Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Commissioners boost JP funds, eye phone pact
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Oct. 26, 1999 -- Reeves County Commissioners approved a request
from Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, J.T. Marsh, for an increase in his
budget, discussed problems with a phone contract awarded earlier this year
and accepted reports from various departments and other monthly items during
the regular meeting of the commissioners court.
The commissioners meeting ran through the early evening hours, and was
scheduled to continue today, with discussion on the county-run cemetery
and the proposed Envirocare low-level radioactive waste dump in northwestern
Marsh had requested that $600 more be put into his budget for the remainder
of the year. "We're running short on supplies and still have one more seminar
to go to," said Marsh.
He told the court that the seminar is a 20-hour school, mandatory for
"If there's any left, we can put the money into another line item,"
Precinct 2 Commissioner David Castillo told the court to take the funds
out of his travel budget and put it into the JP's.
Under reports from various departments, Richard Slack, with Teletron
Communications, spoke to the group about concerns and questions regarding
the phone system at the Reeves County Detention Center and Reeves County
Sheriff's Office, which is used by the inmates.
Teletron is the current phone service provider for the inmates at both
facilities. It was awarded the contract over the protests of two other
companies, Evercom and Allcomm Long Distance, on March 14, 1999, because
the contract was not advertised for bids. Commissioners said the contract
procedure was legal when they announced the agreement with Teletron.
"In any change there's bound to be some bumps and lumps and we're still
trying to figure them out, and get it right," said Slack.
Slack told the court that his son is currently involved in the business
and is helping out tremendously. "A principal problem out there is that
we're not using the card system which was used before," said Slack.
"Right now, when we gave the county their first check, they were startled
at how small it was," he said, but added the problems are being worked
out, and that will bring in more revenue to the county.
"Inmates just give them the cash now, they don't use the card, that's
why the check was so small," he said.
The Reeves County Sheriff's Department liked the idea of keeping the
funds and subtracting them themselves, according to Slack.
"There's about $12,000 there that's not accounted for in the check that
we sent," said Slack. "The next check will be much larger."
Slack told the group that problems would be addressed as they crop up.
"So, you're trying as hard as you can to straighten all this out?" asked
Precinct 3 Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin, who was filling in for
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. Galindo was absent for the morning
portion of the meeting.
"We now have those small bugs corrected and have a few others we are
working on," Slack said.
"The refunds may cause a problem," said County Auditor Lynn Owens, about
the new debit system that is in place. "A lot of times these people are
leaving and they want a refund."
Slack told commissioners that the company would reimburse those inmates
who are leaving. "If it's a small amount, we'll just eat it, but if it's
a large amount we can work something out," he said.
Also under reports from various departments, the mandate report from
the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force showed some improvement. "The mandate is
going up," said Tarin.
"We won't have funds for this year, but hopefully we will see them next
year," said Owens.
The oath and deputation for Jaime Rodriguez, who has joined the task
force was approved during the morning session.
Other personnel and salary changes included, at RCDC Adam P. Rodriguez,
was promoted to mailroom officer at $23,000 a year; Sue Evans, was approved
as the new secretary for the Texas Agriculture Extension Service at $14,569
a year; and at the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center, Richard Molina
was approved at juvenile probation officer at $15,500 and Anthony Rene
Aguilar, was approved as a part-time, on call employee at $6 per hour.
Commissioners met that afternoon behind closed doors to discuss the
City of Pecos Water Rate Analysis.
September jobless rates unchanged
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Oct. 26, 1999 -- Unemployment rates for the city of Pecos and
Reeves County in September were virtually unchanged from August's figures,
though the number of workers did decline with the end of the 1999 cantaloupe
According to figures released by the Texas Workforce Commission, the
city had 707 workers without jobs last month, out of a labor force of 5,520
people, for a 12.8 percent unemployment rate. That's the same number as
in August, when the local labor force had 5,791 workers, with 739 without
Reeves County's rate dropped from 11.3 to 11.2 percent last month, with
790 out of 7,028 people unemployed. The county's labor force dipped by
almost 350 from August to September, while the number of jobless claims
were down 35 from the previous month.
The TWC said unemployment in the county fell from 11.5 percent in September
of 1998, due to a drop of 550 people in the workforce. Nearly 1,000 people
were without jobs in Reeves County the previous September.
Statewide, the unemployment rate was much lower, but also virtually
unchanged, going from 4.4 percent in September to 4.5 percent last month.
Permian Basin jobless figures also showed little overall change, though
several cities did see larger changes their rates.
Odessa saw a decline in its jobless total from 9.2 to 8.5 percent last
month, Andrews' rate fell from 9.4 to 8.7 percent, while Fort Stockton
went the other way, rising from 8.8 percent in August to 9.4 percent in
September. Presidio County continued to have the area's worst jobless numbers,
with a 30.3 percent unemployment rate and over 1,100 people out of work.
Prop 5 would let state workers hold paid elected posts
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the fifth in a series of stories
on the proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution, which Texas voters
will decide on next week, in the Nov. 2 general election.
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Proposition 5: Allows state employees to receive compensation
for serving as a member of a governing body of a school district, city,
town or other local governmental district.
Background: Dual-office holding is restricted by Section 40, Article
XVI, which prohibits a person from holding "more than one civil office
of emolument." There are a few exceptions, including justice of the peace,
county commissioner and an officer or director of a soil and water conservation
district. The phrase "of emolument" limits the constitutional provision
to persons who receive monetary profit, gain, or advantage from the office.
A 1972 amendment permits a state employee or any person compensated
with state funds to serve on a local governing board without a salary.
The proposed amendment would allow a state employee or other person
paid with state funds to serve as a city councilman, school district trustee
or other local governmental office, and to receive compensation from both
the local entity and the state.
1. A repeal of the salary prohibition would increase the pool of qualified
candidates for local governing board positions. State employees will be
more willing to contribute their time and talents if they are compensated
for both state and local service.
2. The potential for a conflict of interest between a state employee
position and a position on a local governing body, such as a school board
or a city council, is negligible.
1. Taxpayers expect their state employees to make a total commitment
to the state job. Local government positions are often very time-consuming,
2. The proposed constitutional amendment is too limited in scope. It
would allow state employees or other persons compensated with state funds
to serve on governing bodies of local entities, but does not permit those
persons to hold other local offices. The amendment should be broadened
to allow state employees to seek any local office.
Taken from the Texas Legislative Council's publication, "Analyses of
Proposed Constitutional Amendments." Next: Prop. 6, increasing the maximum
size of an urban homestead to 10 acres, prescribing permissible uses of
urban homesteads, and preventing the overburdening of a homestead.
Red Ribbon Week balloon release set
Bessie Haynes Elementary School is participating in different activities
throughout the week in honor of Red Ribbon Week.
On Thursday, balloons will be released at 8:30 a.m., and parents are
welcome to participate.
The balloons will have a note attached to them, written by the students,
and if anyone finds the notes they are asked to contact the school at 447-7244.
Julie Crouch, 72, of Pecos, died Sunday, Oct. 24, 1999, at her residence.
Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27, at Chaparral
Village Memorial Park.
She was born March 24, 1927, in Decatur, Ill., was a retired counselor
and a member of the All Saints Episcopal Church in El Paso. Before moving
to Pecos, Crouch was a counselor in El Paso, where she received her Masters
degree in Education from U.T.E.P. She was a counselor for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD. She had previously worked as Woman's Director for a television station
and had gone to New York City to study at the American Theater Wing.
Survivors include her husband, Robert I. Crouch of Pecos; one son, Gene
R. Crouch of Santa Fe, N.M.; one daughter, Rebecca B. Crouch of Angel Fire,
N.M.; one brother, John Magnuson of Delhi, N.Y.; two grandchildren and
numerous nieces and nephews.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Eutimio Gonzales, 81, of Andrews, died Friday, Oct. 22, 1999, in Midland
Services were held at 10 a.m., Monday, Oct. 25, 1999 at Our Lady of
Lourdes Catholic Church in Andrews with Rev. Bernard Gully officiating.
Burial was in the Andrews North Cemetery.
He was born April 23, 1918 in El Comedor, Mexico, had moved to Andrews
from Plainview seven years ago where he worked as a farm worker. He was
a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Andrews.
Survivors include his wife, Maria Gonzales of Andrews; six sons, Jose
L., Martin, Damacio and Alfredo Gonzales of Andrews, Hector Gonzales of
Colorado and Ismael Gonzales of Lubbock; seven daughters, Jovita Pando
of Presidio, Maria N. Sanchez of Burlington, Colo., Maria E. Carrasco of
Valentine, Juana Rangel, Rosa C. Gonzales and Yolanda Perez of Andrews
and Teresa T. Gonzales of El Paso; four brothers, Antonio Lopez of Portales,
N.M., Damas Gonzales and Nicholas Lopez of California, Santiago Hernandez
of Ralls; 39 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.
McNett Funeral Home of Andrews is in charge of arrangements.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Cash Five numbers drawn Monday by the
Texas Lottery: 23-27-31-34-39 (twenty-three, twenty-seven, thirty-one,
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery,
in order: 0-7-8 (zero, seven, eight)
High Monday 91. Low this morning 46. Forecast for tonight: Clear skies
with lows in the mid-40s. Wednesday, becoming partly cloudy with highs
in the upper 80s.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, 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 1999 by Pecos Enterprise