Editorial: at LSGCD, we’re witnessing the pressure the political establishment bears upon reformers

Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer

At the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District (LSGCD), we’re witnessing directly the pressure the political establishment bears upon reformers. On November 6, 2018, just barely two months ago, the citizens of Montgomery County elected a new Board of Directors promising to reform the regulatory abuse and massive spending on unnecessary professionals which has occurred at that scofflaw agency.

During the election, we witnessed LSGCD’s General Manager, Kathy Turner Jones, openly violating Texas Election law, until she received a stern admonishment from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. Jones desperately wanted – and still wants – to fight against reform.

It’s a frightening process to see how strong the forces of the establishment are on reformers. When people come into power, they become mesmerized very easily with trappings of that authority. In some ways, it seems as though the LSGCD Board needs a wake up call to remember why we elected them.

They need to wake up and remember that we hired them as our servants to stop the abusive spending on professionals. It’s unbelievable that, in the face of all of the clamor over abuse of taxpayers by governmental entities hiring professional lobbyists funded with our tax dollars, this reform Board would even consider hiring a taxpayer-funded lobbyist for the 86th Legislative Session. The Board members themselves should act as our lobbyists by following and tracking actions within the Legislature, activities which are absolutely easy for them to do with the assistance of the Internet and the staffs of our local legislators – Representatives Steve Toth and Will Metcalf and Senator Brandon Creighton. If action in Austin must occur in the form of lobbying, then the Board members themselves along with knowledgeable citizens with considerable experience in lobbying, such as Kelli Cook, Simon Sequeira, Mike Stoecker, Ginger Russell, and Reagan Reed, should be our free lobbyists, who are more effective than the paid ones anyway.

They need to wake up and remember that we hired them as our servants to stop abusive regulators. Nevertheless, Jones remains the General Manager and even attends executive sessions with the reform Board. They cannot and should not trust Jones. They know that. Nevertheless, this Board continues to employ her and confide in her, as though she has not ever shown a penchant for loyalty to the Big Water regulators.

They need to wake up and remember that we hired them as our servants, because we were sick and tired of the LSGCD Board holding meetings in the middle of the business day when citizens could not participate. Nevertheless, today, January 15, 2019, the Board will hold a four hour meeting in the middle of the day, at 1 p.m., when conservatives and Republicans who usually hold down jobs and have families to raise and care for, cannot possibly attend.

During today’s meeting, the Board will take up at least three major issues: hiring a taxpayer-funded lobbyist, firing one of their worst attorneys, and bringing an end to a lawsuit which six of the seven of them have argued LSGCD should never even have brought.

With the reform citizens at work trying to scrape by with livings so that a majority of our disposable income can go to pay local, state, and federal taxes and receive a few leftover scraps to support our families, will the Board act as reformers or will they act as the Big Water board they replaced?

We all need to wake up and watch closely.

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