Revolution at City Hall Diehl 2

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Revolution at City Hall Diehl 2 - ,A0EMÎ_ C t. 10. 1»65 ^ iWKSSani NtWS ^ .. j...
,A0EMÎ_ C t. 10. 1»65 ^ iWKSSani NtWS ^ .. j .,5 .|| jj„ , / îi ; î aty Hall Has Held Political Spotlight It 4-rt n m'lirvt'ift/ continued from Page 5® city, and refinanced the City Water Board to gain greater council control over its trustees. Serving as mayor during the GGL peri^ have been J. Edwin Kuykendall and W.W. McAllister, both of whom have proved unbeatable at the city polls. Matthews was followed as manager in 1958 by Andrews, whose tour of duty saw the aquisition of the city’s transit system by Uie city Operations cf the utility had deteriorated and Andrews piloted negotiations to a showdown when the franchise of its Dallas owners neared expiration. Backed by an overwhelming vote in favor of a bond issue which would enable the city to finance a completely new operation, the manager reached a favorable agreement on transfer of the system to city ownership. Tins led to immediate purchase of new air-condiUoned buses and stabilized fares which had been steadily rising. AFTER ANDREWS left the city for another post in 1961, he was succeeded by Jack Shelley, who had served as assistant manager and who now has served longer than any of San Antonio’s eight other managers. Dominant figure at City Hall during tte past four years has been Mayor W.W. McAllister, who has led the city into a vast program of park land acquisition and has supervised the most expansive pubUc works program in city history. This was made possible by passage of the largest bond issue in history—$30 million-on Jan. 28, 1964, by a margin of 3^ to 1. At the same time, the dominant poUtical figure at the county level has been Gonzalez, who won his first race as a city councilman on the .San Antonian ticket and was reelected to the council without opposition from the Good Government League. Gonzalez left the council in 1956 to try for the Democratic nomination for state senator and he defeated State Sen. O.E. Latimer m a cliff-hanger, 35,754-35,445. But he still had to turn back determined Repubhcan opposition to win the seat in the general elecüon. He went on to win reelection in i960, despite stout opposition in the primary and general election and then moved to Congress with the resignation cf Rep. Paul Kilday. Gonzalez went to Washington, however, omy after a classic battle with John Goode Jr., the strongest candidate fielded by Bexar County Republicans in modem times. Unopposed in 1982, Gonzalez brushed aside a GOP foe in 1964. This gave him a record of eight victories in contested races since 1953. In between, he suffered two losses when he attem.pted statewide bids for governor and U.S. ænator. WHILE ACTIVITIES at City HaH have held the center of the political stage for much of the past 15 years, compeUtion for county offices has been conducted largely on an individual, independent basis. A major reason for this was the passage of a constitutional amendment which placed county officials on four-year terms and staggered the terms of major officeholders so that only half of the top courthouse jobs are on the line in any election. At the same time interest in legislative elections has increased, largely as a result of the growing liberal-conservative polarization of state politics. The Bexar legislative delegation, long dom­ ina ted byconservati^^ been split between liberals and conservatives during much of the period. In recent years, the Bexar Democratic Coalition, a loosely organized liberal group led by County Commissioner Albert Pena Jr., has elected its selections to a majority of legislative posts and has extended its influence into several county offices, including those of county judge, district attorney and county clerk. Tent Town Became Crystal City Today Crystal City boasts of being the “Spinach Capital of the World,’’ known nationwide for its excellent farm and ranch products. But yesterday — 58 years ago — it was only a little clearing of tents pitched among the mesquite and cactus of the wide open spaces of Texas. It was founded by A. D. Jackson, a newspaperman. He loaded his newspaper plant equipment onto wagons and his wife and three children into the new-fangled automobile and struck out toward his destination. At the end of a 40-mile road which was little more than a cow path, the family came to a hundred-foot clearing in the middle of a 100-acre ranch. This was to be their home and the future home of some 10,000 persons. Crystal City grew to become the county seat of Zavala County in southeast Tex- as. It uses the council-manager fiwrn of city government, with Col. R. W. Marshall (USAF, Ret.) as city manager. Councilmen are Ed Stocking, Ed Salinas, Bill Leonard and Humberto Castillo. The city owns its own water, gas and sewerage systems, with Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. providing the communication system. Central Power and Light Co. the source of electricity and the Southeastern Public Service Co. providing an ice plant and storage vault. The city also operates its own municipal airport and swimming pool, and is currently being modernized on a large scale under Sam Anderson, executive director of the Urban Renewal program. The new city hall houses a public library and the volunteer fire department, besides city offices, and the Crystal City Independent School Dis- trict includes about half of the county, with fully accredited schools. Industry is a most important part of the economy. Major industry is the California Packing Corp., canning vegetables under the Del Monte label. There are also several packing sheds, a cotton gin and a cattle chute factory operating in Crystal City. The city has a bank, two fully equipped hospitals and over 100 independent business and professional firms to serve its citizens. Recreation includes theaters, football and baseball fields, a country club with golf course, hunting and year- round fishing. Also, it is located close to dude ranches, Mexican border towns and the Texas Hill Country. Crystal City has come a long way since those “tent days” in 1907. ________

Clipped from
  1. San Antonio Express,
  2. 10 Oct 1965, Sun,
  3. Page 141

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