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Monday, July 28, 1997


By Rick Smith

Volunteers must do their duty

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Those who participate as community service volunteers deserve a
lot of respect. Often such positions require much work, very little
thanks and, of course, no pay.

People who do volunteer work often say the work has its own rewards.
Volunteering makes you feel a part of your community. It makes you feel
like you are returning some of the help the community has given you in
the past. Sometimes you just feel good knowing you helped someone in
need, if you are helping.

Volunteers play a vital role in most communities. They often help run a
variety of organizations from hospitals to fire departments, from child
care centers to nursing homes. Sometimes volunteers perform the most
menial tasks, cleaning up after everyone, and sometimes they make
decisions that control the destinies of the organizations for which they

Once a group comes to depend on a volunteer they are sorely missed if
they cannot perform their duties. Things get dirty quick if a volunteer
janitor does not show up. Someone can get hurt if a volunteer fireman
does not get to the fire. Organizations can grind to a halt if volunteer
boards and commissions do not perform the job they volunteered to do.

There is one volunteer group in Reeves County that is not doing its job
and is placing an important program at risk.

(It took me a while, but I finally got around to my point.)

The Head Start Policy Council of the Reeves County Community Council is
jeopardizing early education for children in the county. As of the last
meeting of the community council (which the policy council was supposed
to attend), the policy council has not put together a quorum in six
months. There was talk of holding an emergency meeting to see if policy
council members still wanted to work on the council but I have not heard
of such a meeting being scheduled.

I think its way past time to be asking the policy council members who
haven't shown up if they still want to be members. Most groups have
something in the bylaws to the effect that if a board member misses so
many meetings they can be thrown off the board.

I say throw the bums out. They've already had six strikes, their're outa

Local Head Start administrators say they have plenty of new volunteers
willing to work on the policy council. They should be given a chance to
show what they can do. It's obvious some new blood is needed.

Because of the lack of action on the part of the policy council the
local Head Start program is in trouble with the federal agency that
oversees the program. If action is not taken soon the Reeves County
Community Council will lose control of the Head Start programs in
Saragosa, Pecos and Monahans. That control will then be bid out to some
other agency in West Texas.

Those who should know say that we will not lose our Head Start programs
because of these problems. But if we cannot get local people to care
enough to run the program properly what will happen if some group in El
Paso or Lubbock is running the program?

It's time for the no-show volunteers on the Head Start Policy Council to
step aside and let new, active volunteers take their place on the

Rick Smith is an Enterprise writer and city editor whose column appears
each Monday.


Tourism promotion can turn Pecos around

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Dear Editor:

Thank you for improving the Enterprise. It is our hometown paper and I
enjoy hometown news.

I have not had the pleasure of meeting Rick Smith, but am impressed
with his writing. Wish he would have more articles in each paper.
Wouldn't even mind if he gave the commissioners more hell!

And I'm SO glad Peggy has discovered tourism. How many years have I
preached tourism and what it could do for Pecos. If our fair city and
county would involve themselves more with activities and tourism related
interests, it could turn Pecos around. I saw that when I was so involved
with the museum and worked very hard, with the help of many local
citizens, to improve and add to the museum and its surroundings. The
museum has been the ONLY year-round drawing card for Pecos - as far as
tourism goes - but there could be more. But it won't get done unless
citizens get involved and make it happen. Will they?

When they won't even throw their trash somewhere other than the
streets. It was recently in Vancouver, B.C. and Alaska and the
cleanliness was what I noticed first and foremost. Once a week, while on
my walk, I pick up the trash on Jackson between Hwy. 17 and Texas
Street. It is amazing, and disgusting, how much trash of every
description that I collect - just on this lovely boulevard.

Thanks to all of you who have helped me and the West of the Pecos
Museum over the years. The museum is one of the most important assets in
Pecos, historically and otherwise, and needs the support of you and me.

I was impressed also with the friendliness, special attention and
enthusiasm of your Jeannie Hanks. Thanks also to Rosie, Christina and
all the staff. Genora Burkholder Prewit


Time to bite bullet on military presence

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Dear Editor:

I was saddened several weeks ago by the the death of a young man in
Presidio as a result of having federal troops along the border.the
stories are conflicting about exactly what happened..... needless to say
a young man is dead as a result of misdirected public policy.

Several months ago their were hearings in Washington about the drug
wars along the border. I have been reminded by law enforcement types
(LOCAL) that they are better equipped to handle the problems if they are
given the proper resources.

One former sheriff in another county stated flatly the shooting in
Presidio would not have happened if the Border Patrol or local sheriffs
were allowed to handle that situation.

Our local congressman, Henry Bonilla, abstained on the vote on whether
to militarize the border. This sent a clear message to our border
constituents, Mr Bonilla was afraid to fade the heat from his eastern
establishment friends in Congress who would militarize the border in an
effort to curry political favor in their home districts.

This incident does one other thing, it puts blame on the military. I
served with a infantry line company in Viet Nam. Young infantry types
are taught to shoot back when fired upon, we are not taught about the
art of restraint or to mirandize potential bad guys. The blame on this
one needs to reside with those who make the public policy or those in
Congress who lack the courage to make these tough decisions.

-- Charlie Jones
San Antonio, Texas
Former congressional candidate for the 23rd District

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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