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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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June 16, 2010     Hays Free Press
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June 16, 2010
 

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Page 4A NEWS Hays Free Press = June 16, 2010 Senator speaks out on the choice for TSU chancellor BY BRAD ROLLINS brad@haysfreepress.com State Sen. leffWentworth, a San Antonio Republican who represents Hays County, is still fuming that another law- maker was selected to serve as chancellor of the Texas State University System. In March, the system's re- gents chose former State Rep. Brian McCall of Piano over Wentworth, whose dis- trict since 2003 has included the system's defacto flagship, Texas State University in San Marcos. Last week, Went- worth fired off an angry five- page letter to regents chair Ron Blatchley in which he laid out both men's resumes. "Frankly, Ron, I'm more than a little disappointed and puzzled; I'm personally offended that my significant and sustained support of and advocacy for higher educa- tion and the system for many years apparently count for so little in the minds of the Board of Regents," Wentworth wrote, pointing out that he had served a term as a Texas State regent him- self. "I believe that my years of service to TSUS as a re- gent, a state sena- WENW/0ffi'H tor, a parent and a financial supporter make me deserving of a bet- ter explanation for my being passed over than 'you had a great interview this morning but the board has decided to go in a different direction,' the only official explanation ever given to me," Wentworth wrote. "...From my stand, point y'all threw overboard a loyal, tried and true, longtime member of the crew in favor of (please pardon my unvar- nished candor) a Johnny- co me - lately opportunist." In an interview late last week, Went- worth said he stands by his comments and still is waiting for an explanation for what he called a "baffling" decision. "I believe by any objective standard, I was the better qualified of the two and I'm just curious to know what factors led to the board of regent's decision," Wentworth told the Hays Free Press. "...I'm not being criti- cal of Brian McCall. I'm being critical of the judgment of the board of regents." Wentworth, generally con- sidered a moderate conserva- tive who did not draw a chal- lenger to his re-election bid this year, said Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst personally called all nine regents on Went- worth's behalf and he also had recommendation letters from State Sen. Judith Zaf- firini, who chairs the Senate's Higher Education Commit- tee, high-power attorney lack M. Rains, and General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre. Neither Blatchley nor other Texas State regents returned calls seeking comment. All nine of the sitting regents were appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, who has made the news by demanding political loyal- ty of his appointees, particu- larly those to state university system boards. In September, two former U.& Foods Continued from pg. 1A out hearing the case. On Friday the court also denied a motion to stay, which would have halted development on the prop- erty. Attorneys for Hollis and Juusola did not return multiple calls for comments. According to recent campaign finance reports, BudaFirst is funded almost exclu- sively by the heirs of Herman Heep, a mil- lionaire rancher who amassed thousands of acres of land at the Hays-Travis County border during the early part of the last cen- tury. His granddaughters - Betsy Urban, Hatsy Heep and Kathleen Adkins - inher- ited large swaths of his land and have said that the light industrial plant could hurt their chances of putting upscale develop- merits onir own property. While BudaFirst has exhausted its ap- peals avenue- state cases cannot be ap- pealed to feder courts -it's unclear if an additional suit might be filed to slow the development. U.S. Foodservice has not yet closed on the property, which is currently owned by the developers of the Sunfield Municipal Utility District, said company spokesper- son Howard Falkenberg, but work is mov- ing forward. "We're going to proceed to meet all permitting and development agreements and that should lead to construction of the first phase of the facility," Falkenberg said. Buda vs. Budatirst A group of 100 Buda residents filed an amicus brief in support of BudaFirst members Jim Hollis and Christopher luusola. Meanwhile, The Texas Municipal League, a non profit association that represents more than 1,100 cities, filed an am- icus brief on behalf of Buda. The brief in support of BudaFirst argued that citizens should have the right to referendum, even for contractual agreements such as development agreements outside city limits. If the lawsuit failed, it would "embolden cities to use land-use agreements in ETJs to circum- vent referendum power and will substantially shrink the power of citizens to control their local gov- ernment through the referendum process," the brief said. But the Texas Municipal League brief noted that both case law and the city charter showed that the de- velopment agreement amendment was not legislative in nature, and therefore exempt from a referen- dum election. The brief noted that the ability of cities to negotiate de- velopment agreements outside of city limits actually gives citizens their only means of shaping devel- opment in the ETJ. "Without this control, devel- opment in unincorporated ar- eas would go almost totally un- checked," the brief states. "This would leave city councils and the citizens they represent with no power to preserve and shape the future development of the city. It is critical that cities maintain their ability to fully-utilize this limited authority without being subjected to piecemeal referendum elections concerning specific provisions of each contract." The BudaFirst amicus brief tapped into the populist and anti- lncuent sentiment exhibited by many voters, are now angry wi,th Wash00 D.C, i The powb'fa governing body to passleg'Jttion that its citizens do not wa/?without regard for its citizens' wishes, is something many Americans tire all too familiar with right nown a federal level," the brief states. Texas Tech regents, Mark Griffin and Windy Sitton, said they were pressured to resign after they supported U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in her unsuccessful primary bid against Perry. Griffin told the Austin American-Statesman that Perry's chief of staff, Bri- an Newby, told him the gover- nor "expects loyalty out of his appointees and if you can't be loyal, it's probably not best to be on the team." An aide who answered the phone at Perry's press office on Monday said she would get back with the Hays Free Press on whether Perry expressed a preference for one of the two finalists for the chancellor- ship. She did not return the call by presstime. WORTH CLARIFYING A story in the June 9 edition, "No cuts from Kyle capital improvements," said that the city's $2.2 million obligation to the Hays CaldweU Public Util- ityAgency translates to 16 cents on the property tax rate were it to be funded through the general fund. However, city council members are considering funding it by issuing debt through the utility fund, a mechanism that could potentially impact water rates, but not the property tax rate.  RU BOB: NAME: ALEX : Pomeranil.:Mix Breed; Domestic :Short Hair Sex.' Male, NetRered Sex: Mate, Neutered Age: 4 years : : 2 years, 2 montl3s I  space to play and leto tovet pdmadly on donations and adoptions. 500 FM 150 :E, Kyle, :* 512 268-1611 i, and dewormed. SUPPLIES NEEDED THIS WEEK: Quahty Kitten & Puppy food, Heartworm & Flea prevention, cat litter, laundry detergent and Fabulouso ted in Kyle; Texas at 4100 Everett, ne to the Performing .Center  Austin Regional Clinic o l LOCATED BETWEEN CABELA'S AND WALMART . t [ ! ; t ( ! t t [' ( t