Conroe, February 14-The Montgomery County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to appoint fearless water rights advocate and former Conroe Mayor Webb Melder to the board of directors of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District to replace immediately longtime President Richard Tramm. County Judge, Craig Doyal, expressed some reservations about Melder’s potential conflicts of interest, because Melder is involved in at least one lawsuit adverse to the District. In response, Melder made it clear that his potential conflicts of interest were considerably less than those of Jace Houston, the Executive Director of the San Jacinto River Authority who already appears on the board.
Upon his appointment, Melder stood up and thanked the Court and assured them that he intended to work “cooperatively” with the LSGCD board but would put water property rights first. This appointment, which commissioners James Noack and Jim Clark spearheaded, is a great victory for any citizen who happens to use water in Montgomery County.
The room burst into wild applause after the vote. Quadvest President Simon Sequeira, Conroe City Councilman, and activist Mike Stoecker, all of whom have fought for water property rights and against the regulatory actions of LSGCD, sat with Melder to show their support for his appointment.
Melder’s appointment to the LSGCD Board will likely result in a shift of that body to a 5 to 4 split with the (slight) majority still voting against citizen interests and in favor of the growing monopoly power of SJRA which, in conjunction with the LSGCD, is working to force citizens to purchase surface water from SJRA.