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PECOS, Jan 23, 1995 - Interim Reeves County Roads and Bridges
Administrator Russ Salcido was appointed to handle the position on a
full-time basis by Reeves County Commissioners early this afternoon.
The vote came after County Judge Jimmy Galindo told commissioners today
that, despite criticism from the Enterprise, no statutes govern how the
County must advertise for a new Roads and Bridges Administrator.
"Criticism by the local newspaper about my decision on how to advertise
the position is unwarranted," Galindo said.
He told the court he had asked County Auditor Lynn Owens and County
Attorney Bill Weinacht to research relevant rules before advertising the
R&B position last week.
"The Advertisement that was posted on the bulletin board of the County
Courthouse was written by Lynn Owens," Galindo said. Galindo asked Owens
to tell the Court what he had found out while researching governmental
"No statute govern overall county procedures about advertising. Local
statutes govern. Our County Employment Procedures spell out the rules we
have here in Reeves County," Owens said.
Under old Reeves County rules, county government was required to
advertise with the Texas Employment Commission, the local newspaper and
in the county courthouse, but County Employment Procedure rules adopted
last year require only that advertisement by done as the department head
deems appropriate, Weinacht told the Court.
"In this case, the department head is the County Judge," he added.
"The Optional Roads and Bridges Statute, under which this department was
established, doesn't require advertisement. No advertisement is
required. We've already had three front page stories in the newspaper,
so anybody who wanted to know about this position should know about it,"
Along with Salcido, who handled the position since June, following the
death of former Road and Bridges Administrator Mack Ham, Felipe
Arrendondo was the only other applicant for the post, which was first
advertised last Tuesday.
Following an executive session to interview the candidates, Galindo
opened the meeting back up by making a motion to hire Salcido as the new
permanent Roads and Bridges Administrator.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Dr. Bang seconded the motion. "Is there any
discussion on the decision at this time?" asked Galindo.
"I have only one question," asked Arredondo "How many application did
you have? he asked.
"We only had the two," said Galindo.
Weinacht also had another presentation concerning the newspaper.
"I have some additional matters to discuss in regard to this matter,
which I'd like to bring up following a recess," he said.
Following a 20 minute recess, Galindo told the court Weinacht had a
report relevant to the matter he would like to present.
Weinacht passed out a written report, then played a tape recording,
which contained statements made by Enterprise reported Peggy McCracken
and Enterprise publisher Mac McKinnon.
"Re: Report on advertising requirements for the Reeves County Road and
Bridge Engineer/Administrator at the request of County Judge Jimmy
Galindo and the Reeves County Commissioners Court," the report was
"The Pecos Enterprise has its own agenda. In the fall of 1994 during a
break in a Commissioners Court meeting I was discussing the need for
recreational activities for our children, particularly the children
living on the East side of town. At that time, Peggy McCracken, reporter
for the Pecos Enterprise, said, 'not with my tax money, they can play in
the dirt and you won't even be able to see it on them.' I made a
decision to record her future statements," Weinacht read.
"On November 22, 1994, the commissioners Court was discussing a proposed
salary increase for Lilia Cazares. During a break in the meeting, I
approached Peggy McCracken and asked her, 'Why was she always picking on
the Mexicans.' She said, 'I hate them'. I recorded this statement.
"On December 5, 1994, Jack King of the Pecos Enterprise came to my
office and reported that Peggy McCracken was spreading a rumor that
County Judge-elect Jimmy Galindo has been arrested over the weekend for
DWI of PI. I know this rumor was false and I approached Peggy McCracken
at her desk in the Enterprise headquarters. I asked her if she was
already tying to bring down our first Hispanic judge and Peggy McCracken
said, 'yes I am, and his partner too, cause I don't like Mexicans or
their partners'. I recorded this statement. Jack King overheard
McCracken's comment and came to my office and said we should do
something about this situation. Mr. King said McCracken made comments
like that at the Enterprise headquarters all the time and he really
believed that she meant what she was saying. Mr. King suggested that we
bring a lawsuit against Peggy McCracken.
Some concerned citizens urged that Pecos Enterprise Editor & Publisher
Mac McKinnon be given an opportunity to deal with this matter before it
was released to the public. When confronted with this information and
after listening to the recordings Mac McKinnon's response was, 'This is
a free county and I'm not gonna tell my people what to think or what to
say.' In the interview Mr. McKinnon freely admitted that he had targeted
and tried to bring down Reeves County Commissioner Bernardo 'Chaquen'
"According to Jack King, McKinnon had a meeting with his employees and
told them not to tell anyone what is said at the Enterprise
headquarters. However, Jack King said that McKinnnon does not tell the
Enterprise reporters what to say. McKinnon altered Jack King's article
concerning the Reeves County Court at Law to try and sway public opinion
in favor of keeping the Court. Jack King was so upset about the
intentional alternation of his story that he called the Society of
Professional Journalists to complain. King said the story was altered so
severely he did not feel as though it was his own work.
"Jack King had been trying to present issues facing this county in a
fair an impartial manner and his job was in jeopardy at the Enterprise.
On January 14, 1995, I spoke with Jack King at the Greasewood Cafe in
Balmorhea. Mr. King said he believed that he might be fired from the
Enterprise because of the reporting he had been producing. His reporting
was contrary to the way the Enterprise because of the reporting he had
been producing. His reporting was contrary to the way the Enterprise
wanted to portray the new Reeves County Administration and the issues
they faced. In order to try and secure his job, Jack King began the next
week looking for some way to criticize the new administration. He began
with the articles on County Judge Jimmy Galindo's office and the
advertisement for the Road and Bridge Engineer/Administrator. This
effort to secure his job by changing his attitude toward the new
Administration resulted in a heated exchange later in the week between
Mr. King and myself," Weinacht read.
Following the reading, King asked to speak to the court.
"As I have complained to you about articles I've written in the
Enterprise, there are certain specific untruths in Mr. Weinacht's
report," he said.
"First of all I did not say to either you or Mr. Weinacht that you
should bring a lawsuit against Mrs. McCracken. I told you (Galindo) that
you had every right to be personally angry about Mrs. McCracken's
actions (regarding his alleged public intoxication), and that you could
even bring an action for slander, if you personally desired. But I said,
also, that you should absolutely draw a line between your personal
business and the business of County Judge," he said.
"Second, I did not tell you that Mac McKinnon had rewritten my article
about the County Court at Law. I said it had been rewritten in a manner
I didn't like. And I didn't say that it had been rewritten so that I
couldn't recognize it. I said it had had lines and paragraphs inserted
in certain places, so that it had a slant," he said.
"Finally, as far as the Enterprise having an agenda regarding the Roads
and Bridges appointment, I told you and Mr. Weinacht weeks ago, when we
talked about this that there were certain questions that any objective
reporter and any objective newspaper would ask you about this hiring
process. I said that what you should do was get your answers ready," he
"I said this pointedly in front of you and Mr. Weinacht and it's
impossible for me to imagine how it could have been understood in any
other way. To say that I began to develop this line of questions or
because I was afraid of losing my job is completely untrue," he said.
"Finally, to bring Mrs. McCracken or Mac McKinnon into the Roads and
Bridges story is a diversion. McKinnon was out of town last week and
didn't know anything about the story until he got back. Whatever Mrs.
McCracken's problems, she had absolutely nothing to do with writing the
Roads and Bridges Story. I developed it and I wrote it," he said.
Commissioners Court was excused for a lunch break and will resume at 2
Colorado City and boxer Dereck Garcia took home the Junior Olympic
individual and team trophies, while the Lubbock Warriors and their
fighter, Joshua Melendrez, received the same honors in the Open
Division, where winners Saturday will advance to the state tournament
next month in Fort Worth.
Pecos hosted all three rounds of the regional tournament for the first
time, after one round was staged here last year. Prior to that, the
tournament had been staged in Odessa since the 1940s.
"We made some mistakes, being our first tournament, but it ran smooth,"
Martin said of the final night's card, which lasted about 3 1/2 hours.
"We think the Chamber is enthusiastic about putting it on again next
Melendrez, fighting at 139 pounds, had one of two technical knock out
wins Saturday. He sent Jason Lara of the Odessa Fighting Tigers to the
canvas at 1:22 of the second round. Lara was able to get to his feet for
a standing eight count, but then declined to continue the match.
Another Lubbock Warrior fighter, Greg Mooring, won his match against
Manuel Hernandez of Andrews when it was stopped by the referee with 1:43
gone in the second round. The 270 pound Hernandez in the
super-heavyweight division finals, including one low blow that stopped
the action for about two minutes.
Hernandez was able to continue, but lasted only about 15 more seconds
before the fight was stopped by referee Manual Rivera.
Garcia won his trophy by taking first in the tournament's most crowded
division, the 9-10 year old, 60-65 pound bracket. He had beaten Paul
Juarez of the Pecos-Barstow Warbirds on Thursday, then beat his own
teammate, Jeremy Espinoza, in Saturday's finals, after Espinoza had
out-pointed Warbird Robbie Ontiveros on Friday.
Pecos fighters did earn three titles in the Junior Olympic Division
overall. Peter Juarez won the 65-70 pound division for the 9-10 year
olds on Friday, beating Anthony Vasquez of Snyder, while on Saturday,
Jimmy Don Juarez won by decision over Alex Viramones of the Lubbock
Warriors in the 12-13 year old 80-85 pound class and Jesus Marruffo did
the same in the 14-year-old 112 pound division, against Gabriel Salinas
of the Odessa Fighting Tigers.
Colorado City's Jaime Garcia beat Kiki Rivera of the Warbirds in the
80-85 pound class for the 9-10 year olds on Saturday, while the other
Pecos-Barstow fighter in action, Julian Rayos, fought an exhibition bout
against the Tigers' Daniel Sanchez in the 155-160 pound weight class.
"Kiki's fight was close. It could have gone either way," warbirds'
manager Roy Juarez said. Rivera advanced to Saturday's finals with a win
on Friday over Snyder's Eliseo De La O. "Jesus won, but he can do a
little better. I don't know why, but when he fights someone taller that
he is, he doesn't do as well."
Rayos fought the Novice Division exhibition against Sanchez after his
original opponent, Ramon De Los Santos of Hobbs, scratched. "He
(Sanchez) has about two more fights than Julian but I think it was
fair," said Juarez, who added Rayos still needs a couple more bouts
before a possible move into the Open Division.
"We've got to get him in shape, and he's got to learn to start bobbing
and weaving. He wasn't doing it tonight. He said 'I'm trying,' but he
wasn't able to keep it going," Juarez said. "But he said he was going to
go to practice and work on it."
Along with Melendrez and Mooring, other Open Division fighters who
earned state berths Saturday included a pair of North Lubbock boxers,
Jimmy Brown and Jacky Benitez, who won titles in the 119- and 147- pound
Also advancing to Fort Worth on March 14-18 was Fort Stockton's Sergio
Ulloa, as he decision Shavonn Price of Lubbock Warriors, while the fight
that probably featured the most punches of all was the lone female
boxing matchup of the tournament, in which Monica Barraza decisioned
Odessa Tigers teammate Adelinda Ramos. The bout was a rematch of a Jan.7
pairing at the Civic Center, also won by Barraza.
Along with the team and individual awards, area doctors who helped with
the tournament were also with the tournament were also honored, while
Stan Gallup, the executive director of the national Golden Gloves
organization, was also introduced to the crowd on Saturday.
"He was impressed with what he saw," Martin said. "He said we had put on
a better-running tournament than some of the other places he's been that
have run them for years."
"He said he plans to come back down from Albuquerque next year," Martin
added. "That's quite a feather in our cap, because all those years when
the tournament was in Odessa none of the (Golden Gloves) officers were
ever there, and in the first year we put it on the executive director
Corporal punishment (using a paddle) was reinstated at both Zavala and
Crockett Middle schools. The paddle will be used following the
guidelines of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD's Board policy and in keeping
with the laws of the State of Texas.
Corporal punishment will be an option only for Class C violations of the
Student Handbook which include the following: confrontation (hallway
disturbance, profanity, etc.), insubordination (unacceptable language or
refusal to cooperate), forgery of notes, skipping and possession of
"The high school currently has corporal punishment also," said board
member Jaroy Moore.
Contracts extended by the board were for the district's principals,
assistant principal, business manager, personnel director/athletic
director, career and technology education director,
guidance/testing/counseling/at-risk director, special education,
bilingual, maintenance, food services director and tax collector. The
extensions were announced after a closed session at last night's meeting.
The board also agreed to create a new position, that of head bookkeeper
in the business office.
In other action, a proclamation designating Guidance and Counseling Week
was approved. "I know it's almost the end of the week, but it's been a
good week,," said Board President Linda Gholson.
A discussion on roof repairs on the Toyah Courthouse which is owned by
the school led members to opt to sell the building.
"We have three options," said Superintendent Mario Sotelo. "At the time
this came up we were also discussing roof repairs at Pecos Elementary
and felt we couldn't do both at that time," he said.
"Since then we have changed insurances and this one doesn't cover the
Toyah building," said Sotelo. "Our three options would be to repair it,
sell it or break the contract."
The building had been previously sold to Toyah for a $1, but the Texas
Commissioner of Education's office denied the sale because it stated the
property had to be sold for the amount it is appraised at.
"We should send out for bids and sell it to the highest bidder," said
Moore. "Maybe some people out in Toyah would be interested enough that
they would come up with some money to purchase it."
"We should just put it for bid, instead of having it torn down, I would
hate to see it torn down," added board member Hugh Box.
The board decided the courthouse will be put up for bids and sold to the
A progress report on the Alternative Education Program, which began this
past week was heard. "It looks nice, there's still some things that need
to be worked on," said Gholson.
"The first estimate we had on how much it would cost was between $22,000
and $25,000," said Sotelo. "But total renovations came to $7,327 and
salaries, $7,576 which came to a total of $14,903 as opposed to the
$22,000 I had told you, so it cost us less than what we had anticipated
which is really good."
A committee composed of Sotelo, board member Alberto Alvarez, Jr. and
School TLC supervisor Lucila Valenzuela met last month and discussed
ways of creating a cost effective, workable program.
The program was set up at the Carver Center, since classroom space was
available, along with equipment, hardware and software.
David Reyes was hired on a part-time basis to head the new program.
Elias Payan, who was teaching at the county's Juvenile Detention Center,
also is being utilized, and Parental Involvement Aide Delia Alvarez was
moved from high school to the Carver Center.
Board members also approved an engineering agreement for renovation of
heating/air conditioning system for Crockett Eighth Grade Middle School.
CRC Engineering was selected to make the required renovations. "We will
approve the engineer, not the project today and next time money amounts
and different options and ways to fix it will be discussed," said
Charles R. Clark will be the engineer assigned to the project. CRC has
worked on a number of projects in the region, including the Reeves
County Jail Cafeteria here in Pecos.
The first reading of the TASB Policy Update 48 was heard.
"We can't make any decisions on that, but I think everyone may want to
look at it to see if there's something we may want to modify," said
Gholson. "We will need to have a second reading on that."
A resolution to participate in West Texas Food Services Cooperative was
approved. "We've been in that before, and we don't have to go out for
bids," said board member Jaroy Moore.
Board member Billie Sadler volunteered to serve an unexpired term on
Community Justice Council for the 143rd Judicial District.
A letter from District Judge Bob Parks to P-B-T ISD School Board
requesting that the board ask all members if they were interested in
serving on the council and filling the unexpired term.
Camilla Blum of the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD Board of Trustees had
filled that position on the council, but she is now employed as Director
of the Community Supervision and Corrections Department for the 143rd
Judicial District and asked that another person from the Pecos board be
elected to serve on the council to finish out her term.
Next month's board meeting was set for March 9 at the Zavala Middle
"Some of the students at the school will be having a presentation for
us," said Gholson.
In other personnel matters the board accepted the resignation of Felix
Chavez, trainer at Pecos High School, effective Feb. 24, and the
retirement of Maxine Best, Librarian at Pecos High School, effective May
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Copyright 1996 Pecos Enterprise
324 S. Cedar, Box 2057, Pecos TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321