Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Council, school early vote total nears 700 mark
Early voting for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD school board and Town of Pecos City Council elections attracted over 675 people during the first week, with Tuesday being the last day to cast ballots early at the Pecos Community Center.
Voters in the May 12 school election will be deciding three positions on the city council and four on the P-B-T ISD board. They will also vote on approval of the $30 million school bond issue for campus reconstruction, expansion and other improvements, while city voters will also be deciding the 4B sales tax amendment, which would allow for wider use of the current tax funds directed towards economic development.
Early voting for the May 12 election started on April 30, and already 592 individuals cast their vote in-person last week. Early voting clerks received another 90 ballots by mail.
Early voting continued on Monday and Tuesday this week for Saturday’s election, and polls will be open until 8 p.m., Tuesday, May 8. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday for the city and school elections at the Pecos Community Center, 508 S. Oak St.
In the Town of Pecos City Council race, challenger Joanna Lindemann will face incumbents Gerald Tellez, Danny Rodriguez and Frank Sanchez.
In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD school election, eight candidates overall will be running for the four seats on the school board. One is seeking an unexpired two-year term, while seven others are seeking the three available three-year terms.
Incumbents Lila Cerna, Bubba Williams and Crissy Martinez are being challenged by Gome Olibas, Bill Oglesby, Jay Haney and Al Gomez.
John Grant who had previously signed up to run for a place on the board, turned in a letter to the superintendent to rescind his application. However, his name will still appear on the ballot since, the letter was not turned in by the March 20 deadline.
In the race for the two-year unexpired term, Randy Graham is running for the position left vacant late last year, when Amy Miller moved to Lubbock.
Manuel Munoz Jr. had also filed to run for that position, but turned in a letter to rescind his application and opted not to run. His name will also appear on the ballot, since his letter was also turned in late.
The school district is also seeking approval from voters to issue $30 million in bonds, which will be used for new construction and renovations, with most of the money going towards replacement of two of the three main sections of Austin Elementary, and the construction of new classrooms at Crockett Junior High, which will be used by sixth grade students currently attending Bessie Haynes Elementary.
City voters will decide on changing the Pecos Economic Development Corp from a 4A to a 4B corporation. The change would widen the number of projects on which the 1/4-cent city sales tax designed for economic development can be used to include tourism-related projects within certain sections of the city.
Property tax cut amendment would help seniors, disabled
Area voters who will be casting ballots in the Town of Pecos City Council and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD elections have another election they can vote in, involving adjustments to the school property tax amendment agreed to by voters last year.
The proposed change would directly affect senior citizen and disabled homeowners, and while the amendment election has not drawn as big a turnout in early voting as the city and school races and proposition votes, officials said voting has been going well at the Reeves County Courthouse lobby with Tuesday being the final day to cast ballots before Election Day on Saturday..
“It’s been going well, but we urge voters to come in,” said Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez.
She said that 277 individuals had cast their ballots by personal appearance as of noon Monday and that they had received 10 by mail for the election, which modifies rules on property taxes owed by seniors age 65 and above and the disabled.
Current state law says those homeowners are eligible to receive a ceiling on the amount of school property taxes they will owe on their residence homestead, based on the amount they owed the year they qualified for the ceiling. However, when the Texas Legislature passed a school property tax reform plan last summer, those elderly and disabled Texans whose school property taxes were already frozen did not receive a corresponding reduction in their school property taxes.
The amendment would fix that problem, allowing the elderly and disabled s to receive a proportional reduction in ad valorem taxes, by creating an allowance for such a reduction in the Texas Constitution and a statutory change in law.
The amendment would provide such a reduction for the 2006 and 2007 tax years and will expire on Jan 1, 2009. School tax reductions after the 2007 tax year would require another constitutional amendment, according to a synopsis of the amendment published by the League of Women voters.
Supporters of the measure say that since other taxpayers were granted this reduction in school taxes by the state legislature it’s only fair that those over 65 and the disabled receive the same proportionate reduction, since many elderly and disabled citizens are on a low and/or fixed income and need lower taxes.
Opponents argue the 2006 school reform plan was designed to reduce taxes for those Texans whose property values have had large hikes in recent years. Since seniors and the disabled had their taxes frozen before then, t they did not experience the same rise in taxes as others and therefore they should not receive another discount.
They also say that sniors and the disabled already get a significant tax break by having the amount of their school taxes frozen the year they qualify for this ceiling and therefore should not receive additional reductions on their school taxes.
TxDOT preparing for start of seal-coating on U.S. 285
Drivers heading north of Pecos on U.S. 285 later this month will be in for some delays, as seal coating work on 29 miles of the highway is planned by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Signs went up last week warning drivers passing through Pecos that 18 miles of the highway linking Pecos and Carlsbad, N.M. would be under construction, but Glen Larum, TxDOT public information officer for the Odessa District, said the work wouldn’t begin until the latter part of May.
“It’s probably about 10 days out,” Larum said on Friday. “It was originally scheduled to start on the 17th, but they may be two days behind schedule.”
He said there would be two sections of the highway that will be resurfaced, the 18-mile stretch from Pecos to the State Highway 302 intersection west of Mentone, and another 11-mile stretch from the intersection with Farm Road 652 in Orla to the New Mexico state line.
“It ought to take about 2-3 days,” Larum said of the work between Pecos and Mentone.
The seal-coating is one of two major projects in the Pecos area right now. Drivers on Interstate 20 from the FM 869 interchange to the Salt Draw bridge east of Toyah are under speed restrictions right now, while resurfacing work on seven miles of the interstate is completed.
Dominguez places second in fishing contest
Kane Dominguez, six years old, won second place at the Ace Hardware Fishing on Saturday, April 28.
The fish he caught was 18 inches long and he competed in the 16 and under category.
He is the son of Josh and Kimberly Dominguez.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff’s Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment and release.
Robert Daniel Spivey, 19, 3007 Stanford St., was arrested on April 29 on a charge of operation of a motor vehicle in violation of motor vehicle liability requirement. Police said the arrest was made in the 900 block of East Third Street after a traffic stop, when Spivey was unable to present evidence of financial responsibility for the vehicle. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Diona Ray Walker, 24, 1120 S. Orange St., Apt. A, was arrested by police at her home on warrants charging her with failure to pay fines on previous charges of theft under $50, driver unrestrained by seat belt, reckless destruction or damage, allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle and failure to appear. Police said the arrest was made on April 29 at 8:07 p.m., and Walker was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Esav Villarreal DelaRosa, 22, 4884 Battle St., in Coyanosa, was arrested by police on a warrant charging him with disregarding a railroad crossing guard, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made on April 27 at 11:03 p.m. at Sixth and Cedar streets, and DelaRosa was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Juan Villalobos Serrano, 36, 1309 S. Willow St., was arrested by police on April 27 on a warrant charging him with assault causing bodily injury under the Family Violence Act. Police said the arrest was made at 5:30 a.m. at the corner of Walthall and Cedar streets, and Serrano was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Isela Garcia Pena, 31, 812 S. Cypress St., was arrested by police on April 27 on a warrant for parole violation, filed out of Austin, on an original charge of burglary of a habitation. Police said the arrest was made at 12:37 a.m. outside Allsup’s, 708 S. Cedar St., and Pena was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Thomas H. Marquez, 39, 1927 S. Eddy St., was arrested by police on April 27 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at 12:05 a.m. following a report of a disturbance at 811 E. Fifth St. Marquez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Timothy Jacob Garcia, 30, 1423 S. Iowa St., was arrested by police on May 1 on warrants charging him with theft of property over $20 and under $500 and non-payment of child support, issued out of Reeves County; theft by check, a Class B misdemeanor, issued out of Ector County; and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, issued out of Grimes County. Police said the arrest was made at 8:04 p.m. at 506 S. Cedar St., and Garcia was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Kevin Mark Rodriguez, 32, 1109 S. Hickory St., Apt. C, was arrested by police on May 4 on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place in the 200 block of North Cedar Street, and Rodriguez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Edmundo Leyva Gabaldon, 47, 1600 S. Park St., was arrested by police on April 29 on a charge of assault under the Family Violence Act. Police said the arrest was made after they were called to Gabaldon’s home in reference to a fight with his wife, Delma Gabladon. Edmundo Gabaldon was placed under arrest and then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Eric Vasquez Florez, 28, 2206 Hackberry St., was arrested by police on April 30 on charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest. Police said the arrest took place in the 300 block of South Mesquite Street, after Florez was seen by officers walking in the middle of the street. He was placed under arrest after resisting officers and was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Donnie Levi Moody, 21, of Odessa, was arrested by police on May 1 at Room 232 of the Quality Inn, 5300 S. Cedar St., on charges of public intoxication and possession of marijuana under two ounces. Police said they were called to the motel on a report of a man running nude down the hallways, and after locating Moody and determining he was intoxicated, discovered marijuana on top of the TV set in his room when he was allowed to go back there to put some clothes on. Moody was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Juan Jose Vasquez, 26, of Kermit, was arrested by police on May 5 at the Flying J Truck Stop, 100 W. Pinehurst St., on warrants charging him with no driver’s license, no proof of financial responsibility, and two counts of failure to appear, all Class C misdemeanors. Police said the arrest was made at 6:58 a.m. and Vasquez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Claudia Vasquez Hernandez, 24, of Kermit, was arrested by police on May 5 at the Flying J Truck Stop, 100 W. Pinehurst St., on a warrant out of the Reeves County Sheriff’s Department for failure to appear, all Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made at 7:30 a.m. after a report of customer’s refusing to pay at the truck stop’s restaurant, and Hernandez was then transported to the Reeves County Jail.
Esteban Enriquez, 69, 112 W. Eighth St., was arrested on May 6 at the Suavacito Club, 900 S. Cedar St., on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made outside the building at 1:43 a.m., and Enriquez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Fabio Barragan Jr., 19, 708 S. Cypress St., was arrested by police on May 6 on a warrant for assault causing bodily injury. Police said the arrest was made at Seventh and Alamo streets, and Barragan was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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.
Copyright 2003-04 by Pecos Enterprise