Hondo Anvil Herald (Hondo, Tex.), Vol. 128, No. 42, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 19, 2000 Page: 1 of 50
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Volume 128, Number 42
Thursday, October 19,2000
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Published in Hondo, Texas
0232 9912 2
Southwest Micro F'ubl ..
Medina County’s L 2627 E Yandell Dr
ns, 34 Pages
BooFestival Is Saturday
The City of Hondo’s 2nd Annual
Hondoween BooFestival will be held
at the Rick Taylor Recreation Center
this Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. There
will be food, beverages, a costume
contest for all ages (judging at 6 p.m.),
haunted house (7 p.m.), fishing pond,
and music. Coloring contest entries
may be picked up at the rec center, li-
brary or city hall. Booths are available.
Anyone who would like to help out
may call 426-2475 or 741-2464.
Class of 75 get-together
The Hondo High School Class of
1975 is holding its 25th anniversary
reunion this weekend, in conjunction
with HHS Homecoming activities.
The Class of ’75 has many activi-
ties planned. Anyone who hasn’t re-
ceived information on the reunion
may call Renae (Zinsmeyer) McNiel
Public meeting set
Nov. 14 on water project
A public meeting to discuss an
application for water quality permit
will be held Tuesday, Nov. 14,7 p.m.
at the City of Hondo Convention
Center, 401 Carter, Hondo. Citizens
are encouraged to submit written
comments any time during the meet-
ing or by mail before the meeting.
Information regarding the project is
available at the Hondo Public Li-
Areas of Medina County
pounded by heavy rains
Storm clouds rolled into Medina
County early Tuesday morning and,
before afternoon, had dropped up to
six inches of rain in places.
The storm hit the hardest along the
Medina/Bandera county line. The
rain caused the Texas Department of
Transportation to close Hwy. 173 at
FM 2676 in Hondo early in the af-
ternoon, as well as many other roads
with low water crossings. Hwy. 462
was closed earlier in the day.
Hondo and Verde Creeks, usually
dry, swelled and began to resemble
a muddy version of white water rap-
ids. Estimates on the level at Hondo
Creek were as high as 12 feet.
In the city limits of Hondo many
of the low-lying roads were barri- , _
caded due to high water. Barricades
remained in place for many of them
Some residents around the county
reported five-to-six inches of rain,
while others received only one or
conies to Barry Field
22 bands to compete Saturday
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Weather report compiled by Gerry Bridget;
Wed, Oct. 11
Thurs., Oct. 12
Sun., Oct. 15
Mon., Oct. 16
Tbes., Oct. 17
Total rain for the past week: 3.75 in.
Total rain for October: 7.45 in.
Total rain for 2000: 22.95 in.
Avg. high temp, for the week: 79.1°
Avg. low temp, for the week: 62°
High temp, for 2000: 108° on Sept. 5
Low temp, for 2000: 27° on Jan. 5 & 30
Rain in 1999, thru Oct. 17: 18.50 in.
Rain in 1998, thru Oct. 17: 38.50 in.
Music will fill the air
Saturday at Barry Field,
as 22 high school bands
will come to town to
compete in the UIL Re-
gion XI Marching Con-
Beginning at 1 p.m.,
five bands in Class A,
eight in Class 2A and nine
in Class 3A will put their
months of hard work and
musicianship to the test
before the judges, and a
likely packed house at
Hondo’s football sta-
As usual, the Hondo
band will be the final
band to perform ip the
Class 3A competition.
The Pride of Hondo will
step off at 6:45 p.m. to
perform its Western-
themed contest show,
consisting of the theme
from the movies “The
Cowboys” and “The
This is a “state year”
for bands in Class 3A, meaning that
those schools will be able to advance
UIL Region XI
Saturday, Oct. 21
at Barry Field
first to area, and then on
to the state marching con-
test, if they qualify.
The Class A bands be-
gin at 1 p.m. Class 2A
bands start at 2:30, with
the 3A competition
scheduled to begin at
Serving as contest
judges this year are Joe
Castellano of San Anto-
nio, Wayne Maxwell of
Tomball and Gerald Bab-
bitt of HayS High School
Admission to the
marching contest is free.
No one may be seated or
PHOTO BY JEFF BERGER
Sunset casts a deceptive, peaceful glow over churning Hondo Creek floodwaters late Tuesday after areas
‘in the county received as much as six inches of rain in a couple of hours.
Insurance decision riles agent
By William Hoover
Anvil Herald Correspondent
A Hondo City Council decision to
give its business to local insurance
agent Fohn Bendele prompted accu-
sations of favoritism from Ted
Michael Marlin, the city's current
agent Martin has been the city’s ex-
clusive insurance agent for nearly a
will be permitted to move decade. The verbal sparks started to
about the stands while a fly after councilwoman Judy Wink-
band is performing.
The Hondo Owl Band
Boosters will have the
concession stand open
during the entire day.
Volunteer workers will
be needed throughout the
afternoon, as the march
ing contest is always one
of the concession stand’s busiest
days of the year.
All that remains of the home Ken and Susan (Brucks) Massey lived in, the old Lindeburg home place, is
the front steps and the chimney after a massive fire Friday, Oct. 13. They lost their three dogs and all
their possessior s in the fire.
Fire destroys old New Fountain home
The home of Kon and Susan
(Brucks) Massey w.ts completely
destroyed by fire on F iday, Oct. 13..
Although the couple was not at
home at the time of the fire, their
three dfcg& were and all three per-
ished in thedisaster.
The wood frame home, known lo-
cally as the Lindeburg home place,
was located on CR 453 irt the New
Neighbors saw the flames and
called for help. However, by the time
the fire department arrived, the fire
was full blown and nothing could be
Susan Massey is die daughter of
Marilynn Brucks and the late Herman
Brucks. She is employed as a home
health care worker in Medina County.
Her late father was well-known
in the community. He retired
from the Texas Department of
Transportation after 39 years. A
staunch supporter of Hondo Owls
football, he never missed a game
. in 48 years. He was also a Quihi
Gun Club member.
Ken, who was raised in San Anto-
nio, is employed by ADESA Auto
Auction and attends SMU part-time.
The couple have been married for
almost two years.
A benefit supper will be held for the
couple on Saturday, Oct. 21, at The
Bam on CR 2676 beginning at 6 p.m.
(see advertisement on the Life page
of the Hondo Anvil Herald).
An account has been established
at the Hondo National Bank where
contributions may be deposited by
anyone who would like to help the
young couple as they try to get their
lives back to normal.
ler made a motion to accept an Aetna
group health insurance plan from
Bendele which was basically the
same proposal put forth by Martin.
City Manager David Chavez had
been dissatisfied with an earlier bid
by Martin and sent a letter to Aetna,
the city’s insurer, asking thmi to al-
low other insurance agents to com-
pete for the city contract.
Martin jumped from his seat im-
mediately after council member Ar-
turo Barrientes seconded Winkler’s
motion to accept Bendele Financial
Services as the city’s insurance agent
for the Aetna employee health insur-
ance plan and to extend the city’s
dental care contract with Blue Cross.
Martin asked to speak before the
vote and pleaded with council to con-
tinue its ongoing relationship with
his firm. “I’ve been attending work-
shops with your city manager and
treasurer for 10 years. It is impor-
tant for council to understand the
only reason Bendele presented a bet-
ter proposal is because of the letter
the city manager issued.”
Martin argued his company had
consistently proven its commitment
to the city and its employees and he
deserved the contract. “The point is,
you asked for a competitive proposal
and we met every detail. We are the
incumbents. We provide value-added
services to you and spend thousands
of dollars a year and countless hours
placing calls and being online with
The insurance agent obviously be-
lieved Winkler favored Bendele be-
cause he lived in Hondo.
“Because of our efforts, Aetna has
come up with this plan. Because of
the city manager's letter, he (Bendele)
has the same proposal as 1 and he has
done no work,” said Martin. "I don’t
live here, but the city contracts many
outside services. This is not fair just
because I don’t live here. If that’s the
case, I’ll call a realtor and rent some
office space. We have worked count-
less hours and the best he can do is
submit a copy of my proposal.”
Martin reminded council there was
a time when the city could not buy
insurance because of high employee
claims, but Martin had gotten them
out of the hot seat by finding a com-
pany which would risk offering the
city employee health insurance.
Martin also questioned allowing
B mdele to manage the Blue Cross den-
u. >n too. "I negotiated the renewal
wii e Cross. Why should my com-
pel u 'efit'1 It is not right or fair"
3 he i untied agent told coun-
cil ne hau Toached Mr. Bendele
and asked hin. f the two agents of-
fering virtually me same plan could
“I did not want to be greedy, but
he turned me down and said he did
not need me because he had a strong
enough hold on council," said Mar-
tin. “It is wrong and I will protest.
We have done all the work and now
you turn round and give it to him.
I’m puzzled how someone can work
so hard and not be rewarded ”
Council member Bob Heycn ex-
pressed his sympathy for Martin, but
suggested Aetna was to blame for
giving Bendele the same informa-
tion. “They don’t do their agents
right," said Heyen.
Mayor Jim Barden tried to calm
the angry Martin. "You have done a
good job for 10 years,” he said. “I
don’t think this decision is aimed at
you. If you invested time and effort,
that is the cost of doing business You
had our business for 10 years and
who knows how the vote will go?”
“Mr. Bendele does not have us in
his pocket,” said Heyen
“Each council member votes his
own conscience," Barrientes said.
Bendele approached the podium
saying he wanted to clarify the at-
tacks Martin had made. “I’ve never
said I had a stronghold on the city,”
“We are tied on that issue,” replied
Barden, referring to Martin’s asser-
tion that Bendele wielded influence
Bendele told council it was not true
that Martin negotiated rates with
Aetna. “They offer all carriers the
same plan," said Bendele. “I chose to
have a lower co-pay on office visits.
He put $20 and I went with $15.1 did
not ask Aetna for identical quotes.”
After defending himself. Bendele
told council its choice was between
Aetna andTML. "Aetna has national
name recognition. TML is regional.
Admission personnel from out-of-
state hospitals might not feel comfort-
able accepting TML insurance. You
said family rates were the most im-
portant and family coverage is $100
less with Aetna compared to TML.”
Regarding Martin's claims of su-
perior service, Bendele said, “We can
both get the same thing and prices,
but I have local staff. If you try to
call his office on the weekend, I bet
you get an answering machine and a
response on Monday. The employ-
ees are my clients, friends, and
neighbors and we are always here
That is the advantage of going local"
After the meeting, Chavez tried to
clarify council’s reasons for chang-
ing insurance agents and why Mar-
tin was upset. "He was disturbed be-
cause 1 wrote a letter to the insurance
company telling them other agents
could have a look at our health in-
surance history and information. I
wanted everyone to have access to
our information. He was our agent
of record and 1 removed that status,”
explained Chavez. “1 did it to encour-
age competition because I did not
think he had a right to exclusivity.
“Mr. Martin came to us with his
new rates for the next fiscal year and
1 about went through the ceiling,” said
the city manager. “I told him the rates
were just too expensive and 1 wanted
to put it out to bid. Then he became
concerned and returned with a lot
lower bid. I had to end his exclusiv-
ity agreement so other people could
make bids because his family rates
were unaffordable for employees.”
According to Chavez, former City
Manager Scott Wall had written Aetna,
then Prudential, stating Martin was
Hondo's exclusive agent of record.
The arrangement effectively thwarted
competition for the city contract.
“Todd Hargrove of State Farm
could not make a bid because Mar-
tin was our exclusive agent and he
asked if I would write the letter and
I did," explained Chavez. "1 was dis-
appointed State Farm could not bid,
but they did not offer group policies.
1 wanted the competition open to
everybody because 1 wanted the best
deal for the city employees. We still
had only three bidders — TML, Ben-
dele and Martin. With Bendele’s
plan, the city got a good deal and the
employees got the best bang for their
buck. Health care is the most impor-
tant benefit city employees receive."
Chavez said he had at first wanted
to go with the TML plan but council
preferred the national Aetna policy
offered by Bendele.
“The bottom line is he had a bet-
ter family plan. Employees would
have been stuck paying an extra $ 100
a month for family coverage under
TML's plan. We think we did a great
job for our employees.”
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Hondo Anvil Herald (Hondo, Tex.), Vol. 128, No. 42, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 19, 2000, newspaper, October 19, 2000; Hondo, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth819693/m1/1/: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hondo Public Library.