Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, May 9, 2002
New council, mayor sworn in; Ortega planning for future run
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Thurs., May 9, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City officially has
a new mayor and two new Council members after the three winners in last
Saturday's election were sworn into office this morning during the regular
Council meeting at City Hall.
Notary Lisa Reynolds swore newly elected Mayor Dot Stafford into her
newest term at office during the meeting.
Stafford has previously served on the Council and had served two terms
as mayor before being defeated by Ray Ortega in the mayoral election two
years ago. Stafford won the position back from Ortega on Saturday.
Once officially taking office, Stafford got down to the business of
swearing in the two new Council members, Michael Benavides and Angelica
Benavides and Valenzuela are replacing former Councilmen Ricky Herrera
and Danny Rodriguez.
However, before Ortega, Herrera and Rodriguez relinquished their offices
Ortega made it a point to say he plans to run again in the city elections
in the near future
Ortega never quite revealed his plans for the future but left the room
stating he would be back, hinting that he plans to run for a council seat
in next year's election.
"It would be interesting to have three mayors on the council," he said.
Councilman Frank Sanchez is also a former Pecos mayor. His two-year
term will be up for election next year, along with those held by council
members Gerald Tellez and Johnny Terrazas.
Before the swearing in ceremonies, one of the final actions of the old
council was approval of the second reading of the ordinance that would
allow the city to re-open the portion of 10th Street between
Willow and Cherry Streets. The one-block section of street is being reopened
after the closing last year of Pecos Elementary, which is located on the
north side of the street.
The outgoing council also approved the resolution canvassing the election
on May 4 as well as the municipal court reports, the juvenile monthly report
and the accounts payable.
As their first official business the new council appointed a new Mayor
Pro Tem, since Rodriguez previously held that position.
"May I recommend Councilor Gerald Tellez," Stafford said.
Stafford explained that she believed it would be wise to have a senior
member of the council in that position.
Sanchez took Stafford's recommendation and nominated Tellez for the
position, which the council approved.
"Thank you for your support," Tellez said. "I'll do the job to the best
of my ability."
Once the council appointed Tellez as the new Mayor Pro Tem, Pecos Police
Chief Clay McKinney gave members a status report on the new Pecos Municipal
Law Enforcement Center.
McKinney reported that everything at the new jail is running smoothly,
they are fully staffed and at full capacity.
"We're full," he said.
In fact, McKinney reported that they have been housing just over 96
federal prisoners, which is the number of beds the jail has.
"We have a few on the floor right now," he said.
McKinney explained that the police department plans to move the remaining
staff to the new facility on Friday. The police department had to maintain
communications facilities at their old headquarters on South Oak Street
pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission of the relocation
of the transmission antenna.
The council ended this morning's meeting in executive session to discuss
the duties of director of the Pecos Emergency Medical Service.
Juries acquit, convict pair in drug trials
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., May 9, 2002 -- One Pecos man was put on probation while
a second man was found not guilty by Reeves County juries this week in
separate drug trials in 143rd District Court.
Adan Padilla, 53, of Pecos, was found guilty of possession of a controlled
substance, cocaine, four grams or more, but less than 200 grams in a trial
held Wednesday in 143rd District Court.
Padilla was sentenced to five years probation and had previously been
out on a $25,000 bond.
He was arrested on Jan. 11, 2002, in the 1100 block of East Third Street
for possession of a controlled substance-cocaine, a first-degree felony,
resisting arrest and inspection refusal on licensed premises.
The Chavez Law Firm of Odessa represented Padilla, while District Attorney
Randy Reynolds was the prosecutor for the trial.
In the other trial, which was held on Monday and Tuesday of this week,
Herbey Garcia Armendariz, of Pecos, was found not guilty of a drug possession
Armendariz was arrested May 11, 2000, and charged with possession of
a controlled substance, heroin.
He had been out on a $10,000 bond and was represented by Brian Chavez
Judge Bob Parks 143rd District presided over the trials in
District Court at the Reeves County Courthouse.
City's tax rebate check down slightly for May
Sales tax rebate figures for the Town of Pecos City were virtually unchanged
for May, in a month when most other area cities saw either sharp increases
or declines in their tax rebate checks from State Comptroller Carole Keeton
Figures released today show Pecos received $74,010 back from Austin
this month, as its 1½-cent share of Texas' 8-¼ cent sales
tax. That represents a drop of 1.82 percent from May of 2001, when the
city got back $75,384 in tax rebates from Rylander's office. For the first
five months of 2002, the city has gotten back $326,983 from the comptroller's
office, an increase of 4.33 percent from a year ago.
The May rebate checks are based on sales made during March. One-sixth
of the city's total, or $12,335, goes to the Pecos Economic Development
Across the Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos region, most other cities saw
their rebate checks either increase or decline by five percent or more,
with the majority of towns reporting double-digit changes from a year ago.
Andrews, which saw a sharp jump in their tax rebate total last month,
had another major increase in May. It's rebate check for $142,475 was up
62.42 percent from last year. No other city has as big a change, but Presidio
and Van Horn also reported increases of 10 percent or more in their rebate
Going in the other direction, Alpine, Big Spring, Midland and Monahans
saw their rebate checks drop by more than 10 percent, while Crane, Fort
Stockton, Kermit and Odessa's checks declined by over five percent.
Reeves County's other two cities that collect sales taxes, Balmorhea
and Toyah, also reported similar changes, as did the Reeves County Hospital
Balmorhea's check for May was $1,399, which was up 10.57 percent from
last May's $1,265 total, while Toyah's check for $407 was down 28.18 percent
from last year, when the city got back $568 from Austin. For all of 2002,
Balmorhea has gotten $5,663 in tax rebates, up 72.14 percent, while Toyah
has gotten $2,211, a drop of 40.29 percent.
The May tax rebate check for the hospital district, based on their ½-cent
sales tax, was $33,553, which was up 28.42 percent from the $26,126 check
from May of last year. The hospital has gotten back $154,339 for the first
five months of 2002, an increase of 26.37 percent from last year.
Statewide, sales tax rebates dropped 5.93 percent from last year, Rylander's
office said, from $276.2 million to $259.8 million. Houston's $32.7 million
check again was the single largest one in the state, but was down 5.6 percent,
while Dallas had the second largest check, of $19.5 million, but that was
14.13 percent less than a year ago.
Mother's Day dance at Reeves County Sheriff's Posse Barn
PECOS, Thurs., May 9, 2002 -- Reeves County Sheriff's Posse will be hosting
a Mother's Day dance faturing RimFire on Saturday, May 11, 2002 from 9:00
p.m. to 1:00 a.m. at the Reeves County Sheriff Posse Barn, Pecos, Tx. $5.00
per person and children under 12 free.
Beer and setups will be sold.
PECOS, Thurs., May 9, 2002 -- High Wednesday 94. Low this morning 58. Forecast
for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows 55 to 60. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Friday:
Mostly cloudy and breezy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs
90 to 95. South winds 15 to 25 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy with a
20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows 55 to 60. Saturday: Partly cloudy
with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Highs 90 to 95. The chance of rain
is 20 percent. Sunday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms.
Lows 55 to 60. Highs 90 to 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 2002 by Pecos Enterprise