The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on September 22, 1978 · Page 1
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 1

Galveston, Texas
Issue Date:
Friday, September 22, 1978
Page 1
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FIRST HUTCHINGS 1 S[ALY NATIONAL BANK | liSLJ IN GALVESTON A GREAT FISH STORY 39 1 h &Beach« Closed Monday Texas' Oldest Newspaper, Established in 1842. Dedicated To The Growth and Progress of Galveston and All of Gal vest on County VOL. 139. No. 166 Member, United Press International GALVESTON .TEXAS, FRIDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 22,19 78 The County's Only 7-Diy Paptr 25c Daily, 50c Sunday City OK's $24.8-Million Budget ByMIKESNYDER News Staff Writer The Galveston City Council adopted a $24.8 million operating budget for fiscal 1978-79 Thursday, but council members said their work on the budget is not yet finished. Councilman Roland Bassett said a "significant" tax increase of 12.3 percent will be necessary to support the new budget. The council delayed setting a tax rate until board of equalization hearings are completed and the tax rolls are certified. City Manager Tom Muehlenbeck said ongoing negotiations in the areas of public health services, ** Library Accord Reached After more than an hour of verbal bargaining, the Galveston City Council reached a tentative agreement Thursday with a representative of the Rosenberg Library, a major sore spot in the city's 1978-79 budget. Bryan Williams Jr., vice president of the library's board of directors, said he feels library officials would attempt to find a way to refund a portion of the library's tax windfall if the city allocates enough funds — about $490,000 — to provide pay increases averaging 21 percent for library employees. Under the budget adopted by the council Thursday, $448,955 is appropriated for the library. Council members said they could amend tha. 'U> the higher figure if the council can reach a satisfactory agreement with library officials. The dispute over the library's budget arose when council members discovered that a revaluation program which doubled the city's tax base could push the library allocation over $800,000. Under a 1975 charter amendment, the library is guaranteed revenues from 7 cents of the city's tax rate. Council members have tried for several weeks to find a way to reduce the library allocation without violating the charter. Library officials have contended that spending any of the funds earmarked for the library for other purposes would be illegal. But Williams, who appeared at Thursday's council meeting in response to a letter from the council, said library directors would "be willing to work with" the council if enough money See LIBRARY Page 2A the municipal golf course and garbage collection could result in a reduction of as much as $1.7 million in the new budget through amendments. Council members have discussed various ways of reducing the city's $110,000 appropriation for public health nurses, including a countywide reorganization of public health services proposed in a meeting with county commissioners Wednesday. The municipal golf course, with a projected deficit of $93,324, has drawn two offers from private investors interested in assuming its operation. The council Wednesday discussed transferring city garbage collection services to a private firm on that the theory that private business can operate the service more cheaply. Mayor John Unbehagen, noting that "the budget is an ongoing process," said attempts to reduce the budget in these three areas would continue. Councilman Gus Manuel, who cast the only vote against adopting the budget, said the council's action marked "a sad day for the citizens of Galveston." Manuel proposed that the city retain its 1977 property valuation and shift more than $1 million from the sewer fund and federal revenue-sharing fund into the general fund to eliminate the need for increased taxes. Other council members said the figures Manuel quoted are inaccurate and that a projected surplus of about $590,000 in the sewer fund is badly needed for sewer system improvements. "The easiest thing in the world is to be a hero" by failing to budget enough money to support city programs, Bassett said. "But if you do that, you're postponing the problem to some other council." Using a tentative tax base of $1.033 billion See BUDGET Page 2A County Files Budget HOLLYWOOD STUNTMAN A. J. Bakunas, on the way down from the top of the 22-story Kincaid Towers under construction in Lexington, Ky., Thursday set a world record of 323 feet for a free fall onto a 30-by-40-foot air bag, but was injured and taken to a hospital when the air bag apparently burst from the impact. The extent of Bakunas' injuries was not immediately disclosed. (UPI Telephoto). Hitchcock Adopts Budget By CANDY SMOTHERS News Mainland Bureau HITCHCOCK-City commissioners adopted a somewhat controversial 1978-79 fiscal budget totaling slightly more than $1 million after one former city commissioner challenged the estimated Passing Parade It's no secret anymore. Charlene Hayes and Clayton Hennigan now are Mr. and Mrs. They were married by Judge Sherwood Brown. Her coworkers at the Social Security Office got together and gave her a whomping reception yesterday . . . Former Mayor Herbert Y. ( Classified Ads j [ Get FAST Results! J "I've been getting calls all day and all night long. Please take my ads out of the paper — I'm getting too many phone calls!" says MRS. J.A. GOODBAR of 921 9th Ave. North in Texas City after renting two unfurnished houses through the classified ads. More than one-third of all Texas City residents — and almost half of all Galveslon County residents — looking for rentals turn to The Galveston Daily News classified ads, according to a survey of 500 persons. Call one of our Ad-Visors today at 744-3611 to start your ad. Cartwright called Brad Messer Thursday to congratulate him on his column in The News about the Old Beachcomber, Christie Mitchell, who now is homebound at 108 Dolphin. We second the motion heartily, for Christie is one person whose heart is as big as all outdoors. While he always was busy with great promotions for the island which he dearly loves, he never was too busy or preoccupied to help others, whether personal friends, acquaintances or strangers.. Nobody can forget his Blue Goose Cadillac convertibles whose fenders looked like crumpled paper because he wasn't too selective about how or where he parked, the empty brief case he always carried and always lost and those big black cigars. He gave so much of himself to so many of us it now is our turn to take a little time to go by his house and chat with him a while, to let him know we care and See PASSING Page 2A surplus and a current commissioner sternly opposed it. The city expects a total general fund budget of $688,086 and a utility fund budget of $349,253. Although most city commissioners appeared proud of the estimated surplus of $45,000, it was a bone of contention to Commissioner Carolyn Holt and several audience members. Former City Commissioner Harry Robinson quickly brought the commission's attention to the fact that the "so-called" surplus was figured into ad valorum tax revenue and was included in the percentage of the general tax levy, adding about $6,000 more into the city's interest and sinking fund than should be there. "The former commissioner never had a surplus to work with, and he doesn't know how to handle it," Commissioner E.W. Cruse returned. Similar arguments over a number of budget figures See HITCHCOCK Page2A By JOEL KIRKPATRICK News Staff Writer Galveston County's "less is more" tentative budget for 1979 was filed in the county clerk's office at 4:30 p.m. Thursday by County Judge Ray Holbrook, chief budget officer for the county. The tentative budget contains a county tax rate cut of 3 cents and a percentage of assessment cut from 28 to 25 percent of market value. Holbrook says the total tax cuts amount to 13.1 percent. However, the county is proposing a total tax supported budget of $18,412,958 — which is $2,146,426 higher than the 1978 budget. The taxes are being collected on total county assessed values for taxes of $1.15, billion — up^by $87 million from the assessed valuation for the previous year. What that means js that. the county's equanzatioh program has put some folks in the position of paying more taxes in smaller increments. In a letter filed with the tentative budget, Holbrook said that "although county expenditures are proposed to increase by $2,146,426 for the year 1979 ($940,000 for debt" service and $1,205,000 for operations) this tentative budget is quite austere, and requests for increased expenditures and new employees have been scaled down drastically." He said any significant decrease in his county budget would result in a decrease in county services. He said he is proposing that a public hearing in the county budget be conducted at 10 a.m. on Oct. 12. He invited the public and any citizen in Galveston County to analyze the budget critically and contact county commissioners or himself with views and recommendations. The budget, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 1979, contains a new job classification program, which was prepared during the past year and a half. The program calls for county employees to get a 6 percent salary increase and for each to move up into the next higher classification. He said that means an effective salary increase of between 8 and 9 percent for all county employees. County elected officials each will be budgeted for salary increases of $2,400 a year. Total county salaries thus would amount to about $8 million, which is an increase of $725,000 over 1978. The new budget shows a federal revenue sharing fund for the period of October 1978 through September 1979, with total anticipated money of $1,265,000. This fund includes money for the appraisal engineers, library, museum fund, Cultural Arts Council, Jack Brooks Park, parks capital outlay funds, the voting machine building, the parking garage and road material. A key feature of Holbrook's budget is the See COUNTY Page 2A Andrich Resigns As Housing Director Joe Andrich, executive director of the Galveston Housing Authority since 1962, has resigned. Saying there was no "one. reason" for his resignation, Andrich submitted a letter to the housing authority's board of commissioners Sept. 13 stating his intention to retire from public service as of Dec. 22. The .resignation was accepted by the board Wednesday during its regular meeting and was announced Thursday in a press conference at the authority office at 920 53rd St. Andrich said he was resigning after 18.5 years of public service because it was "about time." Andrich served on the board of commissioners for two years before accepting the position of executive director. Burdette Eberhardt, chairman of the board, said commissioners will begin efforts to replace Andrich next week, placing advertisements first with local media later wit* Houston me"dia and in a publication of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials./ "We would prefer to get someone close to home,; but if we can't do that, we'll find someone who can handle this job," Eberhardt said. "It's a big job," he added. The housing authority is an autonomous body, governed by a board appointed by the Galveston City Council. It is financed by revenues from public housing and subsidies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The four projects operated by the Galveston Housing Authority require annual operating budgets of $2.2 million. .. AE;',rtGh said the 1,648. uni',4 ; operated by ^JKcK are' 98 "percent occupied, and the authority has a waiting list of 486 families qualified for public, sujbsidteed housing if it were,available. The housing authority owns $20 million in residential property, including 143 buildings on 24 blocks of land. Public housing accommodates an estimated 0,000 persons, approximately 10 percent of the population of Galveston. Andrich said he planned to take a month-long vacation after Dec. 22 and then would consider whatever options present themselves. La Marque Schools Join Property Valuation Appeal Bargain Days Begin; Flea Market To Open Old Time Bargain Days are in full swing in Galveston and the Flea Market opens today in Central Plaza. Special bargains are being offered by area merchants during the Old Time Bargain Days celebration, which continues through Saturday. Shop the ads in the paper today and Saturday. The Flea Market, offering a variety of foods and merchandise for the benefit of local charitable organizations, will continue through Saturday. By JIM MORRIS News Mainland Bureau LA MARQUE—School board members Thursday unanimously agreed to join the Gulf Coast Association of School Boards (GCASB) in appealing the use of intangible personal property in determining a school district's state valuation. Intangible personal property, which was assessed at $512 million for the La Marque Independent School District this year, includes such items as demand deposits, investments, business intangibles, loans and mortgages. The primary complaint from La Marque and many other school districts throughout the state is that it is virtually impossible for districts to determine who owns much of the property so it can be taxed accordingly. Superintendent Eugene Tenney noted that "Many city and suburban schools will have higher intangible personal property assessments than rural schools. The higher valuation would mean increased local funding." Tenney said the GCASB was considering filing a class action suit against the use of such property in determining state values. He added that"perhaps the publicity of the appeal will convince the people in Austin not to let it enter into their assessments." The board also discussed the steps the district would have to take to meet the Texas State Plan for Bilingual Education. Although it was estimated the district contained only six to eight students last year who had serious English deficiencies, it is now required by law to furnish appropriate in- SeeLMPage2A HISD Bilingual Education Ordered Weather GALVESTON area forecast — Mostly cloudy today through Saturday, with scattered thundershowers today, decreasing Saturday. Highs today and Saturday in the low 80s. Low tonight in the upper 70s. Probability of rain is 40 percent today and tonight. BOATING and recreation forecast — Northeast winds at 10 to 15 mph. Bay waters choppy. FISHING-Slow. BEACH water temperature — H3 degrees. HITCHCOCK-The Texas Education Agency has ordered the Hitchcock school board to conduct bilingual education in the district, a move which could cost the district more than $50,000 a year tc implement. Superintendent Charles Larrison said Thursday night the old formula used to decide if bilingual education was necessary slated that either 20 percent of the district or 20 students in each class had to have a language other than English spoken in their homes. Under the new ruling, if one student speaks another language at home, the district must implement bilingual education, he said. Currently, there are 97 Spanish-speaking students in the district. Officials said there are nine French- speaking students, of which five speak Cajun-French, two German and one each of Italian and Czech. The district must Implement the bilingual education or find its federal funds and accreditation in jeopardy. "It's the power of the purse, that's what we're talking about," Larrison said. Officials estimated that one bilingual teacher would be needed in each of the four schools, at a salary of $12,000 each, plus funds for rooms and some supplies. The state provides $25 per student for bilingual education. Bilingual testing of the students will begin as soon as the tests, ordered from California, arrive. In other business, Larrison told the board that a student, struck by a car Tuesday morning, had to be taken to the hospital by a relative because Jordan Ambulance, the private firm which serves the area, was unable to do so. The superintendent told the ~ board that the ambulance service had only one person on duty at the time of the accident and that it is required to have two when making emergency calls. Attempts to reach the ambulance service's officials for comment were unsuccessful Thursday night. The board also learned that an average of 1,000 students were being served meals in the cafeterias, compared to a high of 700 last year. About 70 are taking advantage of the breakfast program, officials said. The district reported a total of 1,597 students in attendance. Check EXPLOSION rips apart a rig atop government's strategic crude oil reserve. Page 2A. STATE health officials say an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease during a recent VFW convention poses no threat to Dallas residents. Page SB. Other reaiurvfi Amusements.. 12-13A Bridge 12A Comics HA Crossword 6A Deaths 2A Horoscope 12A Marine Log 14A Markets 5A People, Family ... 4A Police Beat 8A Sports 1-4B TV Listings 12A Viewpoints 10A Want Ads 5-13B Weather ,.. 9A

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