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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
June 8, 2011     Hays Free Press
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June 8, 2011

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Page 6A ~ Hays Free Press June 8, 2011 +; I BY JAY ROOT The Texas Tnbune Adrawnnew redisuictmg map, to promote and mtect Republican inter- ests in the U.S. Congress, sailed out of the COP-led state Senate Monday, The map, predictably ap- proved 18-12 along su'Jct party lines, would give Republicans a decent chance of mtainin8 every congressional seat they now hold. They also would State Sen. RoyceWest, D-Dal- yer advising House Speaker Joe las, said minority groups were Straus, R-SanAntonio. shut out of the Senate's congres- "I don't differentiate between sional redistricting proceedings, House Hispanics and Senate which included a single public Hispanics," Seliger told Zaf- hearing. He called it the "most firini. closed process I've ever been in- The map creates a newly volvedin." configured Hispanic district Likewise, state Sen. Judith stretching from east Atisfin to Zaffaini, D-Laredo, complained San Antonio, with morepopula- thht there were no lawyers of tion in Bexar County thanTravis African-American or Hispanic County. That could set up a po- origin advising senators. The tentially nasty primary between author of the proposal, state Dogger and a Latino Democrat have a good shot at picking up one additional district with the eliminatien of U.S. Rep. Uo~l Doggett, D-Austin, who would be drown into a heavily Repub- lican seat. Currently, the GOP has a 23-9 edge in the Texas congressional delegation. Elections are always unpre- dictable, but the COP clearly is looking to mmdmize its gains with the proposal. And ff the map passed by the Sen- ate gets through all the legal hoops ahead, the COP could potentially end up with 26 seats, leaving Democrats with 10. That includes two seats that Republican candidates won in 2010, in major upsets, in pre- dominately Hispanic districts in South Texas. During the debate, Demo- crats complained loudly - and are sure to argue in court- that the plan illegally packs blacks LEGISLATIVE RESEARCHCOUNCIL and Hispardcs into a small A congressional redistricting map approved by the state senate this week includes morn of the county, including number of districts and falls to Wimbedey, in U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith's district. The state senate plan still splits Hays County in three. adhere to provisions in the fed- eral Voting Rights Act aimed at protecting and expanding the Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, fromtheSanAntonioarea. interests of minority voters, noted that there is a Latino law- in an emailed response to re- porters, Doggett called the pro- posal an "outrageous scheme" that would harm a unique com- munity. "I believe the crooked lines of this map will be rejected as a blatant violation of the Voting Rights Act," Doggett said. Re- publicans who would be happy to see Dog tt go were more than happy to point out a 1981 article from the DaUas Tirn~ Hera/d quoting Dogger about drawing a cOn4C'essional ! designed to benefit Democrats. "If we can be of assistance to Democratic conigessmen, we ought to do it," Dogger was quoted as saying. The seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, a 2008 and 2012 COP presidential candi- date, would also be dramatically transformed. Paulwouldpickup about 300,000 newvoters under the proposal potentially expos- hag him to a spirited primary challenge while placing him in a district with more ethnic mi- norities and union members. BY KATE GALBREATH The Texas Tribune The general manager of the Lower Colorado River Author- ity announced his resignation Tuesday, setting off a poten- tial battle over the furore of the enor- mous Central Texas wholesale electricity and water supplier. Tom Mason, the general manager since 2007, will leave the agency effective July 1. No reason was given for his res- ignation, and LCRA board chairman aim TLmmerman said MASON that the soonest he could 'be replaced would be at a June 15 board meeting. State Sen. Troy Fraser, R- Horseshoe Bay and the chair- man of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, said that he had been "getting rum- blings" about a Mason move, though it came sooner than expected. He praised Mason as "probably the most responsive to the Legislature" of any LCRA general manager. "We're going to miss him," he said. Fraser said that he, State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Ausdn, and State Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Ka~ would push for a thor- ough search for a new general manager. "The thiee senators are requesting that this be a very extensive search," Fraser said, adding that while the I.ERA could name someone intemally to serve in an in- terim capadty, ultimately "my wish is that we find somebody from the outside thafs not connected to the LCRA." The senators aim to meet with the board chairman next week, Fraser said. While they do not want to "micromanage" the process, he said, they want to be very involved. However, State Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland, the chair- man of the House Natural Re- sources Committee, said the LCRA should hire a new gener- al manager quickly. "My words of wisdom to the beard of the IERA [are] - don't drag your feet," he said. The LCRA - a state govern- ment entity, though it gets rev- enue not through state taxes but by charging fees for its services-has recent- ly seen a number of its electridty cus- tomers pull out. The City of Georgetown decided this spring not to renewits con- tract with the Other entities not renewing indude the Central Texas Electrical Coopera- te, the oty of Boeme, the oty of Segnin, the Fayette Electric Cooperative, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, r, errvme Public Utility Board and the San Bernard Electric Cooperative. However, the I.ERA says th_at 33 out of 43 customers have re- newed so far, including its larg- est customer, the Pedemales Electric Cooperative. "[ERA faces a lot of chal- lenges ahead, and there are concerns that the customers are expressing that must be addressed," said Mark Rose, who was general manager of the LCRA during the 1990s and now heads the Bastrop-based Bluebonnet Electric Coop, an LCRA customer. "The selection that the board makes for the new general manager is cru- ciaL" The situation represents, he said, "as significant a lead- ership chanenge as has faced in many' many decades." Some customers didn't see Masons resignation coming. "It was a surprise, said Da- vid Vanghn, the city manager for Burner, which is a water and electric customer of the river authority. "Honestly' I'm not sure what to think at this point." He added that his direct dealings with Mason bad been limited. Continued from pg. 1A the COunty. In Buda, more than 30 per- cent of residents are minors, up about a percentage point from the last censu~ And in Kyle, al- most 34 percent of residents haven't reached their 18th birth- day, a gain of about 2.5 points from 2000. But not every city is on the same trajectory. In the last de- cade, with the build-out of pre- dominantly white subdivisions such as Plum Creek, Kyle has bucked the statewide trend by actually losing its Hispanic ma- jority. In Kyle, whites make up 45.4 percent of the total popu- lation, while Latinos also miss a majority with 46.3 percent of the population, down from 52.3 percent in the last census. But among the under-18 set, the 5,114 Hispanic children hold a 54 percent majority, while whites comprise just 37.6 percent of the minor popula- tion. Still, that represents a shift from 2000, when Hispanic chil- dren represented 62 percent of the under-18 population. Wh~e Kyle's Hispanic popu- lation shrinks proportionally, Buda's is growing. Historically wealthier and whiter, the 2010 census found that white resi- dents in Buda held nearly a 60 percent majority, down from 68.6 percent in 2000. However, whites represented just 51 per- cent of Buda residents under the age of 18, down from 63 per- cent in 2000. It's time to live life well in our well-ap inted one & two bedroom apartment homes. Nestled in the heart of historic downtown Buda our plush landscape and deluxe amenities will I , Bring this ad to ], offer you the comforts you deserwe. n receive a free o Open I days a week. CaN to sohedule your tmur today/ ' application fee with I , your reservation! i 'S~of~ceforfurtherdetails. I OLLEGE CD IS1TRICT I~urt Hem. ~t 'Them. Hays CISD, take advantage of lower tuition. Fall classes start August 22. Apply to,day. We invtte you to see how life flows at Blanco Vista. Come out for a night at the movies absolutely FREE for you and your family, loin us each Saturday from now until the end of June. Free Popcorn andDrinks while supplies last June zltb- Megamind June 25th- Despicable Me June ~8th - Happy Feet Movies brought to you by the area's only Master-Planned Community along the Blanco River Blanco Vista Elementary School (Hays Consolidated ISD) Five Mile Dam Park & Regional Soccer Complex High-speed fiber optic cable to each home Blanco Vista Community Center features: -Junior Olympic pool and kiddie splash pool -Two age-appropriate playscapes - Access to WiFi -Landscaped hike and bike trails -Catch & release fish pond 512.699-9782 S:L2.392.5671 Visit our mode homes and ask , bout new home incentive up to 5: 2,ooof TO: AUSTIN~ Blanco ,:. Vista Blanco River YAH M ANTONIO 141