :::ii:!i :;: ous non-producers of all. We keep them around for mere senti- I :: mental reasons, hoping they will someday grow up and can spinach, or some such thing, that  :::: :: can be sold. Wouldn't you think the framers of the Constitution would have said more about the GNP, given its importance to our national identity? Thomas Jeff ea0  dolt, did.to: r mention it: And we thought be was smart. King George would have sat up and taken notice if the Declaration of Independence had read, "When in the course of human events it becomes neces- sary for one nation, whose gross national product is $X, to sever its ties to another nation, whose :::::i Bfli pi g : gross national product is $XX ..... " Yessir, old George :im! : ::! would have realized the colonists knew a thing or two and would- ............ n't have been so quick to send over his Redcoats• Well, so much for past mis- takes. Onward and upward. I am closing my psychoanalytic prac- tice and have applied for a job in : i :: a flea collar factory. I urge you, my fellow Americans who are not producing anything, to do the same. And may God bless America. How does cutting Synergy help? ACROSS 1 TXIsm: •tall dog in the  (leader) 5 "those" so. of the border 6 TXisrn: • boo • Oall) 7 Bowie's Alamo boa(2 wns.) 8 T'n: "couldn't find hide __ hair of him • 9 Valley citrus drink 12 TXIm: •does • cat __ _ climbing oar? (yes) 17 TX runner Larrleu Smith 19 TX Johnny Horton'e "North to • 21 sign the back of a check 22 TX Perl of "Fraeler" 23 Hurricane Carla caused 31 __ In TX ('at) 28 Vega h.e. is cla  _ 29 TX Robin Wright's h Seen 30 TX Ronne Reeve tune: %__  But I'm Getting There" 31 TX actress Prentlss 35 Dallas City Hall designer I._ __ 35 TXism: "couldn't fight his way out 42 Chevy pickup 44 TX Sam the Sham & The Pharaoh's •Ready 46 __ Musial 47 Ranger reliever In '93 & '94, Carpenter 4,9 ". dies ° (good day) 50 inlormed 51 "Don't ue that __ of voice wtth me!' 52 TXIom: '_ __ that like an armldlllo nee(:kl an interstate' 53 *TX Jeannle C.'s "Harper Valley .__" 54 TXIsm: "ltdon't __ up" The Original TEXAS CROSSWORD by Charley & Guy Orbison 55 TX Vildti Carr album ' Hombres" 57 loud noise 58 TX Chsster Nlmltz naval rank (abbr.) 59 TXkum: 'take a look ' DOWN 1 Groves, TX event (2 wds) 2 TXlam: "rough _ (• a  City, TX 4 San Antonio TV ration 9 4,840 . yds. of 13( land 10 "l'Xlsm:" _ a coyole wlth a rubber chicken' 11 wide boot size 12' ugly old woman 13 TXlinne "bot I,ever wrapped _ __ (delicious} 14 .$.____. TX 15 sports cable net. 16 TXism:" to" {similar) 18 Dallas restaurants are __.-smelting . 27 Glen Rose dine- 20 TXIsm; "hat  saur track Is 38" eyelash" (blink) from  _ toe 23 MaVs "Nelly" (inlt.) 32 AIlne h.s. class 24 _ _ $iecke State Forest 25 "money mekem? 26 TXIsm: 'keyboard wrangler" 37 TXism:"no brag, just __ 38 TXlrn: "Just _ __ in the bucket" 39 TX-based film "The Untamed __ 40 TX aclrass Gwynne 41 cattle prod 4,3 Dallas' •West ._.." .4:5 this Tax will be 12th In °Ring of Honor" (!nit.) 33 TXIsm: 'pushing __ 40 facing the Gulf bluebonnets" (dead) 49 partiality 34 hltodc TX ranch 56 TX Mac Davis' 36 TXism: "dont give "Baby Dot Get a hoot  a holier' Hooked " Dear Editor: This is in response to an article that was written on your current events column of 5/22/03 about the Synergy program shutdown. Some parents are concerned about this decision and have tried to find out the true mason(s) why this program has been selected to be shutdown. The Synergy program has been funded by grants that covered all the expenses of the program. Inclusively, two additional teachers were hired for the school with the grant money to compensate for the three teachers pulled for the pro- gram. I would like for Mr. Ebell to explain how the cost of the Synergy program is involved with the cost or the budget of the school? Has this program negative- ly impacted the school? I believe the contrary. What exactly has this program robbed the school of to want it shutdown? The program had grant money left over this year to mn for anoth- er year (and the extension to run the program was granted by the Department of Education); why would the school not want to allow the student this opportunity? What is Mr. Ebell planning to do with this leftover money from the grant? In addition, Mr. Ebell decided to remove a teacher from the Synergy program, who was funded by the grant, to be added to the school budget instead. How does this action help the school budget? During the last school board meeting, Mr. Ebell attempted to put the blame on the Synergy teachers. These teachers have bent forwards and backwards for the students, to teach them. I cannot even picture these teachers as uncooperative. Are we talking about the same teachers? Let's also clear something about the $245,000 that Mr. Ebell mentioned. This was a projected amount for a new three-year grant that has been worked on, and it pro- jected to include some expansions to the Synergy program. And again, this money is not from the school budget -- this is money from a grant that teachers, and .community volunteers worked on and got approved. Why was no parent input was considered on this decision? A decision that affected our children who are developed and benefited by this program. Can Mr. Ebell to respond to our conoems? Nilza Iris Rivera Kyle