Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, November 4, 1998
4A sales tax passes easily
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
It was a big evening for the citizens of Reeves County and
they should be congratulated on making the right decision,
said Gari Ward of the landslide victory Tuesday for the 4A
sales tax initiative.
"This is great, the participation was fabulous," said Ward,
of the 78-percent vote in favor of the plan that will divert
one-fourth cent of the city sales tax to economic
Ward is executive director for the Reeves County Economic
"It was a big day for the community, it was a phenomenal
unified effort for the passage," said Ward. "The people in
the community need to be congratulated on making this
According to Ward, this effort was a total commitment from
the community, and the economic development group plans to
regroup and focus on the goals they have already set up for
"We need to sit down and discuss these goals at length and
then act on them," said Ward. "We'll be strategizing for the
next two to three weeks, but now we have to start running,"
Voters cast 1,459 ballots in favor of the initiative, with
404 against and 922 not voting either way. Two over-votes
brought the total number of ballots cast to 2,787.
Pecos Mayor Dot Stafford said she is also pleased the voters
approved the change.
"I am delighted that it passed, because I think it is
something we do need to look at," Stafford said. "Evidently,
from looking at the other cities in this area that had it
passed and have put it in place seem to be doing fairly
well. Hopefully that will be our situation."
Stafford repeated her previous warning that the $127,000 in
sales tax that will be taken from the city's budget could
require an increase in property taxes.
Councilman Johnny Terrazas said he believes the council can
cut expenses enough to make up the deficit.
"I am committed that we are going to do everything we can
not to raise taxes, as we stated before the election,"
"We will continue to look at that now that the proposition
has passed. We will continue services as they are, if not
improve them. The last thing we will do is to raise taxes,"
"I would like to thank everyone that came out and voted;
especially those that supported the 4A sales tax. That's
sending a signal that people are ready for change and ready
Councilman Randy Graham said he is glad the measure passed,
and it is a step in the right direction, "but I don't think
it's going to be enough.
"By the time you pay all the overhead, it won't leave very
much to accumulate. The big advantage would be to offer cash
incentives to businesses to lure them here."
The change takes effect immediately, and the council will
appoint a five-member board to oversee the corporation,
Stafford said. "The old board ceases."
Marilyn Oden said she is glad the tax will be diverted from
the city, rather than being added to the amount of sales tax
already being collected, which amounts to the maximum 2
percent in Reeves County.
"I guess we do need the revenue. Sure, we want lots of good
things for Pecos, and hopefully we will get in businesses
who offer salaries of $50,000 a year, and not minimum-wage
jobs," Oden said.
"Congratulations Pecos; you did the right thing," said Dick
Alligood, who led the effort to organize an economic
development corporation. "Now let's go ahead and move
Pauline Moore, another economic development booster, said
she is excited about the new tax.
"A lot of hard work and effort was put into this. It is a
step in the right direction in making Pecos prosperous," she
Unit road system stays same
By ROSIE FLORES
Reeves County voters showed their support for retaining the
Unit Road System on Tuesday, approving the proposition
against scrapping the eight-year-old system by a 3-to-1
Totals for the proposition were 2,004, while 498 voted
against the system which was implemented in 1990. Before the
Unit Road System was adopted each of the four commissioners
would run their own road department. A negative vote would
have returned the county to the former system.
"This is an overwhelming message that the people in Reeves
County want progress and are looking for progress in the
community," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "This
means the people want to stay away from old politics," he
The passing of the proposition for the Unit Road System is a
very positive affirmation of the job Russ Salcido and the
road and bridges department are doing, according to Galindo.
"I'm very pleased with the result, the people made a wise
decision," said W.J. Bang, outgoing Precinct 2 commissioner
who was one of the major supporters of the proposition.
"I have no doubt that this system will help the county's
future," said Bang. "And as time passes, people will realize
more that they made the right decision."
Bang said he wanted to thank both the supporters for the
proposition and those against. "I also wanted to the
opponents because this gave us the opportunity to reaffirm
the decision," said Bang. "There was such a big margin on
this issue and this just sends out the message more clearly
that the system is working."
Frank Perea, a leader in the community who has served in
various capacities and is currently chairman of the Pecos
Housing Authority board, said he is very happy that both
propositions passed. The other proposition supported by
Perea was the 4A Sales Tax plan for the Town of Pecos City.
"I'm hoping that the economic development committee will now
do what they said they were going to do, attract industry to
Pecos to create more jobs," said Perea.
"I'm glad that the Unit Road System will remain the same,"
said Perea. "The concept of a road administrator was to
centralize the maintenance of the roads and we seem to have
accomplished this," he said.
To go back to the old system would mean to go back to the
old system of politics, according to Perea. "...The voters
and taxpayers of Reeves County will no longer tolerate the
politics of the past," he said.
"I'm very happy that David Castillo was elected to serve as
Commissioner Precinct 2, I think he will bring a balance to
the court that is needed," Perea added. Castillo will
replace Dr. Bang, who is retiring as Precinct 2 commissioner
after eight years in office.
Castillo takes county's lone contested race
By ROSIE FLORES
Deomcratic nominee David Castillo won Tuesday's lone
contested race within Reeves County, collecing 505 votes to
222 for write-in candidate Marlow Summitt, in the race for
the Precinct 2 commissioner's post.
Castillo was the only candidate who ran to replace outgoing
commissioner Dr. W.J. Bang in March's Democratic Party
primary election. Summitt joined the race this past July as
a write-in, saying he had not tossed his name in the ring in
the early elections because he thought Dr. Bang was going to
file for re-election.
"To all who voted in Reeves County I would like to express
my most heartfelt thanks," said David Castillo.
Castillo thanked Clark Lindley for his objective words of
wisdom and Dr. Bang for his confidence in him. "I would like
to extend my gratitude to Marlow Summitt for the positive
way he handled his campaign and to all his supporters who
have likewise shown their integrity in their positive
support," said Castillo.
"I hope that any problems the voters might have had were
resolved," said Castillo.
Despite the uphill road a write-in candidate faces, Summitt
feels it was a good, strong race.
"I'm glad I did this, despite the fact that I knew that
running as a write-in would be really hard," said Summitt.
Summitt said that if he had been on the ballot in the March
primary, the results might have been different. "But who
knows, they might not have," he said.
"I knew from the beginning that it would be a difficult
road, but I decided to go for it and I'm glad I did," said
"I'm not planning to run for anything else at this time," he
Castillo, who runs La Nortena Tortilla Factory in Pecos,
said he will bring to the commissioners court his experience
as a businessman in the community. "The court has been doing
a great job with internal affairs and now what we have to do
is look outward at the economy and try to improve it."
"I'm already out there as a businessman anyway, so I hope I
can help other businesses in Pecos grow and prosper and go
after other markets outside this community," Castillo said.
Castillo stated that his door will always be open to
suggestions and comments and welcomes all. "I want to
communicate with everyone and share ideas," he said.
Bonilla's win bucks local Democratic trend
By JON FULBRIGHT
Republican congressman Henry Bonilla was able to buck the
longstanding Democratic trend in Reeves County and win a
majority of votes cast in Tuesday's general election. But
county voters went in the opposite direction on the
statewide ballot races, where Democrats won locally but were
swept by Republicans in the overall state totals.
Bonilla, who won Reeves County only once in his previous
three races for the 23rd Congressional District seat,
collected 1,291 votes to 1,159 for challenger Charlie Urbina
Jones. District-wide, Bonilla won a fourth term in
Washington by a far wider margin, collecting 73,273 votes
(64 percent) to 40,308 (35 percent) for Jones, who also lost
to Bonilla in 1996.
Gov. George W. Bush out-polled Democrat Gary Mauro by 67 to
31 percent across Texas, but in Reeves County, Mauro
collected 49 percent of the votes cast, defeating Bush by 77
votes, 1,365 to 1,288.
John Sharp was edged by Rick Perry in the race for
lieutenant governor, but in Reeves County voters went for
Sharp by over a 2-to-1 margin, giving the Democrat 1,736
votes to 759 for his Republican opponent.
Former Attorney General Jim Mattox, who drew the ire of
farmers along the Pecos River back in 1989 for his $14
million settlement of the Pecos River compact dispute, had a
friendly reception locally on Tuesday. Mattox won by an even
wider margin of victory in Reeves County than Sharp did in
his bid to regain his former job, garnering 1,832 votes to
just 711 for Republican John Cornyn. Despite that, Cornyn
who won the statewide race by a 55-45 percent margin over
Other winners in Reeves County but losers statewide were
Democrat Paul Hobby, who collected 1,794 votes to 712 for
Carol Keeton Rylander in the race for Sharp's vacated State
Comptroller's job; Richard Raymond, who got 1,497 votes to
831 for David Dewhurst in his losing race for Mauro's Land
Commissioner's post; L.P. (Pete) Patterson got 1,623 votes
to 817 for Susan Combs but lost the race for Perry's
Agriculture Commissioner's post; and Joe B. Henderson, who
collected 1,523 votes to 954 for Tony Garza, but lost to the
Republican in the race for Texas Railroad Commissioner.
Republican State Rep. Gary Walker got 1,271 votes in his
unopposed race for District 80 State Representative;
Democrat Frank Madla got 2,022 votes running unopposed for
his District 19 State Senate seat; and Republican Robert
Duncan, who was unopposed in the District 28 Senate race,
got all three votes cast from Box 9 (Orla), the only box
within Reeves County that is part of the Lubbock resident's
Voters in Barstow were in line with those in Pecos in going
mostly Democratic, though they had a few different races on
their Ward County Box 1W ballot.
They gave Ward County Judge Sam Massey another four-year
term in office, by an 87-17 margin over his Republican
challenger Candido Gutierrez. Massey also won easily in the
rest of the county, with 2,114 votes to Gutierrez' 796.
In the 23rd District race Bonilla won by a 2,032 to 748
margin in Ward County, and took the Barstow box by 55-44
over Jones. Bush defeated Mauro in Ward County, 2,009 vote
to 851, but lost Barstow 53 votes to 48, while.
However, in the other main statewide races, Barstow voters
went were joined by the rest the county in voting Democratic.
Sharp had a nearly 2-to-1 margin over Perry among Barstow
voters, getting 71 votes to Perry's 24, and also won the
county as a whole, 1,529 votes to 1,176. Mattox also was a
big winner in Barstow, getting 74 votes to 24 for Cornyn,
and in Ward County as a whole, Mattox won 1,653 to 1,056.
In Reeves County's uncontested races, all candidates ran on
the Democratic ballot. Jimmy Galindo got 1,935 votes for
county judge; Lee Green received 2,133 votes for county
court-at-law judge; Juana Jaquez got 2,056 votes for
district clerk; Dianne O. Florez got 2,152 votes for county
clerk; Linda Clark received 2,268 votes for county
treasurer; and Frank Spencer got 2,005 votes in the race for
In the uncontested precinct races, Gilberto M. (Hivi) Rayos
received 479 votes for Precinct 4 commissioner; Amonario P.
Ramon got 553 votes for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1;
J.T. Marsh got 596 votes for Justice of the Peace, Precinct
2; Rosendo L. Carrasco received 507 votes for Justice of the
Peace, Precinct 2; and Lamberto T. Herrera got 473 votes for
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4.
Drug ring's boss given 20 year term
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Raul Gardea-Luna may have bought some mercy from the federal
government by giving details of his drug-smuggling
operation, but he still faces a 20-year prison sentence.
Senior Judge Lucius Bunton sentenced Gardea Monday after
clearing the courtroom to hear arguments from his attorney,
Justin Low, about a pre-sentence report prepared by the
Gardea had pleaded guilty to continuing a criminal
enterprise and laundering money. Numerous other counts of
the lengthy indictment were dismissed in accordance with the
Several family members and others involved in the Gardea
organization were sentenced as well.
Johnny Tony Calderon, who Judge Bunton described as a
"scoundrel," was sentenced to 20 years in prison for
possession with intent to distribute marijuana and aiding
and abetting others.
One of the women Calderon lured into the organization to
haul marijuana was Stephanie Ann Cordova, 22, of Odessa.
Judge Bunton granted the motion of prosecutor Jim
Blankinship to depart downward from the sentencing
guidelines, which called for a minimum 51-month sentence.
Judge Bunton denied Cordova's motion for a lesser sentenced
based on "acceptance of responsibility."
"I don't really think you have accepted responsibility, but
I think it may be because of your involvement with Calderon,
who, if there ever was a scoundrel, is a scoundrel. This has
precluded you from deciding you are going to live at the
foot of the cross," Bunton said.
Cordova said that she accepted responsibility for what she
did, but that she did not haul two of the loads others said
"She comes from a fine family and was raised in a Christian
home with good values," said Merry Worley, who represented
Cordova, a geriatric nurse.
"She has become enamored with someone her parents would
never have chosen for her," Worley said. "She comes from a
small town and had very few boyfriends."
Cordova abided by Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt's admonition
that she not initiate contact with Calderon after her
arrest, but Calderon found a way to use the telephone in the
Winkler County Jail, charging thousands of dollars worth of
calls to citizens of Ector and Andrews County, Worley said.
"She still has a great deal of loyalty to him," Worley said.
"She needs to be where she can get counseling to learn what
her responsibilities are to herself and not to anyone else."
Judge Bunton recommended Cordova be imprisoned where she can
participate in the Bureau of Prisons' boot camp program.
Others in the organization sentenced Monday were:
* Homero Alvarado-Luna, possession with intent to distribute
marijuana and aiding and abetting others; 60 months in
prison and a $3,000 fine;
* Juan Manuel Bugarin, possession with intent to distribute
marijuana, 60 months;
* Norma Ocon-Gardea, possession with intent to distribute
marijuana and aid and abet; 42 months;
* Floyd Lynn Pate, possession with intent to distribute
marijuana and aid and abet; 36 months;
* Raul Roberto Carbajal-Galindo, using a communication
facility to facilitate drug trafficking, aid and abet; 24
months consecutive with a March 23 conviction;
* Josie Ann Gardea, using a communication facility to
facilitate drug trafficking, aid and abet; 48 months;
* Jose Gardea-Carrasco, possession with intent to distribute
marijuana, aid and abet; 48 months, consecutive with a
Midland conviction in 1997;
* Delma Leyva-Contreras, tampering with a witness, victim or
informant; aid and abet; 16 months;
* Blas Lopez-Jurado, possession with intent to distribute
marijuana; aid and abet; 60 months.
Sentencings not related to the Gardea case were:
* Celestino Ortiz-Barrera, false representation of
citizenship; 6 months and $1,000 fine;
* Jose Arenivas Medrano, import and possess with intent to
distribute marijuana, 12 months each count, consecutive;
* David Gamboa-Salazar, possession with intent to distribute
marijuana, 30 months;
* Aaron Briswalter, import diazepam, three years probation
and $500 fine.
* Victor Manuel Ochoa, possession with intent to distribute
marijuana, 18 months, $2,000 fine.
High Tuesday 71. Low last night 49. Tonight, light drizzle
and fog. A 40 percent chance of light rain. low in the lower
to mid 40s. East wind 5 10 mph. Thursday, cloudy with
morning fog and drizzle. A 20 percent chance of light rain.
High in the mid to upper 50s. East to southeast wind 5-15
Ned Cantwell, 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