September 1, 1995
School board votes to retain tax rate
By MARI MALDONADO
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD school board members voted to maintain the district's tax rate at the same level for the fourth straight year, during a special meeting Thursday night in the district's board room.
The five trustees present unanimously voted to approve an ordinance levying the tax rate the same as "what is has been for several years," said Board President Linda Gholson, while also approving the district's $18.8 million budget.
The school tax rate will remain at $1.40 per $100 valuation. It included $1.325 for the purpose of maintenance and operation and $.075 for the payment of principal and interest on a debt for this district, which involves the building of the new Pecos High School gym and swimming pool. The building was opened in 1983 and will be paid out the first month of the next fiscal year.
Also on Thursday, board members voted to accept 1994-95 budget amendments as presented by Business Manager Cookie Canon. This motion involved the movement of bilingual funds to use the 1993-94 carryover of $64,394.
The board also voted unanimously to approve the 1994-95 amended budget as presented by Canon, who noted that moves done to the previous budget was for audit purposes.
"This year we just refined on how we did budget amendments from the campuses," she said, "it's been working really well. If the money was not needed, it was not spent just to get rid of it."
The board adopted a budget of $18,204,573 in revenues and expenditures of $18,844,727.
In the operating fund, revenues were calculated at $14,510,480 with expenditures of $14,922,372 and the use of excess capital at $529,391. Canon said, "$355,000 of that is for salaries and incentives leaving, the total in excess of' $174,000, which is comparable to what went on the budget last year."
These figures included the Weighted Average Daily Attendance sold to Iraan, but not the pending WADA to be sold to Fort Stockton staid Canon.
The 1994-95 carryover will be $986,668 and will not be designated until next summer.
"The budget that we're asked to approve tonight," said Board President Linda Gholson, "is the budget that we worked on without any changes."
Austin Elementary Principal Beau lack Hendrick addressed the board and said that all the district principals appreciate the board's support of their proposed budgets during their deliberation.
In other business, board members opted to go with a bid from Texas Association of School Board's Aetna/National Union property and casualty, general liability insurance.
The TASB proposal offers a lower deductible and includes insurance for abuse and molestation and legal representation for athletic participants.
"This is something to really consider," said Superintendent Mario Sotelo of the abuse and molestation coverage. He noted that other school districts in the region have had to face matters of this regard involving abuse allegations against school personnel.
"Some of our neighbors have actually settled out of court, knowing full well that they were innocent," he said.
The policy premium of the policy will be $58,821 with a $5,000 deductible.
Sotelo' noted that he had rhet with Juvenile Probation Officer and board member Alberto Alvarez, Chief of Police Troy Moore and the current Juvenile Peace Office Juan Vasquez and discussed some possible measures for-improvement of the school distact's juvenile peace program.
"It was a positive meeting and we got some good results," said Alvarez.
"I think we came to a good understanding of what we wanted done," said Sotelo, who noted they addressed some issues that needed attention, such as, a clarification of the duties and a rewrite of the job description.
Board members also met behind closed doors for an executive session to discuss personnel and hear complaints against personnel. No action was taken following the session.
Blood evidence ruled admissable in Ortiz trial
By MARI MALDONADO
Evidence involving results from blood samples taken from murder suspect Henry Lopez Ortiz, 42, has been ruled admissible by a Midland County District Court judge.
Ortiz, formerly of Pecos, is currently awaiting trial for the murder of 10-year-old Julie Ann Powell of Midland.
Ortiz's defense team filed a pretrial motion to disallow the blood sample results after Ortiz claimed that the blood samples were taken without his consent, said First Assistant District Attomey Ralph Petty.
Petty said that the blood samples were drawn on February 10, the day that Powell's body was found in a spare bedroom of Ortiz's apartment. Ortiz and Powell both were residents of the Quentin's Walk Apartment complex, where she lived upstairs from Ortiz with her mother.
Investigators found evidence that Powell had been sexually assaulted and strangled. The court ruled to admit the evidence, said Petty, "in connection with the evidence of a written document signed by the defendant (Ortiz)," giving his consent for the blood test.
The results will be used in comparison with fluids taken from the victim Petty said.
A Midland grand jury indicted Ortiz in April for kidnapping, murder and sexual assault. He has been held in Midland County jail since his Feb. arrest.
Ortiz' trial is scheduled for sometime in October in' Amarillo.
Ortiz was tried in the 143rd District Court in Pecos on July 22, 1991 for the alleged sexual assault of an 18-year-old female, in which the jury found him not guilty.
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