Letters – Parents, children and water works
Parents of slaying victim speak out
To the Editor:
About two months after our son Ryan Armstrong was killed, we sent a letter to Criminal District Attorney Trey Hicks, asking him to defend our son’s life and to use the balance of the legal system to prosecute the man who confessed to taking Ryan’s life.
We asked him to remember that our so
n was, first and foremost, a warm, compassionate and loving person – more than just a case number or docket number. We asked him to make sure that the case was as personal to him and his staff as it was to us.
We want to thank you, all of you, for the hard work and true commitment you put forth to attempt to convict the man who confessed to killing Ryan. We will forever be indebted to the District Attorney’s Office, both Trey Hicks and Fred Weber, past and present Criminal District Attorneys, Cassandra Benoist-Templeton, Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Lauren Miller, Felony Witness Coordinator, Carmen Hileman, Victim Assistance Coordinator, and Mark Jarmon, Criminal Investigator.
We will always have an eternal gratitude for the Lockhart Police Department, Chris Knudson, Support Services Lieutenant, John Holiday, Investigator, Daniel Williams, Patrol Sergeant and the rest of the Department in its entirety.
Even after Ryan was killed, all of you continued to show Ryan the respect and dignity he deserved. We also want to thank the Caldwell County Sheriff’s department, Sheriff Daniel C. Law and Captain Mike Lane for always being there for Ryan and also for allowing Licia Edwards, Victim Services to be by our sides at a moment’s notice.
In our minds and hearts, we know we won. All of you truly worked so hard to bring Cole to justice but it just wasn’t meant to be. You gave Ryan a voice, he became your child and we know how hard it was for you, not to get the conviction.
As time moves on just know that each and every one you are all always in our hearts and in our prayers. You are truly part of our family and we can only wish that you enjoy the best that life has to offer. Hold your heads high, you won, Ryan won, the jurors are who failed.
Bob and Pam Fritsch
Parent praises sports and smarts
To the Editor:
I am writing in reference to the statement of our community and newspaper putting too much emphasis on our athletics.
I feel the statement was made in error, or lack of interest in sports
I have always been proud of our newspaper publishing the first – eighth grade honor rolls. That made my kids interested in looking for their name in the newspaper, which actually had them reading even more. Thank you very much. You can’t get that in larger communities.
I hate to say it, but so many people are interested in sports more than academics, because that’s what SELLS – t-shirts, banners, hats… stuff. Not that it’s right or wrong.
Often, academic accomplishments are published with a story and photo, such as Culinary Arts, DECA, TAFE, Band and so many others. It is up to teachers, leaders and even parents to let our newspaper know these things. Often, parents submit items such as a child graduating from our military system or earning a degree in college. It’s up to us as a community to acknowledge our children (our future) for all of the accomplishments they do, so when they go into the world they know they can accomplish many things and their hometown will always be ready to put it in our newspaper.
I would also like to say that the monies raised by athletes and parents (putting in many hours of volunteering) should stay where it is raised. If the LISD wants money for something else, let them raise it themselves.
P.S. My daughter says athletes deserve attention because a lot of them have jobs, and have to keep their grades up to play.
(Mother of two athletes and academically well-rounded children)
Developer addresses WSC sales pitch
Mr. President and Directors:
At the Feb. 26 meeting of the Board of Directors of Maxwell Water Supply, our Board will consider an offer from the City of San Marcos to acquire approximately 5,000 acres of Maxwell Water Supply territory (CCN). This offer is the result of several years of ongoing discussions between the City of San Marcos and Maxwell, and is to some extent triggered by a request to remove approximately 600 acres from the Maxwell CCN that was initiated by a real estate development with which I am associated, and is now the subject of litigation. Notwithstanding this conflict, I write you today solely in my capacity as a Member of the WSC.
As one of the approximately 1,900 Maxwell members, I urge the Board to give this offer serious consideration. As a member, my expectations and desires for water service are very simple. I desire dependable service and quality water, at an affordable price. It is my personal opinion that the majority of Maxwell members share this simple goal. Selling this territory will generate almost $2,000,000 in revenue to Maxwell WSC and result in the loss of no existing customers.
Our water supply corporation along with many others in the State of Texas has served an important role in providing rural water service. Maxwell has done a fine job over the years of fulfilling this need in our County. The State of Texas however has created a mechanism for property owners with tracts over 25 acres to opt out of our CCN and request service from an adjoining utility provider. This is occurring on a more frequent basis and is likely to continue based upon current legal rulings. This will likely impact Maxwell in a negative fashion in the Western portion of our CCN.
Unfortunately, the nature of Maxwell”s territory has changed. The Western portion of our CCN (San Marcos) is likely to be developed in a much more intensive manner which will potentially add thousands of new customers to the water providers system over the next decade. Likewise, this growth will require the water provider to make a major financial commitment to acquire water rights. We have no business getting into the high intensity water business. That is not why we were created and we are not geared to compete with larger providers.
Apparently there are Directors on our Board who relish this growth opportunity. We need to find out why they feel this growth benefits our membership. It is my opinion that this growth in no way benefits our existing 1,900 members. It will require Maxwell WSC to make a major long term commitment to acquire water rights to provide service to these areas, require adding significant staff, increase our debt load, and not serve to lower our water rates in the slightest! In fact, those fortunate enough to end up in San Marcos”s CCN will see water rate savings of approximately 20 percent and impact fees that are 50 percent of what Maxwell charges!
Again, while I am appreciative of the role that Maxwell WSC has served in providing water to rural Caldwell and Hays Counties, the need for our small water supply company has changed. I urge our members to attend the February Board meeting to question our Board of Directors as to the reasons behind their aggressive growth strategy. I contend this will in no way benefit our current membership.
My recommendation is that Maxwell negotiate a contract with the City of San Marcos to sell the Western portion of our territory. These funds will most likely pay off a significant portion, if not all of Maxwell’s debt. I have been unable to confirm our debt load as Maxwell refused my request to provide me with a current Balance Sheet so I could better analyze our liabilities and debts. Perhaps they will disclose at the meeting if requested by other Members.
I further recommend that our Board create a committee of Director and Members to explore the options for the sale or merger of Maxwell”s remaining territory and assets. There are several other water systems that adjoin Maxwell and the merger or sale could serve to create a stronger, more viable water supply company. This could result in lower water bills for our members.
It is my opinion that the majority of our Membership has no interest in participating in this costly and aggressive growth strategy. If that is the case, our Board needs to hear from you. The job of our Directors is to represent the interests of our current membership, not spend millions of dollars to facilitate service to future customers.
Please attend the Feb. 26 meeting and make your opinion heard.
Robert W. McDonald, III