Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, August 16, 2000
City manager Neal announces resignation
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, August 16, 2000 - Town of Pecos City Manager Kenneth Neal handed
a letter of resignation to the Pecos City Council during a budget meeting
Neal, who has been city manager for four years, is taking the city manager's
job in Balch Springs, near Dallas.
"I've never worked down there so this might be a shock to me," Neal
He said he has known some of the councilmen in Balch Springs for a while
so when they lost their city manager suddenly they call him to offer him
Neal said the first call came in on Saturday morning and he decided
to think about the offer. On Sunday he called back and accepted the job.
He said he was not planning on leaving Pecos before this job offer came
"This wasn't anything I was seeking, it was just something that happened,"
He said the change is just another step in his career goals.
Balch Springs has a population of about 22,000 and Neal said has many
challenges for him to face once he is there.
"I'm excited about going down there and getting to work," he said.
Neal said he has a lot of family in the Mesquite area making his decision
easier but regrets leaving his family of friends in Pecos.
"My friends here have been my family," he said. "But I'll continue the
friendship with family here."
City Secretary Geneva Martinez said the city staff was surprised to
here of Neal's resignation.
"We're going to miss him and we with him well," Martinez said.
Prescilla Lara, Utilities Supervisor, said Neal is the best city manager
she has worked with. She said other city managers never knew everyone's
name but Neal took the time to get to know everybody.
"He was our friend first, then he was our boss," Lara said. "We're going
to miss him, he's become a part of us."
Neal said he appreciates Pecos for being such a friendly community and
for all the support that he has had from the city staff, the Council and
"I've enjoyed my time in Pecos and I wish well to my replacement," he
Neal said his last day as Pecos City Manager would be on Friday so he
could start his new job in Balch Springs on Monday.
Last night during the budget meeting the Council discussed the job change
with Neal, but will not decide what to do about a new city manager until
the next budget meeting on Monday.
During the budget meeting Tuesday night the Council also discussed the
contract with Duncan Disposal.
Representatives from Duncan asked the Council to consider a 20 percent
rise in their rates due to the increase in landfill costs and fuel.
Currently the rate for their services is $575,000. The Council was not
in favor of the 20 percent raise and decided to let a committee including
Councilman Gerald Tellez and Councilman Ricky Herrera would get together
with the Duncan Disposal team to discuss the needs of Pecos and the needs
of Duncan Disposal, which trucks the city's refuse to their regional landfill
site 65 miles to the east in Ector County.
"We have to explore all our options," Mayor Ray Ortega said.
The meeting was then scheduled for 10 a.m., on Monday, August 28.
The Council also decided to keep the current budgets for the Pecos Ambulance
Service and the city Fire Marshal the same.
The Council will discuss other department budgets at a later date.
Former top PHS grads advise current seniors
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, August 16, 2000 - A trio of recent Pecos graduates spoke to a
class of seniors at Pecos High School Tuesday about applying for college
and life at a university.
Alva Alvarez, Efrain Rodriguez and Jonathan Fuentes are 1999 Pecos grads
and all attend college in Boston. Alvarez and Fuentes are students at Harvard
University and Rodriguez is a student at the Massachusetts Institute of
The three were asked to visit with the class by science teacher Barbara
Scown, who said she likes to encourage students in to being mentors to
Scown told her class they need to remember where they came from when
they go off to college.
"When you get to college give yourself back to the community," Scown
said. "That insures success."
That is why she asked the three graduates to come back and speak to
Alvarez, Rodriguez and Fuentes talked to the class about the different
tests the seniors would have the option of taking for the purpose of getting
into various universities and colleges.
The main test most students take is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
The graduates stressed the importance of taking such a test but assured
the class that the SATs are not the only ones that would get them accepted
into a university.
"Don't become obsessed with the SAT," Fuentes said.
He also said having a high SAT score is not absolutely important to
"Don't be disappointed if you don't do well," Fuentes said. "That's
not all they look at."
"Universities look at the well rounded student," Fuentes said. "One
who manages their time well and still keeps their grades up."
Although they said not to worry so much about scores, the graduates
told the class to make sure they take the SAT at least once.
They also told the class about different tests they could take like
the ACTs and the SAT 2, a subject test, and the TASP test. Students are
required to take the TASP test before they take any college course, but
the graduates assured the class that that test is required only in Texas
and could go to a school out-of-state without taking it.
The graduates also discussed the importance of applying for scholarships.
"Apply for every scholarship available," Alvarez said.
They told the students to go to the school counselor's office everyday
and check for applications. They also said the Internet has many scholarships
available online for various things. Fuentes said the students should also
check corporation's websites such as McDonald's for corporate scholarships.
He said they usually have many types of scholarships that they could apply
The graduates also discussed the application process for the universities
and filing forms for financial aid.
They said to be as personal as possible when applying and if a school
interviews the student, they need to be themselves because the schools
are looking for personality.
"They'll be looking to what you'll add to their campus," Fuentes said.
The graduates also said to apply for financial aid even if the student's
parents have enough money, because every school has different expectations
when considering applications for aid.
Fuentes said that for example two-thirds of the students at Harvard
receive financial aid because it is such an expensive school, costing over
$30,000 a year.
Most of all the students wanted the class to know that anything is possible
and to go after their dreams.
"Don't let anyone tell you that you can't get into a school," Alvarez
said. "You've got to believe in yourself."
All three graduates are heading back to Boston soon to begin their second
year at college.
Alvarez is currently majoring in Social Anthropology, which she explains
in the study of mankind and their behaviors and cultures.
Rodriguez is majoring in Materials Science and Engineering while Fuentes
is majoring in government.
The graduates said they enjoyed answering questions from the class and
explaining to them what needs to be done before graduation.
"I enjoyed it because whatever chance we as college students have it
is important to come back and give back to the community," Rodriguez said.
"I hope all of them follow their dreams and they don't give up," Alvarez
"The students at PHS have so much potential and meetings like this help
capitalize on that," Rodriguez said.
Commissioners OK golf gazebo, offer `wish list'
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, August 16, 2000 - Improvements at the Reeves County Golf Course
and a "Wish List" from the county to the Texas Department of Transportation
were topics of discussion at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court
meeting Monday afternoon.
Farris Murphy, with the Pecos Women's Golf Association, told the group
on Monday that the ladies wanted to build a gazebo and place it at the
"This would be a permanent structure and we want to fit in with the
plans that you already have," said Murphy.
Murphy stated that they are still getting estimates on the structure
and that they wanted it to be nice. "But before we proceed we wanted to
get permission from you," she said.
"I spoke to (PWGA member) Jo Cooksey and we discussed where to place
it," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "I don't see a problem
Galindo made the motion to construct the gazebo and place it between
hole number 9 and the putting green, in front of the clubhouse.
TxDOT Engineer Specialist John Salcido was on hand for the regular meeting
to discuss with the commissioners and request a "wish list" from them.
"We're requesting that you come up with a list of projects that you
would like pursued. We call it a `wish list,'" he said.
These projects may or may not be constructed within the next 10 years
and the list needs to be prioritized, according to Salcido.
The list needs t be completed and turned in by Aug. 31 and the county
will receive a response by November.
"Anything not on the list will not be considered," said Salcido.
Meetings will be held in Andrews and Fort Stockton at that time, according
Galindo told the court that over the last several years, they have been
planning on landscaping and working on getting a greenhouse going at the
Reeves County Detention Center and using the trees from there for the landscaping
project. "We're working on getting some funding to get an irrigation system
and buying plant material, with the city and county providing in-kind services,"
Galindo stated that there are also some bridges that need to be repaired.
Commissioners approved the certified tax roll and designated Elfida
Zuniga, Reeves County Tax-Assessor Collector to calculate the tax rate.
Property tax exemptions and payment options were also approved as presented
"The exemptions are pretty much the same as last year with the over
65 exemptions, veterans and disabled veterans, 65 years of age can receive
up to 100 percent," said Zuniga.
Half of the base tax can be paid by Nov. 30 and the other half by June
30 and no penalty will be incurred by Feb. 1, according to Zuniga.
Commissioners approved payment invoices number 193, 196, 197, 183, and
200, to DRG Architects and payment invoice number 16, to Banes General
Transportation vans for the Reeves County Detention Center will be bid
out and a dishwashing machine lease agreement was approved, during the
An agreement between the RCDC and Odessa College for Training Services
was approved. "Odessa College will be providing two instructors for VT
and horticultural," said Galindo.
Odessa College benefits by the credit hours and the state pays them,
so it's no cost to the county, according to Galindo.
Dining room tables for the new addition at the RCDC will be purchased
from Rondeck, at $16,662 for the dining room tables and 24 chairs. Other
furnishings, such as chairs, seating and tables for the dayroom area, inmate
storage boxes will be purchased from Norex.
Commissioners approved the oath and deputation of Jaime H. Palma as
a reserve deputy for the Reeves County Sheriff's Office; Jose Millan Gonzales,
Jr. and Israel Campos.
New hires at the Reeves County Detention Center include Danny Bradley
as a Correctional Officer I at a salary of $19,000 per year; Aldrene Renee
Starks, Julia Rayos, Jacob Contreras, Oscar Garay, Jackie Hernandez, Tony
Hinojos, Valerie Lara, Brian McClure, Robin McDowell, Susan Moore, Evarista
Mora, Monica Nichols, Salvador Nichols, Rosendo Olguin, Jr., Bacelio Ortega,
Michael Chabarria as Correctional Officrers 1 at a starting salary of $19,000.
Jennifer Rainwater has been promoted to the position of Correctional
Officer II at a alary of $24,000 per year; Jose Luis Rodriguez, Jr., promoted
to the position of Correctional Officer II at a salary of $24,000; Ruben
Salcido, Ricardo Salgado, Jessie Sauceda, Angel Tarin, Rudy Villegas, Lupe
Wilkins, Richard Valencia have all been promoted to Correctional Officer
II at a salary of $24,000. Felipe Sotelo has been hired by the RCDC as
Foreign Medical Graduate at a salary of $34,000; Arturo Pallan has been
promoted to the position of Food Service Administrator Assistant at $26,000
Misty Cason was hired as a lifeguard/concession stand operator substitute
at the Northside Swimming Pool on a part-time temporary basis at $6 and
$5.15; Gary Garcia was hired as a concession stand operator substitute
at the Northside Swimming Pool on a part-time temporary basis at $5.15
Hector Lozano will be working as a jailer at the Reeves County Sheriff's
Office at $19,000 annually and Michelle Florez Carrasco was hired as a
secretary-receptionist at $12,000 annually.
Meeting Sunday on van service in Balmorhea
PECOS, August 16, 2000 - Reeves County Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin
said a meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday in Balmorhea for all individuals
interested in transportation for senior citizens.
Tarin said the meeting will be at the Balmorhea Fire Hall and will be
to offer more information to seniors on the van transportation system,
which has been put into service. Refreshments will be served during the
Juan Rey, 66, of Pecos, died Monday, Aug. 14, 2000, at Reeves County Hospital.
Mass will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 17, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church, with burial in Balmorhea Cemetery.
He was born Nov. 24, 1933, in Toyah, was a construction worker, a lifetime
Pecos resident and a Catholic.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Carmen Rey and Manuela Nunez
Rey; one son, Curtis Wayne Rey; two brothers, Thomas Rey, Sr. and Gilbert
Survivors include his wife, Petronila Sanchez Garcia; his longtime companion
Eva Rodriguez; one stepson, Bobby Cabrerra of Odessa; two daughters, Betty
Rey Lozano of Balmorhea and Peggy Rey Hougham of El Paso; one step-daughter,
Delfa Rodriguez of Pecos; one brother, Alfredo Rey of Midland; four sisters,
Anita Rey of Austin, Martha Ontiveros of Big Spring, Flora Rey of Hanford,
Calif. and Mary Marin of Odessa; 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Martinez Funeral Home of Pecos is in charge of arrangements.
Services are incomplete for Eulalia Fuentes Maldonado, 71, who died Tuesday,
Aug. 15, 2000 at her residence.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Arcadia G. Urquidi
Services are incomplete for Arcadia G. Urquidi, 88, of Pecos, who died
Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2000 at the Pecos Nursing Home.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
PECOS, August 16, 2000 - High Tuesday 97. Low this morning 71. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms.
Low 70-75. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent
chance of showers or thunderstorms. High in the lower 90s. Southeast wind
5-15 mph. Thursday night: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers
or thunderstorms. Low near 70. Friday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance
of thunderstorms. High 90-95.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise