The Voter - October 2017
 
 
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
OFFICERS & DIRECTORS
 
 
 
 
President 
Roxanna Deane
VP-Organization
Darlene Hicks
VP-Program
Vacant
VP - Voters Service
Robin Engel & Susan Herr
Secretary
Betty Colley
Treasurer
Gloria Suarez-Sasser
Director, Publicity
Jerrie Champlin
Director
Janyth Fredrickson
Membership Chair
Bonnie Leitch
Chair, Nominating Committee
Lois Ricci
 
 
 
 
LWV NON-PARTISAN POSITION
 
 
 
 
LWV is a non partisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. LWV never supports or opposes candidates for office, or political parties, but does take positions on issues based on member study
and consensus.
 
 
 
 
LWV Public Policy Positions
 
 
 
 
Impact on Issues - LWV-US public policy positions

Program Perspectives - LWV-Texas policy positions
 
 
 
 
Janet Dixon registering a voter at the New Braunfels Public Library on National Voter Registration Day.
 
 
Sign Spinner, Mark Dandridge, enthusiastically supporting
National Voter Registration Day.
Click on photo for full video.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mark your Calendars
 
 
 

WHAT:  Land Use Position Consensus Meeting

WHAT:  Public and Private Land Conservation Options for Comal County.
WHEN: Wednesday,  Nov. 8, 2017 6:30 to 8:30
WHERE McKenna Events Center, 801 West San Antonio St., New Braunfels, TX 78130

 
 
 
Voter Registration
and Election 2017 Calendar
 
 
 
Oct. 10 – Last day to register to vote

Oct. 23 -  Early voting begins

Nov. 3 – Early voting ends

Nov. 7 – Elections – Constitutional Amendments

 
 
 
 
 
 
Sandra L Parks 
1338 Carnation Lane
New Braunfels, TX 78130
512-665-2650
sandiparks@yahoo.com

Family Membership
Margaret McGill and Phillip May
889 Serene Woods Circle
Canyon Lake, TX 78133
210-365-4875
margaret.mcgill@gmail.com


Most people join the League because they are asked. Please share this email with friends by clicking the "Forward to a Friend" button at the bottom of this newsletter and tell them you are a member.
 
 
 
 
 
 
First I want to thank all the volunteers that served as Deputy Voter Registrars on National Voter Registration Day.  Every voter is important and each of you helped to make democracy stronger.

The League takes action only after careful study and member consensus on a position.  After reading the new Facts and and Issues on Land Use Policy, you will see that a careful study has been done.  It is now time for members to come together to listen, to offer suggestions and to reach a consensus.

I recently learned the story behind the story of Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. Kaepernick began his protest by sitting on the bench.  This angered Nate Boyer a former Army Special Forces veteran and former Seahawks player.  He wrote a letter to Kaepernick, expressing his feelings and Kaepernick invited him to a meeting.

In an ESPN interview Boyer said: "Kaepernick reached out and we were able to sit down together for a couple of hours before the last preseason game last year. It was really cool to hear him just listen, too, and be very open-minded, too, and [say] “Look, I don’t want to hurt you, I don’t want to hurt your brothers and sisters.” I showed him text messages of friends of mine and some of them were saying I was a disgrace to the Green Berets ’cause I was even meeting with him. And some of them were like, “I’m with you man but it really hurts me to see that.”So when I talked to them, it was mutual. Me, him, and Eric Reid [said] “I think maybe taking a knee would be a little more respectful. It’s still a demonstration. You’re still saying something but, people take a knee to pray. So for me it was a common ground, at least, to start from."

In a recent interview Boyer asks why everything has to be like a game of dodge ball.   Everyone hits the guy in the middle.  Boyer wonders when it became a bad thing to be in the middle.

It was important for me to include this story in the Voter because it shows what can happen when people listen to each other.  That is what the League works to do by emphasizing consensus in making decisions. 
Roxanna Deane
 
 
 
 
 
 
“I’ll be 18 on Oct. 3, and I have been waiting to register to vote for a long time. Thank you for being here,” said a Canyon High School student on Tuesday. She was just one of dozens of new voters in the Comal Independent School District registering on or near National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 26.

The Comal County Election Office and the League of Women Voters-Comal Area have participated in the one-day drive to register voters since its inception in 2012. This year they were joined by four CISD high schools, the New Braunfels Public Library and the Westside Community Center.

As a result, 90 citizens registered or updated their registrations – many of them new voters.

“Despite the rain, it was a good turnout,” said Roxanna Deane, LWV-CA president. “We are pleased to be partners with the schools, libraries and county election office to make this happen.”

This year’s effort saw 20 volunteer deputy registrars donating 42 hours of their time, in addition to getting DVR training and certification.
​​​​​​​
Among them were League members Gloria Sasser; Darlene Hicks; Jensie Madden; Betty Colley; Burnham Jones; Margaret McGill; Fran Hargrove; Jenny Ayala; Mary and John Powell; and Lily Barucky. And friends of the League, Janet Dixon, Joyce Doyle, and Rebecca Waddell. Voter Services Co-chairs, Robin Engel and Susan Herr, worked at Smithson Valley High School.

Robin Engel

 
 
 

 
 
 
WHAT:  Land Use Position Consensus Meeting

Have you read LWV-CA’s latest publication, Facts & Issues: Land Use Planning in Comal County, Impacts of Growth, Time for Action? This thoroughly-researched document is the basis for a proposed newly-revised Position on Land Use Planning in Comal County. We need you—our members—to participate in a Consensus Meeting to come to agreement on whether new language is needed in our local position which was adopted in 2006, over a decade ago.


Should we add language in our position about government responsibility to protect citizens from light pollution? How about low-impact development techniques in road building? Should we say more about water conservation responsibilities? What about encouraging public transportation in municipalities? We will be discussing these issues, plus the issues that members bring to the meeting. Be part of the decision-making for future action that LWV-CA might take when advocating for sound land use decisions by our county and municipal governments.


Please note that a Consensus Meeting is FOR MEMBERS ONLY. If you have been considering becoming a member, now is the time to join, so that you can participate in this important meeting.



What is a Consensus Meeting?

In the League, in order to take action on an issue, we must have a position. Positions are adopted through a process of member study and member agreement. The Consensus Meeting is the step for reaching member agreement.


At our meeting on Oct. 17, the LWV-CA Land Use Committee will be presenting a Proposed Revised Position on Land Use Planning in Comal County. The committee members will be “resources” for the members, providing background information and answering factual questions. The Discussion Leader will ask questions of the members to facilitate a discussion of each portion of the proposed revised position, allowing all points of view to be discussed, and bringing in new ideas that might be generated. The goal is that at the end of the evening, all members participating will have come to agreement on what our revised position should say. A consensus is not a vote. It is not “majority rule.” Instead, it is process to find a common basis that most everyone in the group can agree with.


Helping in the process are the Recorder, who makes sure all decisions are written down, and the Timekeeper, who makes sure we keep moving and not stay on one item too long.


Our thanks to those who have agreed to do these important tasks: Gloria Suarez Sasser, Discussion Leader; Betty Colley, Recorder; Burnham Jones, Timekeeper; and Coco Brennan, Danelle Crowley, Roxanna Deane, Eva Silverfine Ott, and Jensie Madden, resource people.

How to prepare for a Consensus Meeting?
1. Read, print  (or  download to your portable electronic device):
2. Bring these documents to the meeting either in paper or electronically.
     (A few hard copies of the Proposed Revised Position will be available)
3.  Consider:  What local government actions regarding land use decisions should LWV-CA support? 
Bring your ideas, and a willingness to listen to the meeting.

Background on the LWV-CA Land Use Planning Study Update  Read More   
Jensie Madden
 
 
 
 
 
 

WHAT:  Public and Private Land Conservation Options for Comal County.

WHEN: Wednesday,  Nov. 8, 2017 6:30 to 8:30
WHERE McKenna Events Center, 801 West San Antonio St., New Braunfels, TX 78130

With all the new growth that has come to Comal County and is projected to continue well into the future, it’s time to start thinking about preserving open space and acquiring park lands to help protect our beloved Texas Hill Country before it’s too late. 


Budget constraints often prevent most counties and cities, especially small rural cities like Bulverde, Garden Ridge, and Spring Branch, from going out and purchasing the open space or park lands desired by their constituents.


Typically various resources are needed to make the preservation of open space and/or the acquisition of park lands possible such as land donations, grants and public funding. Additionally, there are various tools that the average land owner can utilize to help in this effort such as conservation easements, deed restrictions and sweat equity. 


As we all know, in unincorporated areas property owners can do just about anything they want with their property as long as it does not interfere with the health, safety and welfare of the general public. Many residents are not proactive about land use issues until they get wind that something is about to be developed right in their backyards and then the war begins to stop it – but, those efforts often fail.


This is why the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, Hill Country Alliance, and League of Women Voters of the Comal Area are once again partnering to present this educational forum to introduce the public to the various resources available to land owners and several programs that other municipalities and counties have adopted that can be utilized to preserve our beautiful Texas Hill Country. 


Please join us on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the McKenna Events Center in New Braunfels.  We look forward to informing you of all the tools available for the purpose of protecting our beautiful Texas Hill Country. Let’s be proactive not reactive! Hope to see you there!

 
 
 
 
 
 

LWV-Comal Area held its first monthly meeting on September 21, 2017 at Casa Garcia’s in New Braunfels.  The luncheon meeting was attended by members and guests who enjoyed a delicious lunch and Jen Crownover, County Commissioner, Pct. 4, speak on County Authority.


Commissioner Crownover explained that many residents of the county, especially those who are moving here from cities are unaware of how little authority the county has over certain aspects of the county. It is the State Legislature that defines what authority the counties have and what specific things are in the county’s control.   Ms. Crownover further explained that while the county has limited authority, you can work with your state Legislators to increase the county’s authority. She also discussed unfunded mandates from the State and how the county is required to provide certain services without the State providing the needed funding. 


She explained that approving a  Public Improvement District (PID) is a new tool Commissioners can use to influence development. In a PID developers  issue bonds to finance infrastructure and amenities. The bonds are repaid by the property owners. It is much more likely in a PID that developers will decease the number of homes per acre, increase green space, and provide more amenities. 


Ms. Crownover took questions from the members and following a question and answer session Gloria Sasser presented a LWV mug to Ms. Crownover and thanked her for attending and providing insights to how county government functions.

Gloria Suarez Sasser

 
 
 
 
Contact our President:
Roxanna Deane, 830-935-4635 or roxanna@gvtc.com

Send dues of $60 per person or $90 per household to:
LWV-Comal Area, P.O. Box 311324, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1324.
Or pay with a credit card at lwvcomal.org.
 
 
 
 
League of Women Voters of the Comal Area | PO Box 311324 | New Braunfels| Texas | 78131