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Wednesday, August 16, 2000

City manager Neal announces resignation

Staff Writer

PECOS, August 16, 2000 - Town of Pecos City Manager Kenneth Neal handed a letter of resignation to the Pecos City Council during a budget meeting last night.

Neal, who has been city manager for four years, is taking the city manager's job in Balch Springs, near Dallas.

"I've never worked down there so this might be a shock to me," Neal said.

He said he has known some of the councilmen in Balch Springs for a while so when they lost their city manager suddenly they call him to offer him the job.

Neal said the first call came in on Saturday morning and he decided to think about the offer. On Sunday he called back and accepted the job.

He said he was not planning on leaving Pecos before this job offer came in.

"This wasn't anything I was seeking, it was just something that happened," Neal said.

He said the change is just another step in his career goals.

Balch Springs has a population of about 22,000 and Neal said has many challenges for him to face once he is there.

"I'm excited about going down there and getting to work," he said.

Neal said he has a lot of family in the Mesquite area making his decision easier but regrets leaving his family of friends in Pecos.

"My friends here have been my family," he said. "But I'll continue the friendship with family here."

City Secretary Geneva Martinez said the city staff was surprised to here of Neal's resignation.

"We're going to miss him and we with him well," Martinez said.

Prescilla Lara, Utilities Supervisor, said Neal is the best city manager she has worked with. She said other city managers never knew everyone's name but Neal took the time to get to know everybody.

"He was our friend first, then he was our boss," Lara said. "We're going to miss him, he's become a part of us."

Neal said he appreciates Pecos for being such a friendly community and for all the support that he has had from the city staff, the Council and the community.

"I've enjoyed my time in Pecos and I wish well to my replacement," he said.

Neal said his last day as Pecos City Manager would be on Friday so he could start his new job in Balch Springs on Monday.

Last night during the budget meeting the Council discussed the job change with Neal, but will not decide what to do about a new city manager until the next budget meeting on Monday.

During the budget meeting Tuesday night the Council also discussed the contract with Duncan Disposal.

Representatives from Duncan asked the Council to consider a 20 percent rise in their rates due to the increase in landfill costs and fuel.

Currently the rate for their services is $575,000. The Council was not in favor of the 20 percent raise and decided to let a committee including Councilman Gerald Tellez and Councilman Ricky Herrera would get together with the Duncan Disposal team to discuss the needs of Pecos and the needs of Duncan Disposal, which trucks the city's refuse to their regional landfill site 65 miles to the east in Ector County.

"We have to explore all our options," Mayor Ray Ortega said.

The meeting was then scheduled for 10 a.m., on Monday, August 28.

The Council also decided to keep the current budgets for the Pecos Ambulance Service and the city Fire Marshal the same.

The Council will discuss other department budgets at a later date.

Former top PHS grads advise current seniors

Staff Writer

PECOS, August 16, 2000 - A trio of recent Pecos graduates spoke to a class of seniors at Pecos High School Tuesday about applying for college and life at a university.

Alva Alvarez, Efrain Rodriguez and Jonathan Fuentes are 1999 Pecos grads and all attend college in Boston. Alvarez and Fuentes are students at Harvard University and Rodriguez is a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The three were asked to visit with the class by science teacher Barbara Scown, who said she likes to encourage students in to being mentors to younger students.

Scown told her class they need to remember where they came from when they go off to college.

"When you get to college give yourself back to the community," Scown said. "That insures success."

That is why she asked the three graduates to come back and speak to the class.

Alvarez, Rodriguez and Fuentes talked to the class about the different tests the seniors would have the option of taking for the purpose of getting into various universities and colleges.

The main test most students take is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The graduates stressed the importance of taking such a test but assured the class that the SATs are not the only ones that would get them accepted into a university.

"Don't become obsessed with the SAT," Fuentes said.

He also said having a high SAT score is not absolutely important to have.

"Don't be disappointed if you don't do well," Fuentes said. "That's not all they look at."

"Universities look at the well rounded student," Fuentes said. "One who manages their time well and still keeps their grades up."

Although they said not to worry so much about scores, the graduates told the class to make sure they take the SAT at least once.

They also told the class about different tests they could take like the ACTs and the SAT 2, a subject test, and the TASP test. Students are required to take the TASP test before they take any college course, but the graduates assured the class that that test is required only in Texas and could go to a school out-of-state without taking it.

The graduates also discussed the importance of applying for scholarships.

"Apply for every scholarship available," Alvarez said.

They told the students to go to the school counselor's office everyday and check for applications. They also said the Internet has many scholarships available online for various things. Fuentes said the students should also check corporation's websites such as McDonald's for corporate scholarships. He said they usually have many types of scholarships that they could apply for.

The graduates also discussed the application process for the universities and filing forms for financial aid.

They said to be as personal as possible when applying and if a school interviews the student, they need to be themselves because the schools are looking for personality.

"They'll be looking to what you'll add to their campus," Fuentes said.

The graduates also said to apply for financial aid even if the student's parents have enough money, because every school has different expectations when considering applications for aid.

Fuentes said that for example two-thirds of the students at Harvard receive financial aid because it is such an expensive school, costing over $30,000 a year.

Most of all the students wanted the class to know that anything is possible and to go after their dreams.

"Don't let anyone tell you that you can't get into a school," Alvarez said. "You've got to believe in yourself."

All three graduates are heading back to Boston soon to begin their second year at college.

Alvarez is currently majoring in Social Anthropology, which she explains in the study of mankind and their behaviors and cultures.

Rodriguez is majoring in Materials Science and Engineering while Fuentes is majoring in government.

The graduates said they enjoyed answering questions from the class and explaining to them what needs to be done before graduation.

"I enjoyed it because whatever chance we as college students have it is important to come back and give back to the community," Rodriguez said.

"I hope all of them follow their dreams and they don't give up," Alvarez said.

"The students at PHS have so much potential and meetings like this help capitalize on that," Rodriguez said.

Commissioners OK golf gazebo, offer `wish list'

Staff Writer

PECOS, August 16, 2000 - Improvements at the Reeves County Golf Course and a "Wish List" from the county to the Texas Department of Transportation were topics of discussion at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting Monday afternoon.

Farris Murphy, with the Pecos Women's Golf Association, told the group on Monday that the ladies wanted to build a gazebo and place it at the golf course.

"This would be a permanent structure and we want to fit in with the plans that you already have," said Murphy.

Murphy stated that they are still getting estimates on the structure and that they wanted it to be nice. "But before we proceed we wanted to get permission from you," she said.

"I spoke to (PWGA member) Jo Cooksey and we discussed where to place it," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "I don't see a problem with that."

Galindo made the motion to construct the gazebo and place it between hole number 9 and the putting green, in front of the clubhouse.

TxDOT Engineer Specialist John Salcido was on hand for the regular meeting to discuss with the commissioners and request a "wish list" from them.

"We're requesting that you come up with a list of projects that you would like pursued. We call it a `wish list,'" he said.

These projects may or may not be constructed within the next 10 years and the list needs to be prioritized, according to Salcido.

The list needs t be completed and turned in by Aug. 31 and the county will receive a response by November.

"Anything not on the list will not be considered," said Salcido.

Meetings will be held in Andrews and Fort Stockton at that time, according to Salcido.

Galindo told the court that over the last several years, they have been planning on landscaping and working on getting a greenhouse going at the Reeves County Detention Center and using the trees from there for the landscaping project. "We're working on getting some funding to get an irrigation system and buying plant material, with the city and county providing in-kind services," he said.

Galindo stated that there are also some bridges that need to be repaired.

Commissioners approved the certified tax roll and designated Elfida Zuniga, Reeves County Tax-Assessor Collector to calculate the tax rate.

Property tax exemptions and payment options were also approved as presented by Zuniga.

"The exemptions are pretty much the same as last year with the over 65 exemptions, veterans and disabled veterans, 65 years of age can receive up to 100 percent," said Zuniga.

Half of the base tax can be paid by Nov. 30 and the other half by June 30 and no penalty will be incurred by Feb. 1, according to Zuniga.

Commissioners approved payment invoices number 193, 196, 197, 183, and 200, to DRG Architects and payment invoice number 16, to Banes General Contractors.

Transportation vans for the Reeves County Detention Center will be bid out and a dishwashing machine lease agreement was approved, during the meeting.

An agreement between the RCDC and Odessa College for Training Services was approved. "Odessa College will be providing two instructors for VT and horticultural," said Galindo.

Odessa College benefits by the credit hours and the state pays them, so it's no cost to the county, according to Galindo.

Dining room tables for the new addition at the RCDC will be purchased from Rondeck, at $16,662 for the dining room tables and 24 chairs. Other furnishings, such as chairs, seating and tables for the dayroom area, inmate storage boxes will be purchased from Norex.

Commissioners approved the oath and deputation of Jaime H. Palma as a reserve deputy for the Reeves County Sheriff's Office; Jose Millan Gonzales, Jr. and Israel Campos.

New hires at the Reeves County Detention Center include Danny Bradley as a Correctional Officer I at a salary of $19,000 per year; Aldrene Renee Starks, Julia Rayos, Jacob Contreras, Oscar Garay, Jackie Hernandez, Tony Hinojos, Valerie Lara, Brian McClure, Robin McDowell, Susan Moore, Evarista Mora, Monica Nichols, Salvador Nichols, Rosendo Olguin, Jr., Bacelio Ortega, Michael Chabarria as Correctional Officrers 1 at a starting salary of $19,000.

Jennifer Rainwater has been promoted to the position of Correctional Officer II at a alary of $24,000 per year; Jose Luis Rodriguez, Jr., promoted to the position of Correctional Officer II at a salary of $24,000; Ruben Salcido, Ricardo Salgado, Jessie Sauceda, Angel Tarin, Rudy Villegas, Lupe Wilkins, Richard Valencia have all been promoted to Correctional Officer II at a salary of $24,000. Felipe Sotelo has been hired by the RCDC as Foreign Medical Graduate at a salary of $34,000; Arturo Pallan has been promoted to the position of Food Service Administrator Assistant at $26,000 per year.

Misty Cason was hired as a lifeguard/concession stand operator substitute at the Northside Swimming Pool on a part-time temporary basis at $6 and $5.15; Gary Garcia was hired as a concession stand operator substitute at the Northside Swimming Pool on a part-time temporary basis at $5.15 an hour.

Hector Lozano will be working as a jailer at the Reeves County Sheriff's Office at $19,000 annually and Michelle Florez Carrasco was hired as a secretary-receptionist at $12,000 annually.

Meeting Sunday on van service in Balmorhea

PECOS, August 16, 2000 - Reeves County Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin said a meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday in Balmorhea for all individuals interested in transportation for senior citizens.

Tarin said the meeting will be at the Balmorhea Fire Hall and will be to offer more information to seniors on the van transportation system, which has been put into service. Refreshments will be served during the meeting.


Juan Rey

Juan Rey, 66, of Pecos, died Monday, Aug. 14, 2000, at Reeves County Hospital.

Mass will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 17, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church, with burial in Balmorhea Cemetery.

He was born Nov. 24, 1933, in Toyah, was a construction worker, a lifetime Pecos resident and a Catholic.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Carmen Rey and Manuela Nunez Rey; one son, Curtis Wayne Rey; two brothers, Thomas Rey, Sr. and Gilbert Rey.

Survivors include his wife, Petronila Sanchez Garcia; his longtime companion Eva Rodriguez; one stepson, Bobby Cabrerra of Odessa; two daughters, Betty Rey Lozano of Balmorhea and Peggy Rey Hougham of El Paso; one step-daughter, Delfa Rodriguez of Pecos; one brother, Alfredo Rey of Midland; four sisters, Anita Rey of Austin, Martha Ontiveros of Big Spring, Flora Rey of Hanford, Calif. and Mary Marin of Odessa; 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home of Pecos is in charge of arrangements.

Eulalia Maldonado

Services are incomplete for Eulalia Fuentes Maldonado, 71, who died Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2000 at her residence.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Arcadia G. Urquidi

Services are incomplete for Arcadia G. Urquidi, 88, of Pecos, who died Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2000 at the Pecos Nursing Home.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.


PECOS, August 16, 2000 - High Tuesday 97. Low this morning 71. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low 70-75. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. High in the lower 90s. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Thursday night: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low near 70. Friday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms. High 90-95.

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Pecos Enterprise
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