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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
September 4, 2003     Hays Free Press
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September 4, 2003

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Page 4 The Free Press Edlterlal Page September 4, 2003 Vote 'No' on th,, 00caH ....................................... .......................................... have a limited historical perspective authority and responsibility for the best of circumstances. under the old general law rules where the mayor did have consider- able power, Adkins didn't even draw an opponent, and was auto- matically returned for another term at the post. With the adoption of the city charter, the mayor's authority was actually reduced. However, when Adkins came up for re-election in 2002, the election was again can- celled because no one chose to con- test his decision to seek another term - this one extending for three years under the new charter. Adkins still lives in Spring Branch, one of the first subdivisions in the "new" part of town. In the past year, he has adopted two of his young grandchildren and he has told many people that he will not seek re-election in the spring of 2005, even if he survives the recall attempt. That survival rests on the deci- sions of the voters who go to the polls between now and 7 p.m., Sept. 13. There is a dedicated coterie of people who are crusading hard to impeach Adkins. They have attempted to picture him as some sort of heavy-handed dictatorial leader who runs roughshod over the other council members. It's a ridiculous portrayal. His public persona is hardl3 smooth and it's far from bullying. In private, he comes across as a nice guy. He's a native of Tyler in East Texas and a product of segregated schools who went to predominately African- American Prarie View A&M, played college football and ended up a drug counselor at the prison we secured in 1988. He is friendly, out- going, and seems to really enjoy the ceremonial events that are the major differential between a mayor and a council member under our form of government. These critics, most of whom ayor James Adkins' political fate will be decided by the voters of Kyle on Saturday, Sept. 13, when the first recall election in the history of the 120-year-old com- munity enters the history books. The vote will culminate a frus- trating and sometimes wlaacky cam- paign during which proponents of his removal from office have attempted to portray the mayor as an all-powerful executive who rules the council with an iron hand. Their arguments are not based on anything resembling rational thought. Kyle is a home rule city with a charter that clearly establish- es a system of council-manager form of government that came into being in the f'mst part of the last cen- tury, pushed by reformers who were appalled at the abuse of power on the part of city governments that bestowed great power and influence on their mayors. These reformers believed thata trained, professional manager should be hired to run the day-to- day operations of a city while the elected council members and the mayor established general policies, selected civic minded citizens to serve on the important planning, zoning, and parks boards, and made highly important decisions concern- ing capital improvements, budgets and tax rates. Hundreds of Texas cities have switched to this form of government over the past 50 years. Kyle joined suit nearly three years ago, adopting the current charter by an over- whelming 822-236 majority in November 2000. That's a 76.7 per- cent majority. Adkins had won the mayorship in 1998, getting 199 votes against incumbent Lee Sturdivant. He was a relative newcomer then, of course, and most of his critics had not yet moved to Kyle. Two years later, still operating concerning the town and its years of economic woes during much of its history, managed to secure slightly more than 400 petitions over a three-month period to take advan- tage of a clause in the charter that allows a recall vote to be held with- out specifying any serious allega- tions against the elected official. An even larger group of peti- tioners, slightly more than 500, sought to require a referendum, which, if successful, would have cancelled the recall. City Attorney Barney Knight approved of the lan- guage and substance of the referen- dum petition, but later advised the council to proceed with the election, speculating that a law suit would probably ultimately decide the final results. These referendum supporters, including four former mayors, a dozen former city council members and a majority of the committee that drafted the city charter, decided against legal action, correctly con- cluding that such a decision would further divide the community and result in extra legal costs to all city taxpayers. They instead vowed to fight the recall at the ballot box and we sup- port their decision and encourage voters who believe in fair play to reject this attempt to remove an elected official from office without any significant cause. A lot of good things have hap- pened to Kyle over the past two or three years. Mayor Adkins deserves a good share of the credit, but he is only one vote on a seven member council. The other six bear an equal share, as do many who served through some of the tough econom- ic times of the 1980s. After all, Kyle's City Charter decrees that, with a few limited exceptions, the six other council members bear an equal share of the operation of the city. In addition, a major share of the credit for the progress and improve- ment of Kyle deservedly goes to City Manager Tom Matfis, who is the first well-trained; experienced city manager the city has ever had. He, strengthened by our veteran City Secretary Minerva Falcon and a group of enthusiastic co-workers, has us headed in the right direction. Good things are happening and God only knows the town has wait- ed, sometimes impatiently, for a mighty long time. We Kyle folk shouldn't kid our- selves - geography is our strongest asset. The three biggest factors in economic growth are location, loca- tion and location. We were a little slow to realize what was happening and Kyle almost let growth engulf us before city government began developing a plan of action con- cerning the need for additional water, roads and other infrastructure requirements. Mattis is a dam good city man- ager and let's not be wish-washy about the goal of a core group of the recall leaders. They want to run Mattis off and they are convinced that removing Mayor Adkins from office will make that goal easier to attain. They are right. It would make it easier. If the Mayor is impeachedat the September election, we will be reduced to'a six member council. Cris Martinez, serving his first term of office, would become acting mayor and micro-mananging and second-guessing of Mattis' deci- sions will become the order of the day. A special election for the remaining 18 months of the Mayor's term would be held, per- haps as late as February. That means more turmoil and strife and taxpayer expenses, even under the Somebody, perhaps several somebodies, would run for mayor. Former City Councilman Jerry Kolacny, who, along with Bob Ochoa of the Kyle Eagle, has led the chorus of complaints against Adkins and Mattis, wants to make being mayor more attractive. He has proposed that we pay our mayor $2,000 a month, a total of $6,000 a month to the city council and relegate the City Manager to being their water boy. Wow, what an idea - for Chicago or perhaps Houston. In May, the terms of council members Mike Moore and Martinez will expire, so that means another election. More turmoil. Sounds great, doesn't it? This type of foolish, frenetic behavior might be justified if Kyle were a dying town, burdened with high taxes and poo r schools. But that ain't us. Great Jehova, good things are happening here on a consistent basis. HEB is coming, Hom e Depot isn't far behind. New schools are opening, the historic old depot is coming back to Front Street, a spec- tacular swimming pool is under construction and we have two rapidly improving city parks. James Adkins doesn't deserve all the credit for these good happen- ings, Dut he deserves some, just as do all of the people who have stuck with Kyle through thick and thin and just as do the vast majority of people who have chosen to live in Kyle in the last five years for what- ever reasons Let's stay the course. The town is on the right track. It would be foolish to throw our march towards progress into the ditch to satisfy the egos of a handful of misguided par- tisans. Vote "No" on recalling the Kyle mayor. Sam HousW"n' W00gtze'r foe than Indians Bartee Halle T? please an old pal and improve his standing in Texas, Alexander Le Grand accepted a difficult assignment on Sept. 9, 1836, only to learn that making peace with the Indians was a lot easier than squeezing money out of Sam Houston. During his last days as interim head of the Lone Star Republic, David G. BunSet discovered that Mexican suitors were courting the Comanches and Kiowas. To head off a clash with the warrior tribes he needed an expert in Indian affairs capable of turning potential enemies into valuable allies. For this delicate mission, Bumet selected a Santa Fe trad- er he had known for many years. A Baltimore dandy schooled for the legal profession, Alexander Le Grand gave up the easy life in 1823 for the rigors of the fron- tier. Spending months at a time on the perilous Plains, he was one of the few white men on speaking terms with the Comanches and their Kiowa kin. Bumet did not have far to go to find his Indian diplomat. Soon after San Jacinto, Le Grand enlisted in the Texas Army and was serving as an aide to Gen. Thomas Rusk. Bored by the dull peacetime routine, he was more than ready for a change of duty. Bumet explained that as an "agent extraordinary" he would have full authority to negotiate a binding treaty on behalf of the Republic. If the obstinate aborig- ines could not be persuaded to side with the Texans against Mexico, their promise of neutral- ity would be sufficient. ACROSS 41 TXism: 'stretche 1 the objective of hls lips' most TXns on a 42 Mavs' N.J. opponent golf hole (2 wds.) 43 "l'Xism: "been counters' 5 location of Fort 44 Mediterranean isle Bliss: Lanorla __ 45 TXism: "sounds like a 6 TX acto.r Jack of __ axle' (bad singer) film "4 For Texas" 46 " More Beef' 7 Rangers Gonzalez 47 TX perennials home: Puerto __ 48 ,Dallas 'Monkea" Michael 8 TXism:" 50 TXism:" dead" for 51 TXism: "thick as ticks that" (against)- __ _ hoclnd dog' 18 TXism: "fat as e boardinghouse " 19 new year Intent 21 TXlsm: =sneaky as _ egg sucking dog 22 "D" of TX Perot's old company EDS 23 square-rigger in Galveston Bay 24 resident of TX's westernmost city: El 29 Crosbyton drama: ' Country" 30 ' KampP 31 best little puzzle in Texas (abbr.) 32 TXism: "got more than ha can say grace over' (busy) 34 volcano molten flow 9 TXism: "stock in The Original 1 2 4 5 0 T---- 8 18 52 "black gold" 53 a C&W music recording label DOWN 1 "IX 'Pa" Ferguon ran for president onthis ticket (2wds.} 15 TXism: "you can 2 film by "IX Lovett's write _ _ ink" ex-wife Julia: 'The 16 the fleur-de __ BfleP flew over Texas 3 TXIsm: 'jumpy  17 timbered region in _  on ice" Bstrop State Park 4 TX silent film 20 TX-Mex appetizers actor Navarre 22 TX Rangers 7th inning event (2 wds.) TEXAS CROSSWORD by Charley & Guy Orbison Copyrlg 2003 by Orblson Bros, o 11 14 15 16 17 i 35 TXism: "nothing to __ home about" 37 prlv. compartment on a ship or train 38 TXism: ' mar- ried" (newlyweds) 35 Gay. Hobby (init.) __"(specialty) 36 TX Willie sang ads 10 Rockport Is "whore for __ _ Lines the fun never " 37 saddle __ 11 TX King Vidor's "A 38 Pearsall is seat Tree __ _ Tree' of this county 12 TXism: "up _ lmuff' 39 TX-based 13 TXns wear shor t- American Alrllnas  shirts In July is this type of co. 14 Swisher Co. seat 24 TX eatery:.' Folks 28 TXlsm: "got as much 40 TXism:" __ at 25 TX eatery: Steak chance as 'era juice" (coffee) __ Ale in e packing plant' 41 Campbell played a 26 TX Gary Morris 29 TXlsrn: 'put on TXn In "l'me " tune: 'The Love tallow' (weight) 44 ex-Ranger pitcher __ Found in Me' 30 TX jazz bass Carpenter ('93-'94) 27 pre-Exxon: Humble musician Johnson 47 model once made at Refining 33 southeast Asian GM Arlington plant C,o. country " 49 TX drive-in eatery Smugly confident the igno- rant Indians, whom he called "imbeciles," would do whatever he asked, Le Grand promised total success. Relieved by the pompous pledge, Bumet drew up the necessary papers, including a $1,200 letter of credit, and wished his emissary a safe jour- ney. Le Grand quickly left for New Orleans, where representa- fives of Texas' interests in the United States coughed up the requested funds. After a short stay in the Crescent City, Le Grand departed for Indian Country. That was Sept. 30. He evidently took his own sweet time on the next stage of the trip because Bumet heard nothing from him until the middle of November. Offering no other .excuse than he had been "some- what (unavoidably) delayed," Le Grand predicted completion of his assignment inside 20 days. But another month and a half went by before tile dilly-dallying diplomat sat down with the Comanche chief Sheconey. After patiently listening to his spiel, Sheconey insisted that the treaty guarantee tribal hunting grounds. Caught off guard by the demand, Le Grand confessed that he could not include such a stipulation. The sun-baked Comanche nodded knowingly. The Mexicans had told him the white man planned to steal the Indians' land. Until he saw hard evidence to the contrary, the Comanches would remain the implacable enemy of the white race. Bested by the "imbecile" and humiliated by his failure, Le Grand refused to return to Texas in disgrace. Instead he dropped from sight, and for the next three months his whergabouts were unknown. Le Grand finally surfaced in Nacogdoches in April 1837. Lacking the nerve to report in person to the new president, he broke the news to Sam Houston in a letter containing a long self- serving version of the events of the past seven months By November, Le Grand had had his fill of Texas. He resigned from the army and submitted a bill for his services endorsed by the secretary of war and support- ed by a statement from Bumet which disclosed the details of his Indian odyssey. Houston denied the request. Across the voucher he scribbled, "This $1,200 are unaccounted for. He is not an officer in the army nor has he ever been. No pay is due him." Inflamed by the stinging rebuke, Le Grand took his case to the Congress. He argued in an impassioned speech to the Lone Star legislature, "I have the right to demand relief from the oppres- sion of a vindictive and capri- cious tyrant." For dramatic effect, he recalled "the difficulties and dangers I encountered in travers- ing a pathless wilderness, where scarce a human sound was heard, save the shrill war-whoop of the savage, echoed by the death groans of his victim." Le Grand tobbied Congress night and day for six months, and in May 1838 the senate and house passed a joint resolution recom- mending payment in full. But Houston vetoed the measure not- ing on this occasion, "The indi- vidual did no duty, has received $1,200 and only sought to avoid duty, and lay drunk for months. He was a brag pet of President Burnet." Abandoning all hope of get- ting his due from Houston, Le Grand waited for the next admin- istration. Though sympathetic to his plight, Mirabeau Lamar was in office five months before final- ly okaying the check. In May 1839, Alexander Le Grand took the money and ran, disappearing forever from the pages of history. He did, howev- er, learn an important lesson. In Texas talk was cheap. Deeds made the difference and the man. Vol. III of "Best of This Week in Texas History" available for $10.95 plus $3.25 postage and handling from Bartee Halle, 1912 Meadow Creek Dr., Pearland, TX 77581. iiiiiiiiiiii]iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii]i]i!iiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii]iiiii]iiiii!:!iiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiii;iiii]iiFiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii 1:iiii!ii!i!i!i!ii!iiiiii!iiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiHiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iii!iiiiili!iiiiiii!iiiiiii!;iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!niii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iii;iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii i!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iii!i!i!i!iiiiiiiii]i!i!iii!i!i!iiii!iiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii?ii!iiiii!ii!ii!i!iiiiiii:iiiiiiNii! i00iil}iii!iiiiiiiiiii!i!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ii)iiiiiiiiii?iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimi :. :.:. iiNiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiili!ili!i!iiii?!iii