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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Torres explains new city rules, drug test plans

Staff Writer

New Town of Pecos City Manager Joseph Torres said today that work is continuing on the reorganization of the city policies, in addition to preparing for the dedication of the new South Worsham Field a week from today, and continuing in the effort to clean up Pecos in preparation for Texas First Lady Anita Perry’s March 30 visit.

Torres, who is entering his sixth week on the job as city manager said in an interview with the Enterprise that demolition of the condemned houses would continue next week, but that crews were currently working on the completion of the nine miles of caliche roads around the new water field.

“We have the crews alternating between the demolition of the houses and working on the roads around the South Worsham Water Field,” Torres said. “They have been spending one week on the roads and the next week on the houses.

Torres added that the county had been very helpful with the demolition of the houses, by loaning some of the necessary heavy equipment to the city for the project.

He also elaborated on the status of some of the policies that had come into effect during his time in office, such as the drug testing policy. Torres explained that federal statutes required that state and municipal governments maintain drug-free workplaces.

“We have been very pleased with the fact that we haven’t lost any of our current employees to a positive test, and all new hires are being tested as part of a pre-hire requirement,” Torres said. “It is all part of our efforts to maintain a safe working environment.”

“As a matter of fact we have formed a safety committee, made up of city workers to be trained in all manners of OSHA safety regulations, ranging from the handling of hazardous waste to the proper use of ventilator masks,” Torres said. “This committee will be responsible for the recognition of possible hazards and the removal/elimination of them.”

“City Attorney Scott Johnson and I have also been looking into updating the city employee manual, to comply with federal and state guidelines, in addition to updating and enforcing city ordinances throughout the city,” Torres said.

“We have had the situation arise recently with the street vendors, and I think that we have come to an understanding with them. They now understand that the city has a process that must be abided by, a policy that had been overlooked previously.”

“All in all, my first six weeks here I think have gone very well, I enjoy coming to work. We have a great staff here at the city,” Torres said. “And we are really looking forward to nest week’s dedication of the new water field.”

Council members set the grand opening date for the new field last week, after getting preliminary state approval for opening the valves to the South Worsham Field, which is expected to provide adequate water supplies to the city through the middle of the 21st Century.

“I would like to let the town know that the public is invited to meet here at city hall next Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.,” Torres said. “We will caravan to the field from here, and we will have samples of the new water for all who come.”

Love retirement on P-B-T board’s agenda

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members will discuss the retirement of Superintendent Don Love on Thursday, during their regular monthly meeting.

The voluntary retirement agreement submitted by Love will be one of several items on the agenda for the meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday in the Technology Center, 1301 S. Eddy Street. The public is invited to attend the open portion of the meeting, however, the superintendent’s retirement will be discussed behind closed doors, in closed session.

The item is listed on the agenda under Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Section 551.101 et. Seq., Section 551.074; Part a. To deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee.

The agenda also says that the board will meet under Part b. To hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee and Section 551.071: (1) Consultation with attorney regarding personnel matters including superintendent retirement and voluntary retirement agreement.

Love has been the superintendent for the district since 1997 and before that served as a high school assistant baseball and football coach, assistant principal and as principal of Zavala Middle School.

In other action, the board will recognize district and regional champions and state qualifiers: swimming and all-state solo and ensemble students.

Board members will resume discussion and possible action on high school scheduling, which had been taken up at a previous meeting. Under new business: they will consider and take action on band competition and trip, competitive sealed proposals for construction of a gymnasium at Austin Elementary School, competitive sealed proposals for the installation of synthetic turf and track renovations at Eagle Stadium, and requests for foreclosed properties.

Board members will cast ballots for Region 18 Education Serviced Center Board of Directors election for Place 5 and Place 7.

The group will discuss and take possible action on the 2004 tax roll parameters, mineral appraisal report; take action on athletic stipends/duties, 2003-04 budget amendments and consider and take possible action on a resolution for Texas Public Schools Week.

On the agenda to discuss and take action will be the designation of auditor for current year funds, adoption of textbooks as per the textbook selections committee’s recommendation, take action on a boiler bid and on a shared service arrangements with Region 18.

Along with the discussion on Love, the board will meet in closed session to discuss evaluations and renewal of professional personnel contract employees, as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Section 551.101 et. Seq., Section 551.074. Board members will reconvene in open session and take action if any on items discussed behind closed doors.

Regular agenda items include:

Consider and possible action on professional personnel appointments, reassignments, change of contract, retirements, resignations including superintendent retirement and voluntary retirement agreement.

Consider and possible action on employing TASB as the consultant service to assist in the superintendent search process.

Tax report.

Cafeteria report and commodities received.

Depository securities report.

Current bills and financial report.

Investment transaction report.

Reconciled bank balance.

Reeves County Community Recreation Department report.

Attendance/enrollment report.

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Pecos Enterprise
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