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Ricky Herrera, who was elected to his post in May of this year, attended
all four days of the workshop, which involved city and county elected
officials from across Texas.
"It was just great, I really enjoyed myself," said Herrera.
About 125 elected officials from city and county governments attended
the workshop, which was sponsored by the Texas Municipal League, a
voluntary association of over 1,000 Texas cities, in cooperation with
the Association of Mayors, Council members and Commissioners.
Each year, the Texas Municipal Leadership Institute program enables
elected officials across the state to earn continuing education unit
credits, which count toward TMLI Certificates of Recognition and
Herrera said all four days were a learning experience for him, since he
is new at his position.
"Since I'm so new at this I really wanted to learn more about the city
government so that I will have better answers for those who voted me
in," he said.
The meetings provided an opportunity for municipal officials to
voluntarily enhance their knowledge of municipal government and to
increase their leadership skills.
In addition, it offered a chance to talk with elected officials from
across the state and learn how other cities are coping with the
challenges facing municipal governments today.
During the meeting, attendees were offered a session on effective
governance, including the topics of defining a city's mission,
policy-making, and building coalitions.
"The session on Thursday was for newly elected officials, which proved
really interesting to me," said Herrera.
The other sessions provided information and ideas on the different
aspects of city government.
"They discussed every aspect of city government including, youth
problems, budget workshops, zoning and planning and the governmental
relationship between the city and the county," said Herrera.
The session was also held for commissioners as well as city mayors, and
Several other Town of Pecos City officials had the opportunity to attend.
"I'm sorry I was only able to attend one day, because it was very
interesting," said Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford.
On Friday the Pecos Youth Commission was on hand for the session. City
employee Alice Matta traveled with the youths, Randall Reynolds, Meagan
Joplin and Sara Matta, to the one-day session.
"I think all the youths that attended had a really good time, and
learned a lot also," said Herrera.
Privatization was also on the agenda for discussion, along with the
decline in the tax base, valuations, failure of infrastructure -
something a lot of cities are having problems with at this time,
according to Herrera.
"What I really enjoyed the most was the people," said Herrera. "Talking
to all the other officials, sharing our problems. All of us that are in
similar situations," he said.
"It was very interesting to learn that we all have the same concerns,
after talking to all those people across West Texas," said Herrera.
Different sessions were held concurrently, which made it impossible to
attend all of them, according to Herrera.
"It was impossible to make all of them and they were all very
interesting," he said. "I may not always have all the answers to the
questions I'm asked, but at least now I know people I can contact to
obtain the right answers to the questions."
Herrera was also impressed by the motivational speakers and the strength
Stafford attended the session on water usage and the different sources
water can be obtained through.
"The speaker talked about the recycling of a water treatment plant in
the Houston area," said Stafford. "He worked with the West Texas Water
Development Board and had some very vital information," Stafford said.
The new system is a way that cities can recycle water and become more
productive. But Stafford said,"I don't know how much this system would
cost, but I'm sure that the initial cost would be very prohibitive."
Another session Stafford attended dealt with juvenile delinquency, and
centered on a program in use in central Texas.
She said the speaker emphasized the juvenile delinquency has been on the
rise everywhere, not just in that part of Texas.
"The project he outlined had to do with a pastor who started a farm or
garden, where juvenile delinquents were taken to work," said Stafford.
Under the project, juveniles worked on different aspects of planting,
cultivating and taking care of the farm itself, according to Stafford.
"The youths would spend all day long there, the whole eight hours, just
working," said Stafford. "All that work made them not to want to come
back, which in turn cut down on the amount of juvenile delinquents."
"It was really interesting because the percentage of juveniles in that
area getting into trouble was greatly reduced," she said.
Sunday, the last day of the seminar, was a questions and answer day for
all attending, giving everyone a chance to participate.
"There was one town they talked about at the seminar that had only a
30-day supply of water available at a time," said Stafford. "All the
information they had at the seminar was important and interesting," she
"I'm really glad I had the opportunity to take advantage of this
program," Herrera said, adding he plans to try to attend the sessions
annually and become more informative to better serve the people of Pecos.
"There was so much information and so little time, it was hard to soak
it all in, but I hope to become better informed," he said.
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But that's just what he did Monday afternoon in the hot sun. Finding the
yard gates blocked Saturday, Griffin and Brand employees dumped a load
of cantaloupe cartons and trash in front of the recycling building at
1921 W. Second St.
Madril is on the verge of giving up the struggle to educate people to
recycle, picking up their paper and plastics and bundling it for
shipping to the Butts Recycling Center in Midland.
Among the heavy cardboard cartons inside the recycling plant are 22
boxes of old records from Reeves County Hospital that are to be kept
secure until they can be processed to destroy any information on them.
And all the other boxes are full to overflowing, so Madril tried to shut
off the inflow until he could get some emptied. With no help, that goes
pretty slow some days.
Not only does Madril stack, pack and tie the cardboard and other
materials into bundles for shipping, he drives all over town picking up
recyclables from businesses and schools.
To get all that done, Madril has been working from 4:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
most days, and coming back on weekends. He has asked for help, but his
boss says the center is losing money, Madril said.
Charlie Butts of Butts Recycling is due in Pecos this afternoon to meet
with Madril and try to work out a solution.
Madril says he baled and shipped 2,400 tons of material last year,
saving businesses the cost of pickup by the city sanitation department,
and saving the city an estimated $108,000 in pickup and disposal costs.
Armando Gil, city sanitarian, puts the city's savings at $25 per ton. He
sees the biggest savings to the individual business and schools.
But Gil says that recycling will continue, even if Madril gives up and
Butts shuts down the center.
West Texas Waste has offered the city a contract to take over all trash
pickup and disposal, and they will also willing to handle recycling, Gil
Madril said the market for both paper and plastics has dropped this
spring, and failed to recover in the summer due to Russia's selling
trees for 15 cents each.
China buys the trees, then sells them to Japan for 20 cents each, he
said. Japan turns the trees into paper and sells it to the United States
for 45 cents per tree.
"It costs 50 cents to grow a tree and 65 cents to recycle it in the
United States," Madril said.
China and Japan are also dumping virgin plastic resin on the market, and
that has lowered the price of recycled plastic, he said.
Madril said "I do this job with my heart," but he feels the center needs
at least two full-time employees.
He has appreciated the help of adult probationers doing community
service. "I would have worn myself out four months ago if they hadn't
come," he said.
"I answer to this community," he said. "I was given a plaque (the Hidden
"I could get more accounts, but I have to turn them down because when
the probationers are not here, I have to do this on my own," he said. "I
have to pick up trash when the boxes are full and answer to the public
when it blows out.
"I am ready to recycle the whole community, but I don't have the time,"
Butts Recycling has a five-year contract with the city to operate the
center in a building owned by the city. They pay $50 per month lease.
Feldar Hogan, 39, of Andrews, Texas, was trying to exit Lechuguilla Cave
late Saturday when he became too tired to climb the last 90 feet, park
spokesman Bob Crisman said.
Lechuguilla is the deepest limestone cave in the United States at 1,567
feet and is at least 89.3 miles long.
Four rangers, aided by members of the Permian Basin Speleological
Society, rigged a hauling system of ropes, which was used to pull Hogan
from the cave early Sunday, Crisman said.
On the surface, Hogan received fluids and was able to walk from the
cave's entrance to a parking area about one mile away, Crisman said.
There were no injuries.
Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Mac McKinnon, Enterprise publisher, said he is pleased to offer computer
users access to local news, sports, weather, classified, advertising and
As a bonus, The Monahans News also has a page on the site, and it will
be updated weekly. Area news from other weekly publications is included
in the "Area Roundup."
"We are making our pages available at no charge to the user," McKinnon
said. "By doing so, we hope to boost the Trans Pecos area while reaching
a wider audience with news of interest to them."
McKinnon noted that the Pecos Division of federal court serves 10 West
Texas counties. But trials in that court often involve a much larger
area and impact people throughout Texas and, often, the nation.
"Pecos is the hub of a lot of activity that impacts other areas,"
McKinnon said. "Therefore, we believe our newspaper will provide a
service to many outside our circulation area."
A section of the on-line newspaper is set aside for advertising,
"Our staff can design display ads with graphics and/or photographs to
give your message that special impact," he said. "To reserve space,
contact Christina Bitolas, Cara Alligood or myself."
The web page address is http://www.pecos.net/news.
The Region 7 Water Quality Award for FY 96 will be awarded to Mayor Dot
Stafford on Aug. 6 at the Permian Basin Water Utilities Regional School
Jed W. Barker, TNRCC regional manager, said the award is expansion of
0.67 points at lines, 0.67 at par«MDNM» given each year to those
facilities who achieve and maintain compliance with the rules of the
TNRCC for that fiscal year.
"Please accept my congratulations to the City of Pecos and the water
system personnel who have achieved this level of excellence," Barker
said in a letter inviting Stafford to the business luncheon at the
Holiday Inn Center.
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall
not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or
redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP
Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for
personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for
any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the
transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages
arising from any of the foregoing.
Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
This page prepared in askSam
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