Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, October 29, 1998
Castillo, Summitt vie in lone contested race
By ROSIE FLORES
This year's general election will feature one ballot
referendum of interest to all voters in Reeves County and
another that will affect all residents in Pecos. But only
voters in Precinct 2 will have a local contested race to
decide when they cast their ballots on Tuesday.
The two ballot referendums include the 4A Sales Tax plan
which would take one-quarter cent of the Town of Pecos
City's current 1 1/2 cent sales tax for use in economic
The other issue is to decide the future of Reeves County's
eight-year-old unit system. A "no" vote would eliminate the
current system and return the one used before 1990, when
each of the four commissioners would run their own road
The lone contested race is for commissioner, where
Democratic nominee David Castillo is being challenged by
write-in candidate Marlow Summitt. Both are seeking to
replace two-term Precinct 2 commissioner Dr. W.J. Bang, who
did not run for re-election.
Castillo was unopposed in the March primary election.
Summitt filed his petition to run during the summer.
"I didn't sign up to run in March because I thought Dr. Bang
was going to run again," said Summitt, who said he found out
after the Jan. 2 filing deadline that Dr. Bang was not going
to seek a third term.
"It was something I had thought about doing for some time,
though," said Summitt, who felt voters deserved to have a
choice and that he feels confident he can do a good job.
"I knew when I signed up as a write-in it would be a tougher
route," said Summitt, who formally owned Hill's Thritfway
and now works at Valley Motor Co.
Both candidates are in agreement on the two ballot issues on
the road system and the 4A sales tax.
Summitt is all for the 4A Sales Tax plan and states that,
"We need it, it's something vital for the future of Reeves
Castillo said he is for the tax proposal as well, and added
that one of his strong suits will be in administration and
economic development as well as marketing of Reeves County.
"As a businessman actively involved in manufacturing on a
regional scale of West Texas and, soon to come, southeast
New Mexico, I have a real world insight and experience in
the industrial climate outside of Reeves County and the
specific needs of manufacturers," said Castillo, who runs La
Nortena Tortilla Factory in Pecos.
"Since we will have to look outside of Reeves County for new
industry it will help if one of our county officials has a
practical sense and a shared experience with other
industries looking to relocate," he said.
"My ideas for the industrialization of Reeves County are not
just theory or verbatim. As with the expansion of our own
manufacturing facility in Pecos, my methods and ideas are
tested in real applications and at cost and risk to our
company personally," said Castillo. "Thus the ideas that I
will bring to the Reeves County Commissioner's Court have
survived the gauntlet of the private sector of business."
On the unit road system decision, Summitt said, "I'm all
for the current road system, I think we should leave it as
"I urge voters to vote for both," he said.
Castillo said he's supported the "For" option on the ballot
-- which would retain the current Optional Road System for
Reeves County -- from the time it became an issue for the
"The obvious reasons for my stand is the potential for the
high initial cost of implementation and the added cost to
maintenance to change to the old precinct system," said
Changing the current road system was not an issue when he
announced his intention to run for Reeves County
Commissioner back in December of 1997, and he said changing
it back, "would be a waste of what I have to offer as a
businessman if I am confined to a road crew, which already
has a very capable and qualified administrator, instead of
aggressively seeking new industry to Reeves County as I set
out to do when I signed on as a candidate for Commissioner
Summitt doesn't plan to push for any major changes if
elected, but does hope to hold the line on spending and do
more for the economy in Reeves County to put people to work.
Trying to produce ways to create jobs should be top priority
for this county, according to Summitt.
"I think I have what it takes to be a good commissioner," he
Summitt feels that if elected he has the time to do the job
Castillo said another area of immediate concern him is what
to do with the loss of jobs from the Freeport McMoRan
sulphur mine, which is scheduled to close sometime next year.
"As I see it we have about two years before the impact of
the loss of revenue from that payroll will actually be
realized," said Castillo. "We as a county should step in and
take an active role of helping guide this displaced
workforce into high demand jobs and seek out the industry to
come take advantage of this newly skilled workforce whose
training was paid for by federal or state government and
supplemented by private industry."
Castillo added that one of the main facilities the county
has is its underutilized county library. "The library can be
the initial facility to bring this displaced workforce and
join them with the information needed via the internet or
whatever means our county library may have," he said. "It is
important to show an investment in our workforce for it is
the single largest and most precious resource we have in
"Companies looking to relocate will not just look at
incentives and abatements, but will turn a keen eye to the
available workforce and its ability to congeal with a
particular industry and our willingness as a county to
facilitate that process," said Castillo. "We must remember
that the neighbor who lost his job at the sulphur mine is a
homeowner and thus a taxpayer, he may also have children
which in turn help our schools and is also involved in civic
organizations or clubs and is a part of a resource we
desperately need to preserve for future generations," he
Early voting ends Friday for election
Individuals who would like to cast their vote early for the
Nov. 3 elections have one more day to do so.
Early voting concludes at 5 p.m. Friday in the lobby of the
Reeves County Courthouse, while all 12 boxes in the county
will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., on election day,
Tuesday, Nov. 3.
"If anyone didn't get a chance to vote early, we encourage
them to vote on Tuesday," said county clerk Dianne Florez.
"It's very important that they vote," she said.
Pecos voters will decide local referendums on the 4A Sales
Tax, Precinct 2 voters have the lone contested race, between
David Castillo and Marlow Summitt for county commissioner,
and all county voters will decide on whether or not to keep
Reeves County's eight-year-old unit system.
Top California ed post sought by ex-Pecosite
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Gloria Matta Tuchman hasn't forgotten her childhood years in
Pecos, when she was "immersed" in the English language at
school but was not allowed to immerse herself in local
"I don't look at people in terms of color, creed or sexual
orientation," she told the Valley Press of Palmdale, Calif. "In Pecos, Texas, I wasn't allowed to go to certain theaters, restaurants or swimming pools because I was Mexican-American."
Those memories have contributed to Tuchman's desire to rid
California schools of bilingual education - a feat she
accomplished in June with passage of the English for the
Children initiative passed by that state's voters.
The law states that all children in California public
schools shall be taught English as rapidly and effectively
as possible by using total immersion to bring non- or
limited-English-speaking students up to speed.
"It's possible to teach history in English through the use
of visuals," Tuchman said. "It's nothing more than good
teaching strategies for everybody."
Now Tuchman is running hard for the office of state school
superintendent as a Republican conservative on an
Tuchman would like to see schools be accountable for student
performance, and supports statewide student testing. She
also supports vouchers to give tax breaks to parents who
want to send their children to another public or private
school because of low performance.
"I feel parents need an option, parental choice, especially
for low performing schools," Tuchman said. "Parents deserve
Tuchman is a cousin to Louis Matta, who serves on the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board of trustees. He well remembers
the day when Gloria and her younger brother, David, were
ejected from the Boulder Courts swimming pool.
"Gloria is blonde with light skin," Matta said. "She could
pretty well get in (a swimming pool or theater) until we
arrived. As kids, to us it was a challenge, I guess. We
would try to crash some gates."
Gloria and David were already in the Boulder Courts pool
when Louis and his brothers arrived, then "all hell broke
loose," he said. "They threw us out."
The same thing happened at the Grand Theatre, which was
located in the 200 block of Oak Street, Matta said.
"She and I and my older brother were thrown out because we
wanted to go into the bottom part. Mexicans and blacks could
only go into the balcony. Every time we get together, she
brings up the whole stuff all over again. She's become quite
Gloria's father, Manuel, is brother to Ben Matta, longtime
operator of Ben's Spanish Inn.
"Dad taught him to cook, then he moved to Mesa, Ariz. and
started up a bunch of restaurants," Matta said. "Gloria
moved to California."
"We had a family reunion in Arizona this summer, and Gloria
still has a lot of bitterness in her voice about the time
she spent here in Pecos," Matta said.
Tuchman has been a public school teacher for 33 years, now
teaching first grade in Orange County. Getting public
schools to focus on the basics is an important goal for her.
She would like to see the focus on phonics-based reading and
traditional math without the use of calculators.
She would like to see more American history taught, as well.
"We get so wrapped up in multi-culturalism. We don't even
know our American history," she said.
Instead of pointing out cultural diversity and differences,
Tuchman believes that children should be taught that they're
Like her cousin, Tuchman has served on the school district
board and has also been chosen to serve on three national
education committees, including reform of bilingual
A $500,000 donation from David Woodley Packard, heir to one
of the world's greatest computer fortunes, has given Tuchman
a chance at winning the statewide office she seeks against
an incumbent who has twice as much campaign money.
"It's amazing," Tuchman said of the largest donation to any
candidate in any race. "I'm finally going to get my face and
voice out there."
Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 in reward for
information leading to the arrest and grand jury Indictment
of person(s) responsible for the incident described below.
On September 1, Pecos Police officers investigated a
burglary of the Santa Rosa Food Bank, located at 621 E.
Fifth St. Upon arrival officers met with the complainant who
advised that sometime during the late night hours on August
31, person(s) gained entry to the food bank by prying open a
window located on the west side of the building.
Once inside person(s) took 15 boxes of Nabisco granola bars,
2 cases of mixed soft drinks, and 1 large clear plastic case
full of assorted candy.
Anyone with information on this crime or any other crime
call "Crime Stoppers" at 445-9898 and you will remain
High Wednesday 84. Low last night 54. Tonight, mostly
cloudy. A slight chance of showers. Low 60 65. southeast
wind 5-15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent. Friday, mostly
cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms.
High in the mid 70s. Southeast wind 10-20 mph. \
Mac McKinnon, 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 1998 by Pecos Enterprise