Things and Stuff

Lost another local icon last week.  Bubba Hanson took off and left us without an electrician.  He did all the County work during the last 12 years.  Granted, it was on his schedule..had to always remember that there is Central Standard Time and there is Bubba Hanson time.  Believe it or not, he will be missed.  
Seems its Rodeo weather time and it has seemed to set in already.  Cold, wet and borderline miserable.  We did get a good start to 2023 last Tuesday when we got 7 tenths of an inch of rain.  Probly cause I washed my truck.  Nickie and Jason got 5 inches in Magnolia…traffic in front of their house was causing waves of water to wash into folks garages when they passed by.
Retirement is pretty good so far.  Forgot what day it was once…a week or so ago.  When I retired from SAPD in 2006, I said that I wasn’t gonna do nothing for a month…that lasted bout a week.  Took to trimming trees and stayed busy.  This time, I stuck to it…ain’t done nothing much beside trim a tree, build a picture frame and fix a cabinet door for Sandy.  Gonna get active in February.
Still getting calls from our new Commissioner but, they are few and far between now.  Think he’s got this under control.  Lotta good things happening out there.
Got a few ideas for your President…we can fix the Border by enforcing the laws ALREADY on the books.  Quit sending our Strategic Oil Reserve to Russia and elsewhere overseas.  Stop financing other countries with our tax dollars.  Keep our money here and there probly would not be a debt ceiling that needed raising.  If stopping pipelines sending oil to Russia will cripple their economy, why did he stop the ones in our country?  Quit blaming high gas and grocery prices on outside factors..take responsibility once in a while.  Watta maroon..please run in 2024…cheese and rice dude.  There are more but, KK ain’t gonna give me that much space.  
Please be sure and put the author of this column at the top cause I don’t wanna listen to Sammy Smith complain about not knowing who wrote it.  Keep praying for rain least until Medina Lake is full.  Didn’t see anything on the Medina County Agenda to comment on but, did not look at Devine City Council Agenda.  City folks need to get involved. 

Farewell

This is gonna be the last edition of this column. My 12 year stint as Commissioner in Pct 4 will end midnight New Years Eve. Sure went by fast.
During my tenure, we have made many accomplishments. New and dependable equipment to do our jobs with, new buildings, subdivision rules that have an impact, and recently we got a County tax freeze for 65 and older on the ballot and it passed bout 14-1. There are many other items to list but, not enough space.
Many thanks the Department Heads that consistently managed their budgets conservatively and came in under budget….think that we have bout $20 million in our Reserves to start 2023.
The Medina County Elected Officials and their staff have been a pleasure to work with and I consider each and every one of them a friend.
My Administrative Assistant, Gracie Martinez, along with Ciro Garcia, Emilio Carrillo, Jr. Rodriguez, Clay Triesch, Paul Sellers, Ray Hernandez and John Gorhum made coming to work very easy. Gracie ran the office and I just signed stuff, while the crew took care of business without a lot of intervention.
I always tried to make working in Pct 4 a place where you wanted to come and not a place where you had to come. These folks are adults and did not need to be supervised constantly. They did their jobs well and I am proud of each of them.
While on Commissioners Court, we Commissioners (and the Judge) did not always agree on items or the outcome of the decisions made but, we always had the good of the County in mind…and whatever the decision, we supported it.
So, to the voters and residents of Medina County Pct 4, I thank you for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I have been a public servant all of my adult life it seems and now, I’m gonna fade into the scenery.
I’ll take with me a knowledge that the County is in good hands, a lot of fond memories and my stalker.
God bless you all and Merry Christmas!

2.3

The last two weeks were quite eventful…we got a little over 2.3 inches of rain out t’wards the Black Creek metroplex, bringing our total to 18.4 inches for the year…so far. Zackly what we had for 2020. We need more years like 2018 when we got 46.8 inches.
Did some contract renewals and vacating and re-platting of lots and such. Good reports from the Treasurer and Auditor are always good to get too. Debbie Southwell and Eduardo Lopez keep us on our toes when it comes to spending money…correctly.
We kept our usual contribution to the San Antonio Food Bank Distribution Program at the $12,000 mark. Was told that once we get the funding from Federal sources, the construction of the new Nutrition Center can begin.
Evidently, Mandi Wilcox is doing such a good job with the WIC Program that Atascosa County wants to join our group. This was tabled until the next meeting.
We did cancel the December 29th Commissioners Court meeting so, I only gotta go to one more meeting. We also cancelled the Burn Ban effective midnight today (Monday) so, burn it if you need to, but call the Sheriff’s Office and let them know.
We have gotten our trailer in the yard for old tires and will be accepting them from 8-4:30 Monday through Thursday. Call ahead (830-665-8015) and let us know when you are coming so we can have someone there to direct you to where they need to go. No tractor tires….
Thanksgiving is come and gone and it is now legal to put up Christmas decorations. After our Thanksgiving Day meal, I aint gotta eat until December 15th. Only leftover I look forward to is the ham…
Got a lot to look forward to come January…gonna finally get to trim ALL my trees, fix my tank so that I can go get wet whenever I wanna, and Willie Jo and I are planning a motorcycle ride to Michigan…and I aint gotta get up early no more. Woo Hoo!
Been axed a lot about whether or not I am gonna keep writing columns….told them that is totally up to KK. She may be open to saving space for more pertinent information (I never mentioned Brandon even once). Told Ron Outlaw that if I’m cancelled, I’d write him a letter every two weeks and Jimmy Wilkinson will have to find another way to keep up on the Devine happenings.

Hallylouya

Hallylouya the Elections are finally over! Congratulations to Danny Lawler, Larry Sittre and Phillip Lange. Medina County remains a conservative Republican stronghold….and the Tax Freeze Proposition passed with 97% of the vote!
Our Medina County Sheriff’s Office received a Federal Grant called “The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program Grant” in the amount of $6,850. Woo Hoo…oughta call it “The Drop in the Bucket Grant”. Least it’s something…
Cara Thomas gave us a report on the Chapter 59 Asset Forfeiture fund and the Equitable Sharing fund that is managed by the Sheriff’s Office. In the Seizure fund, there is $80,659 for use by the SO and there is $12,318 in the Forfeiture fund. Good to use crooks money against them.
We also adopted a Resolution creating the Adult Sexual Assault Team to better investigate these types of cases and to make reporting them easier once it is seen that cases are tried and crooks are sent to prison.
Whole lotta vacating and replatting also…seems we always have a little bit of this every meeting, making it quite evident that Medina County is growing.
Governor Abbot has declared an invasion at our Southern Border. We’ll see if there is any effect on the flood of drugs and the criminal element or not…
Good to see that he is shipping some of them to Zombieland (Philadelphia).
We had a workshop dealing with the Castroville Airport after the meeting having to do with zoning restrictions around the airport. Biggest thing that I noticed was an air of contention in the room. Sposed to have a meeting that night (Thursday) and work on the restrictions.
Been working with the Lytle Mayor to eliminate one of the biggest dumping sites in the Twin Lakes area. We will start working on it on the 21st. Amazing how some people can be so inconsiderate and down-right trashy.
Getting cooler finally. Still need rain. We have only gotten 16.1 inches so far this year out in the Black Creek metroplex. Have a great Thanksgiving!
Only 31 days till Christmas! No decorations until after Thanksgiving and I one-upped Lewis Stroud this week.

Dry Couple Weeks

Very dry couple weeks…Francisco Creek managed to run for a little while when we got that rain on October 28th, but not for long.
Pct 1 is paving some roads up by one of the Capital Aggregates quarries and has had base material donated for their project. That sure cuts down on the cost of paving.
Did a lot of vacating and re-platting for subdivisions in other Precincts and gave final approval for Redbird Ranch Phase 2 in Pct 2 off of CR 381.
Early Voting was in full swing during the last two weeks. Over 11,500 people voted early…nearly 32% of the registered voters in the County. Now, we need to make a good showing on Election Day.

Cant take her anyway

Not much rain to speak of recently…only 14.6 inches for Black Creek Estates in 2022. Sposed to be some on the way this week so, we’ll see. Went to vote Monday morning and Katie Shults done broke one of the machines. Can’t take her anywhere…
For those who have been trying to contact our office this last two weeks, we have been without telephone or computer service since October 7th. This is a result of a mistake made by AT&T and they are in no hurry to accept responsibility or expedite the repair. Remember when their commercial said “We may be the only phone company in town but, we try not to act like it”? Now they do. They can flip a switch and stop service but, it takes an act of Congress to flip it back on. Does no good whatsoever to complain.
The public overwhelmingly approved the County to proceed with a Grant application to address the flooding issues in the D’Hanis area. The application process is gonna cost us about $45,000 but I am understanding that this will be reimbursed or included as an expense in the grant itself.
Pct 1 advertised for bids to remodel and add on to their office and got the required 3 bids. I can’t believe the cost of materials. The low bid was a little over $134,000! More than it cost me to build my 2,500 sq ft house including the 2 car garage.
Early voting started Monday and the parking lot at the Annex remained full almost all day. I think this is a good sign. We have got to start taking our country back so, why not start now. I am hoping that all the incumbent Democrat office holders are voted out of office. Our current Democratic Socialist regime has to be dismantled soon. Our children and grandchildren need the opportunity to grow up in the same country that our generation grew up in. My apologies to the Greatest Generation.
For those of you, who think that the bigger the number of political signs along the roadway, the better the candidate, please stay home.
Early voting numbers for the County were up quite a bit. At the Devine/Natalia site located at the County Annex building across from Tractor Supply there were 357 folks showed up to vote on the first day. In Castroville, 533 voted and in Hondo, 400 voted. We need to pick it up a little over here.
There is a possibility that we will begin the process of paving Zig Zag Rd. from SH 132 to the city limits out towards Rose Hill. Depends on the City Contractor and the weather.
We still need folks to pray for rain. It has cooled off a little but, we need rain.

Stock up on fire wood

Been kinda dry since September 1…Sandy was all excited because the temperature is sposed to be in the 50’s this weekend. Time to pull out the coats and stock up on fire wood.
Commissioners Court recognized the Medina County Historical Society for their receipt of the Distinguished Service Award for 2021. Seems that they have been getting this every year since I been in office. They do a great job of reminding folks about Medina County’s history.
Did a lot of vacating and replatting of subdivisions. Seems like we appeal to folks wanting to get outta San Antonio, California and New York. Just hope they leave their socialist ways behind.
The Budget for FY 2022-23 was discussed and passed by a vote of 3-1. Even with one foreign object in the punch bowl, it seems to ruin the whole batch…and there were (in my opinion) several foreign objects in this one.
Next up was the Medina County Tax Rate…the figure that determines how much tax money the County will receive to fund the Budget. Seems funny that we approve the Budget BEFORE we pass the Tax Rate. This year, the Rate is $0.4743 per $100 evaluation. I could have stomached voting for the “No New Revenue” rate of $0.4551 but it would have only been a moral victory. This passed 3-1 also.
We approved a bid for remodeling the old Treasurers office now housing the Extension Office and approved an increase in Sheriff and Constable fees for service.
We changed the date for the next Commissioners Court meeting from October 6th to the 13th due to a couple Commissioners being at Conference. David Lynch was chosen to chair the meetings in the absence of the County Judge.
I would like to thank Leonard Dossey and Darrin Frazier for showing up and speaking on behalf of the taxpaying public in regards to the Tax Rate and the ridiculous Appraisals that we all had to swallow this year. Like these two men, when the public is forced to tighten their belts due to the rising cost of everything from food to fuel, I believe that the government should follow suit…at all levels. Lead by example.
I sure would like to see the Republican and the Democratic Parties get behind the effort to freeze County taxes for our 65 and older residents. Seems this is not very important to them and should take center stage in our next election…right next to voting out every incumbent Democrat that is in office now. God blessed us with Ann Peden for a short while.
I think that I’ll go into the cattle business when I retire from the County. According to George Alexander and Ron Outlaw, there is a lotta money in this. All you gotta do is get a couple cows and turn em loose in a field. With all the careless weed, stickers and cockleburrs, they always have plenty to eat…then you go sell them for a bucket load of money. Only 42 days to the Election, 89 days till Christmas and 95 days till total retirement….maybe.

Mind those Gutters Boy

This extended dry spell has created widespread challenges for many parts of La Brasada and beyond. And with the frequent reminders almost daily all over the media, it is understandable for some of us “elders” to think back and recall “water management techniques” used from earlier days.
I cannot tell you the year my Grand Parents drilled their water well on our Home Place, but it was already there in my childhood days of the 1950’s. I am told it was originally “sweet water”, but all I can remember is that it tasted bad and would ruin a white shirt, turning it into the color of “rusty red” if washed in it. Then and now, we use that well’s water only for livestock and wildlife purposes.
Such a situation meant washing days began by drawing buckets of water from the hand dug cistern just outside the back door into the various wash tubs arranged in a systematic pattern by my Granny along the back porch. It also meant that cistern was the sole source of water for cooking, bathing, and drinking, drawn into the house by a hand pump. Those details will be used for a different tale or two down the road, Lord willing.
Whenever it did manage to rain over the course of time from about the mid 1950’s to the late 1970’s, I can recall the water gathering process was always the same. We would let the water run off the tin roof for a period of time deemed sufficient by one of my Grandparents. This was to remove any of the unwanted deposits found on roofs everywhere in south Texas, so use your imagination as to the specifics that were washed off.
Then, upon command, whoever was around that could help, would form a gutter brigade and move our spouts so the water run off would be directed into that old cistern. Just sitting here while writing this, I can recall either Granny or Grand Dad saying to me…MIND THAT GUTTER BOY. This meant pay attention and do my assigned task quickly and efficiently in order to salvage as much of that precious commodity as possible.
That lifestyle seems rough and mostly awful to many who will read this. But such was the life of dry land, small scale farmers and ranchers during that time and before. All my Grand Parent’s kids and grandkids moved on to live in places like Pearsall and San Antonio, so we all experienced running water piped to our homes by the municipalities. But “out at the farm”, that gutter process just seemed like a normal part of country life for 3 generations of family member over the course of about 40 years.
It has hard to believe that is has been almost 50 years since minding the gutters was part of my duties while out at our little piece of heaven. And I sure enough hope I don’t ever have to go back to that way of getting my water. But having done so sure does allow me to be reminded of the blessings of living like most of us now are able to do.

New Season New Rifle New Location

Not sure how many of your fine readers are counting, but as I sit and write this Tale, it is exactly 60 days until Opening Day of regular white tail deer season in La Brasada. Certainly, hunting will begin earlier on some ranches with varying permits, but the one available to all us nimrods is November 6, 2022 in our neck of the woods.
Even though it has been over 60 years since I started getting excited about that day, I still look forward to it with high hopes and anticipation.
That is especially true this season because of 3 new aspects. The day itself, of course, but also because I will be toting a new fire stick out in the woods and doing some of my hunting on a new piece of ground.
The rifle is because of a separate firearm acquisition in the last 18 months or so. That one was a replacement for a particular rifle I had used for 30+ years and it was plum shot out. I bought a “new used one” and it has proven to be accurate and “fits me good”. It sits kind of on the smaller end of my collection, size wise. But the opportunity came along to get its “bigger brother” and I jumped at the chance. So far so good in terms of my ability to use it. Same design, feel, and fit.
Certainly, there is NO logical reason for this last purchase. But kind readers please understand that we have come to a Peace Treaty of sorts at Casa Rosenauer. I do not question the number of ladies shoes in our Master Bedroom Closet and The Boss Lady pays little mind to the gun cabinets so long as her personal rifle is kept clean, sighted in, and with an adequate supply of the specific ammo that she shoots like a Sniper.
The third aspect comes from what I participated in for 47 years as a ranch broker, and that is my 30 year lease place sold! I admit to being sad when the news of that upcoming event was announced to me from the Trust Officer in charge of the place. But it is an acquisition by a neighbor on two sides and they are putting back together, as much as they can, a big ranch I broke up and sold decades ago. It is going to a “good home”, and I wish them well with those acres.
Given that event I needed to make another deal and with a bit of fortune a new spot has been obtained. It is smaller than the other one, but closer to my own place. And it joins some big country, all low fenced and lightly hunted. As my wise Granny used to tell me as a child, “Stop fretting over that! Things mostly work out. And if they don’t go your way, maybe next time it will”. Wise council.
We are now clearing senderos, making food plots, setting up feeders, and all the “stuff” that needs doing on a new place. Lord Willing it will be a good situation for both me and the owner. And like I told my family, I don’t need to fret about “looking over” that same old terrain I have been seeing all these years. It will be something new and I AM EXCITED!

County supports Election Administrator’s appointments despite challenge

Lupe Torres, elections administrator for Medina County, addresses the commissioner court on Sept. 8 with his recommendations for a central counting station manager and a tabulation supervision for the November elections.

By Anton Riecher
Medina County Commissioners gave their full support to elections administrator Lupe Torres in his recommendations for two key positions in tabulating ballots this November, despite a challenge from county GOP chair Julie Clark.
Commissioners voted to name Torres as central counting station manager and Lina Perez as tabulation supervisor.
“The manager is basically in charge of the overall process,” Torres said. “When we get all the media back from the polling locations we tabulate the results.”
Clark opposed Torres being named to the position, citing state election law that prohibits anyone but a registered voter in the county from serving.
However, Torres noted that the election code includes an exception that permits employees of the authority establishing the station to serve. That interpretation of the law was supported by first assistant district attorney Julie Solis, on hand for the meeting.
“If (Clark) is referring to me as not being a registered voter here that is correct,” Torres said. “But I am an employee.”
As for Clark’s charge that both Torres and Perez are Democrats, the solidly Republican commissioners’ court voted in support of the election administrator’s recommendation.
“He does a good job,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Larry Sittre said.
Torres noted that the county election board appoints a judge and alternate from each party to observe the tabulation process first hand.
Earlier in the meeting, Clark once again urged the county to support a “declaration of invasion” supported by some other Texas counties and elected officials that cites the U.S. Constitution as granting states the power to expel migrants cross the border in event of invasion.
“The Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Austin, is calling on Gov. (Greg) Abbott to declare the crisis on the southern border as an invasion,” Clark said.
County Judge Chris Schuchart has stood firm in his opposition to the legal wording of the declaration. The county commissioners approved a reworded “proclamation” that excluded the word “invasion.”
Schuchart was not present for the Sept. 8 commissioners meeting.
Clark challenged the commissioners to override the county judge’s objections and approve the measure.
“You took an oath of office,” Clark said. “Do you remember the oath you took? You said ‘I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office and I will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States.’”
Also on hand for the meeting was Sandy Young, county Democratic chair. She urged election participation by all parties. But as to allegations of voter fraud made by one declaration supporter, Young said she was unaware of any such fraud proven locally in the last two election cycles.
Ed Sonnen of Castroville spoke briefly in opposition to the “invasion” declaration.
“This is not an invasion,” Sonnen said. “These are human beings. They breathe like we do. If Jesus Christ were standing here right now I just believe in my heart that before they go through the Pearly Gates he is not going to ask ‘Are you legal or illegal?’”
In other action, the commissioners approved a financial report by County Treasurer Debbie Southwell for the period from July to October showing total combined funds of $33.5 million and total debt of $26.9 million.
In review of subdivision development, Commissioner Sittre took issue with granting preliminary approval of 10 lots in the Sandoval Subdivision, located on County Road 5715 north of Natalia and west of Lytle. All 10 lots were platted with entrances off the main county road.
“I have real issues with that even though it is within the rules and regulations,” Sittre said. “It is a traffic nightmare.”
Action on final approval of Oak Meadows subdivision in Precinct 4 off CR 7755 drew a negative response from a concerned citizen who said the subdivision was platted in such a way as to avoid the requirement of a fire suppression station.
“We’re stacking subdivisions in there, getting farther and farther away from any real water source,” the unidentified speaker told commissioners. “If we continue to do this we’re going to have real problems.”
Sittre said he agreed “100 percent.” However, the county lacks ordinance or zoning powers that would give it authority in the matter.
“With the rules we’ve got and the state fire codes there is nothing we can do,” Sittre said.
The commissioners set Sept. 22 as the date for official action on the proposed Medina County tax rate. The general fund rate dropped from $.23688 per $100 valuation to $.23661. The debt service rate is dropping from $.0624 to $.0552 and the road and bridge rate is being reduced from $.0911 to $.083.
Dates for public hearings on the proposed tax rates will be set on that date.

Hallylooya!!

Been an excellent week or two. Black Creek metropolis got around 4 inches of rain since July 14th and that fell between August 10th and August 25th. Hallylooya!!
Had an oak tree that measured about 5 feet through the center come down on CR 653 just down from Fred Yanta’s hay farm. During the process, one of Ernest Kruger’s (hope it’s spelled right) calves got caught under it and is no longer with us. Took out power lines across the road from it and the fence under it. Took us three days to clear it up.
Ok’d Judge Bubba in Pct 3 to expand his JP office in the old Courthouse so that his clerks could move without running into each other.
We approved 14 contracts with Juvenile facilities so that we could have a place for juvenile criminals to be housed. Their parents did not raise them right and now the County and the State have to.
We also passed a Resolution calling for measures to secure our border, protect our communities and its residents, support the Governor and request the Federal government to do its duty. Fat chance. Just another reason to not vote for Democrat incumbents.
We voted (3-0-1) to go out for bids on constructing a parking lot at the SW corner of 14th St and Ave N in Hondo. Also voted on speed limits and stop signs at several locations so that enforcement would be legal.
Went by our Post Office the other day and whoever is maintaining the grounds needs to be fired. The grass needs mowing, the shrubs need trimming or need to be removed and replaced. Not to mention the mud swallows mess at the entrance.
When asked about improving the condition, you either get a look of indifference or “it’s not my job”. Looks like a third world country type location. Sure would be interested in the job…after January 1.
Saw where Devine, Natalia and Natalia ISD rejected the Appraisal Districts Budget. If more of the taxing entities would reject it, they would have to re-do it. I sure hope enough of them reject it. It hasn’t come to Comm. Ct. yet….and I aint in favor of approving it.
More rain is predicted for this week so, keep prayin. Aint it amazing how we go from a dried up wasteland to a green oasis in a matter of days after the Man-in-charge tends his creation?
Only 69 more days until we get the chance to vote out incumbent Democrats, 116 days until Christmas and 121 days until the lady out on CR 7720 gets her wish.