Conroe, February 14 – Today, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court is interviewing candidates for the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, a local regulatory body firmly under the control of the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) which engages in monopolistic practices to drive the price of its surface water into the stratosphere. LSGCD has become a primary tool of SJRA. The gimmick is that, despite no shortage of groundwater and no shortage coming around the bend for at least a few hundred years (!), LSGCD has enacted regulations, backed by costly fines, to limit private landowners’ use of their own water in the ground.
LSGCD has a nine-member Board of Directors which consistently votes 6 to 3 against the interests of private property owners and water consumers and for SJRA and the engineers and vendors who benefit from higher water prices. It just so happens that one of the engineering firms that receives substantial contacts from SJRA is none other than Halff Associates, Inc., the firm which Bobby Adams represents as an engineer. Adams is Craig Doyal’s best friend and business partner. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Doyal has supported the appointment of the anti-citizen LSGCD board members Richard Tramm and Greg Hope, who consistently vote against water consumer interests and against private property rights.
On Tuesday, the Commissioners Court is interviewing a group of fine candidates to fill Tramm’s position, as his term expired on January 31. Two candidates clearly stand above the rest in quality and temperament: Webb Melder and Randy Councill, both of Conroe.
Melder, a longtime realtor, is the immediate past Mayor of Conroe. He has fought against LSGCD and for water rights for years as a vocal advocate for the rights of individual water users and large groundwater producers who have taken it on the chin due to SJRA’s monopolistic practices. Melder is smart, witty, and, when it comes to fighting for the citizens, downright prickly. He has made it clear that he will not back down in the fight against special interests who seek higher water prices based upon false science.
Councill is the Chief Operating Officer of Telegistics, a telecom firm in Conroe. He’s been involved with the water utility business for more than 35 years. At a recent meeting of the Texas Patriots Tea Party PAC, Councill appeared out of nowhere and cross-examined SJRA’s Executive Director Jace Houston for almost an hour and a half and tore SJRA’s rationale for water regulation apart in front of a large group of citizens and despite the efforts of Houston, an engineer, and several other SJRA officials to refute him. Councill has explained that he attended the Tea Party meeting after he received a $970 water bill one month.
Councill is a bit more quiet and circumspect than Melder. Neither of them would likely back down in fighting for consumer and private property owner rights with respect to the largely unjustified regulator scheme of LSGCD and its compatriot SJRA. Either Councill or Melder would be fine choi