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Wednesday, October 30, 1996

Commissioners hopefuls stress low taxes, jobs

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Staff Writer
The three candidates in the Reeves County Precinct 1 Commissioner's race
agree that taxes need to continue to decline, economic development
should be addressed and that commissioners also have to deal the needs
of youth in Reeves County.

But the three vary on their primary issue for seeking a four-year seat
on the commissioners court, in what will be next Tuesday's only
contested local election.

Incumbent Lupe Garcia is being challenged by two write-in candidates,
Mickey Vasquez and Felipe Arredondo. Vasquez is running as a write-in
candidate after a petition foul-up prevented him from running in last
March's Democratic primary election, while Arredondo is seeking to
reclaim the Pct. 1 seat he held between 1985 and 1989.

In separate interviews this week, the candidates listed their reasons
for serving as commissioner:

Lupe Garcia

Garcia will be completing his first term as the Reeves County Precinct 1
Commissioner. He beat out former incumbent Marcos Martinez in 1992.

Garcia said the number one problem facing Reeves County when he sought
his position in 1992 was high taxes. "...and this year, for the first
time I can remember, Reeves County cut taxes by two cents," but only
after some, "hard choices," were made, he added.

When asked what the commissioners' court can do to improve the economic
development of this community, Garcia stated, "One of the first projects
I supported as commissioner was the expansion of the Reeves County
Detention Center."

"When the prison expansion was completed, the commissioners court had
created 40 new jobs and increased revenue in the prison by over $1.6
million," Garcia said.

He added that the county court has plans to expand the prison once
again, which in turn would provide more jobs and increase the revenue.

With depreciating mineral values in Reeves County, Garcia added, "I've
always said that the main resource in this county are the working

"We have a lot of talented people here in Reeves County," he said, who
need to be utilized.

Garcia pointed out that before running for commissioner he spent much of
his spare time working with the Pecos Little League program. "I served
as a volunteer coach for Little League for 17 years and as President for
the organization for 8 years," he said.

"Currently, I am the Little League Assistant District Administrator for
District 4," he added. "Athletic programs for our children have always
been an important part of my life. One of the most satisfying projects I
have had is the opportunity to oversee, as your commissioner," he
continued, "the improvement of our baseball parks and I would like to
continue to work to further promote sport activities for our youth."

Garcia also stated that since in office he has sought to have the Santa
Rosa Cemetery recognized as a historical site, in order to turn over its
maintenance to county crews.

Per his standing, commissioners approved a resolution under Health and
Safety Code 713.028 (a) to name the eastside cemetery a historical
landmark. The statute reads that for historical preservation purposes a
commissioners court may use public funds and county employees and
equipment to maintain a cemetery that has a grave marker more than 50
years old.

Mickey Vasquez

Vasquez said his main stance is, "we need to clean up this
community." He said he emphasized the issue, "because this is the main
complaint," he gets, "from talking with people."

Along these lines, Vasquez upholds that if elected commissioner he will
also fight to clean up Santa Rosa Cemetery.

"Of course," Vasquez added, "I want to know what they (people) want. I
want to do what you (Reeves County citizens) want me to do."

Vasquez said he, "basically wants to listen to everybody else and not
just do what I want to do," as commissioner.

The 28-year-old Pecos native, who works at the family business, Vasquez
Home Furnishings, said, "I want to bring some respect to the
commissioners court and our community."

He added that he will fight to continue to bring taxes down and not
propose a salary increase for himself.

As a confirmation teacher at his local church and singer/songwriter and
keyboardist for the Christian group Sudden Impact, Vasquez added that he
plans to address youth issues if elected Precinct 1 Commissioner for
Reeves County.

This is Vasquez's first run for a political office.

Felipe Arredondo

Not new to the game, former Precinct 1 Commissioner Arredondo defeated
Marcos Martinez in the 1984 Pct. 1 election, then was beaten by Martinez
in 1988.

Arredondo stressed the need for local economic growth, and explained
that his main objective for seeking the commissioner's seat once again
is to attract more jobs for Reeves County residents.

"I don't feel enough is being done to attract more industry," he said,
that the county could possibly expand on its agriculture business.

He added that during his stint as commissioner for Precinct 1 the Law
Enforcement Center, now the Reeves County Detention, was established and
now operates with 163 employees.

Arredondo also added that his term also included expansion of the Reeves
County Civic Center, which employees, "15 people and is used by over
15,000 people each year."

Arredondo also stressed the importance of keeping taxes down.

A Pecos resident for almost 40 years, Arredondo is retired from the
Texas Department of Transportation after 33 years of service.

Commissioners vote to seek bid for independent auditor

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Staff Writer

After a brief discussion, Reeves County Commissioners unanimously voted
this morning during a special meeting to allow the county auditor to
advertise for proposals for a one-year contract for an independent

Reeves County Auditor Lynn Owens told the court, which was minus one
with Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin's absence, that "costs are
getting considerable," for independent audits.

He proposed that the county follow the lead of other counties and enter
three-year contracts, which has resulted in, "better proposals," for
other governing entities.

His objective, he stated, "was to hold down outside audit costs."

Both Owens and Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo conceded that a yearly
independent audit was necessary.

However, Galindo opted, "to stick to the one-year contract," basis for
an outside auditor, changing accountants, "occasionally," hoping to
expand the pool of auditors within the next two years.

"Keep in mind that it takes up more time if new person is selected,"
added Galindo.

In other business, due to, "reasonably unforeseen," circumstances,
Galindo said the regularly scheduled Nov. 11 commissioners' meeting
date needed to be changed because of Veterans Day.

The court voted unanimously to push it back two days, to Wednesday, Nov.
13 at 9:30 a.m.

Also, Reeves County Clerk Diane Florez recommended that the replacement
of six election judges who will be unable to serve on during the Nov. 5
general elections.

In Voting Precinct #10, Marlene Hampton will replace Josie Breese;
Precinct #1, Lupe Olivas will replace Sabina Jasso and Florentina
Herrera will replace Elva Lujan; Precinct #9, Alexia Gallegos will
replace Yvonne Valencia and July Canon will replace Fay Valles and for
Precinct #2, Bertha Hernandez will replace Daisy Roquemore.

Downtown gets whiff of sewer work

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Staff Writer

Sewer gas filtering into downtown businesses this week took on a
heightened odor when a crew began vacuuming out sludge that has clogged
the line for years.

Coastal Contractors of Houston is working with Frank X. Spencer &
Associates to flush out the sewer and run a video camera through it to
pinpoint breaks in the line and other problems that the city needs to

The Pecos City Council last week agreed to pay Coastal $10,260 for a
one-week study, with city employees participating to learn how to clean
the lines and run the video camera themselves.

An engineering review of the tapes will cost an additional $4,100.

Spencer said the initial study will be on Business I-20 (Third Street)
from the alley west of Oleander to Oak Street, then to Second and north
of the railroad tracks. This morning, the crew was working through a
manhole between Cypress and Elm Streets.

They will vacuum out the sludge that has settled in the slow-flowing
line for years. It has to be very clean to allow the camera to travel
through the pipe, Spencer said.

Spencer and his assistant, Abidur Khan, told the council last week they
have inspected 550 manholes and found water standing in many of them
because of a blockage or other problem.

Showing video clips of the manhole interiors, Spencer said they have
deteriorated to the point that runoff water is seeping in around the top
and walls where mortar is missing. The concrete bottom has dropped on
some, blocking the flow of sewage.

"We can't work on the manholes until we know which lines we need to
repair," Spencer said. "We need to fix the line first."

He recommended replacing all six-inch lines, which carry waste from
residential taps down the alley to main lines under the street. Those
pipes are so small that a slight defect on the line would prevent the
video camera from traveling through, and they are relatively easy to
replace, he said.

If city crews do the work, they can replace the lines cheaper than a
contractor could run a camera study, he said.

But for the main line running under BI-20, Spencer said it would be too
expensive to dig up the street and replace all the line. Once the video
study is complete, crews will know exactly where to dig to re-join
separated joints or to replace a section of the decades-old sewer pipe.

After running smoke tests on 21 miles of sewer line, the crews
identified a seven-mile length where a video camera study should be
made, Spencer said.

Of that, 2.7 miles is eight-inch line, where smoke testing indicated
blockage problems.

In discussing the study with other engineers, Spencer said they
considered whether to run the camera study in the eight-inch lines.

"We know there are problems with collapsed lines," Spencer said. "Should
we go ahead and TV camera them?

"We finally decided to recommend to address specifically that line on
Third Street, because you are working in a high-traffic area under a
state highway. It will be very costly."

The manhole near Ben's Spanish Inn was filled with water caused by
blockage, he said. "It has been a constant problem for years."

City Utilities Director Octavio Garcia said that section of line has
been a problem for at least 20 years.

"The bottom has fallen out of the manhole," he said.

City equipment is not adequate to clean the lines, Garcia said. They
have a 600-gallon pressure tank, which will flush water on down the line
for 10 minutes, but then has to be re-filled.

"By the time you get it back, it will be filled up again," he said. "You
have to have a tanker truck."

He recommended inspecting 15,000 linear feet, with 6,000 of that to be
done this week.

"If it works, we can do a more detailed inspection," he said.

Spencer said the city has 60 miles of sewer line and 680 manholes.

"You need to understand this is not a problem that just happened this
year," he told the council. "it is an accumulation of 30-40 years."

Most of the lines have minimal slope. The resulting slow flow allows
sediment to accumulate, he said.

"The state requires a .5 percent slope on six-inch lines. We have
six-inch lines running at .16 percent," he said. "The bigger the line,
the shallower the slope. This tells me we are going to have continued
problems. You can't change it without changing the whole system."

A rigorous maintenance program should keep the sewage flowing once the
blockages and separated pipes are corrected, Spencer said.

Students support Clinton in mock election voting

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Staff Writer

President Clinton is destined to remain in his present position for
another four years, according to young `voters' in Pecos.

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students participated in a "mock election," on
Monday, and results from the nine campuses were announced Tuesday.

Clinton received 1,612 votes while his Republican challenger, Bob Dole,
netted 543. Reform Party candidate Ross Perot was in third place with
209 votes.

The National Student/Parent Mock Election is an effort to give students
the opportunity to actively participate in the political process by
simulating the actual presidential and congressional elections in their

"This is being done nationwide and we decided to participate also," said
high school teacher Charlie Wein, who was the election judge for the
Pecos High School.

In Texas all students in grades kindergarten through 12 are eligible to
participate in the mock election.

"This provides a student with experience in voting, and gives them the
opportunity to learn more about how the system works," said Wein.

The mock election is designed to enlighten the students and encourage
them to use their right when they become eligible to vote, according to

"I tallied the District-wide results and reported them to Austin on
Tuesday," said Wein.

The state results will be transmitted to National Student/Parent Mock
Election Headquarters and CNN, which will broadcast the results
throughout the evening tonight.

The Associated Press' Texas wire service will also pick up the results
and they will appear in statewide papers on Thursday.

Along with Clinton's big win, in the race for U.S. Senate, P-B-T
students also went Democratic. Incumbent Phil Gramm received 645 votes
while challenger Victor Morales collected 1,389 votes.

However, in the U.S. Representative District 23 Race, Republican
incumbent Henry Bonilla won. He collected 1,231 votes while and
Democratic candidate Charles P. Jones netted 708 votes.

Seven other schools in this area participated in the mock election.

The mock ballot also contained an issues forum section, where students
ranked the issues according of importance.

Fighting crime and violence in our schools, homes and streets, were the
students main priority, as it received 762 votes. Improving the economy
and creating jobs received 398 votes; Protecting and restoring our
environment came in third with 201 votes; Improving the quality of our
schools was fourth with 199 votes and providing health care for all
received 188 votes.

In the economy and jobs section, balancing the federal budget in order
to spur job growth was ranked first with 749 votes. Offering special job
training programs received 708 votes and providing businesses with tax
incentives netted only 238 votes.

Under the health care subject, 997 students believed the government
should provide universal health insurance to all Americans; 472 students
voted that the government should allow health insurers to impose
limitations on coverage and 234 thought the government should stay out
of the health insurance business.

On crime issues spending more on anti-poverty and anti-drug programs and
education gained the most support, with 820 students voting for it.
Stricter gun control laws received 499 votes and more spending on law
enforcement gained 346 votes.

Getting parents more involved in the welfare of the school ranked first
under education issues. This issue received 583 votes. Offering better
teacher training brought in 555 votes; increasing taxes to pay for
programs that help schools buy supplies netted 361 votes and encouraging
schools to adopt dress codes for students received 189 votes.

In Environment issues, placing job growth before the environment ranked
second with 481 votes, 364 students wanted the government to regulate
the environment first, even if it means that people lose their jobs, and
812 students were totally undecided in this issue.

The National Student/Parent Mock Election is sponsored by the U.S.
Department of Education, American Happenings, CNN, Electronic Data
Systems, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, Time Magazine, Time Warner, and Xerox
Corporation. The National Student/Parent Mock Election has been endorsed
by both national parties.

School takes possession of new transport buses

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Gearing up for their first trip on Friday, the two Silver Eagle Model 10
buses are undergoing a thorough clean-up and maintenance check by
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Transportation Department crews.

Bus Maintenance Supervisor Ramon Natividad said the two 1984-model coach
units performed well during their run from Fort Worth to Pecos on
Monday. They arrived at the West Third Street bus yard about 10 p.m.
with Natividad and his wife at each wheel.

The two 46-passenger buses were purchased a price of $61,250 each from
ABC Bus Co., Inc. of Fort Worth. That bid was approved during a special
meeting of the school board on Oct. 3.

The two buses will be replacing the district's the 1 and 2 MCI coaches,
which will be going up for bids. Those two buses were purchased six
years ago at a cost of $49,000 apiece, and made their last trips
out-of-town this past Friday to Sweetwater.

Eagle 2 carried the football team to their game against the Sweetwater
Mustangs, but Eagle 1, transporting part of the Pecos High School band,
broke down 160 miles east of town, and a replacement bus had to be sent
to bring band members the 210 miles back from Sweetwater to Pecos.

The first trip for the new buses will also be a 210-mile drive, on
Friday night to San Angelo. Eagle 3, which also carried band members to
last Friday's game, will remain in the P-B-T bus fleet with the two new

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Fisheries group honors Balmorhea project

The recent restoration of a wetlands pond in Balmorhea State Park has
earned two groups honors from the American Fisheries Society.

The society presented Texas Parks and Wildlife Fisheries Research
Biologist Dr. Gary Garret and the Reeves County Water Improvement
District #1 with plaques for their efforts on the San Solomon Springs
Cienega Project last month, honoring them for their outstanding
achievements in fisheries management.

The cienega design recreated the native wetlands of San Solomon Springs,
which were replaced by the Balmorhea State Park's swimming pool in the
1930s. The cienega will allow for protection of the endangered pupfish,
and as a by-product, protect spring's waters for use in irrigating area

The Society said that although recreational fishing is, and always will
be, extremely important, restoring and maintaining the natural resources
of Texas is also a high priority.

According to a press release from the water district, in awarding
special recognition to RCWID and Dr. Garrett, they Society not only
recognized the key role of the district in fulfilling this project, but
also emphasized that partnerships and cooperation were the way to truly
achieve long-term real success on environmental issues.

Also helping with the landscape restoration were: National Foundation of
America, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Texas Department of
Transportation, Texas Department of Agriculture, U.S.D.A. Natural
Resource Conservation Service, Texas Agricultural Extension Service,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Sul Ross State University, Texas
Organization of Endangered Species and the Balmorhea community.

Dr. Garret was introduced as, "the nucleus," of the project, who
masterminded the idea, while the RCWID#1 aided in providing irrigation
water for the project.

The water district manages irrigation water from the Balmorhea Lake to
area farmers.

The AFS was organized in 1870. Its objectives are conservation,
development and wise use of recreational and commercial fisheries,
promotion of all branches of fisheries science and exchange of knowledge
about fish and fisheries.

The Texas Chapter of the AFS holds annual meetings to exchange and
discuss information on fisheries issues. Their findings are published in
the Proceedings of the Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.

Additionally they recognize outstanding achievements in fisheries
management, typically the award goes to work done on improvements to
recreational fishing in lakes of Texas.


Pecos, Oct. 30, 1996 - High Tuesday 75, low last night 35. Tonight, partly cloudy. Low 45 50.
Southeast wind 5-15 mph, becoming northeast late. Thursday, mostly
cloudy and much cooler. A 30 percent chance of rain. High around 55.
Northeast wind 10-20 mph.
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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
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