Pages

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Who ARE these guys running for the HTGCD Board, The Three Horsemen??


One of the candidates said we could 'use a whole lot more of the water in the aquifer if they just pumped it down so the springs quit leaking.'

Click on district map to enlarge
Update, Thursday afternoon, April 29 – Well, we called District 1 candidate Jimmy Skipton again and asked him about the rumor that he and another candidate had threatened to fire the groundwater district staff if they win the May 8 election. Here's what Mr. Skipton said: "I'll tell you straight up, there's only one thing I got, that's my word. At the end of the day, no, I will not fire any staff member . . . anybody that's doing their job will have a job; I don't know anybody that's not doing their job. They're all good employees."

Note:
Early voting is under way for three seats (1, 3 & 5) on the District's 5-member board.
Ms. Ford, author of the commentary below, resides inside District 3 of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District. She doesn't have a very positive view of three of the candidates. Messrs. Key, Skipton and Reitz are welcome to send their responses. We were very disturbed to hear very recently that two of the candidates above have personally threatened to fire the hard working staff of the HTGCD if they get elected to the board. For what we are not informed. We'll ask around. Maybe it's for the outstanding job the staff is doing under difficult financial circumstances. What a demoralizing effect that must be having on the staff! We did not hear this from any staff member. But if it's true (and we're hoping it's not), there's an old cowboy term used to describe characters who are threatening and disrespectful toward others: Dirty birds.

Send your comments and news tips to roundup.editor@gmail.com, to Ms. Ford at cat@catherine-ford.com, or click on the "comments" button at the bottom of the story

Click on this link to the Hays County Elections Office for the voting schedule and locations: http://www.elections.co.hays.tx.us/May082010brElections/tabid/110/Default.aspx

Visit the groundwater district website, www.haysgroundwater.org,
for all the candidates' bios and information about the district.

By Catherine Ford

Guest Co
mmentary

There is a group of quick profit speculators operating without concern for the long term quality of life of our community, trying to take over the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District board. The positions they take put them squarely in favor of tearing away the fabric of our water supply and conservation management efforts we've all worked so hard for.

The initiatives they favor grant Eminent Domain powers to a small group of developers that would be sitting on the board. They propose to submerge Wimberley residential properties under a lake, drain the Hays-Trinity "so it doesn't leak," and use taxpayer money for legal maneuvering when they find the law is not in their favor. In short, this group of irresponsible greedy speculators is a danger to our community and it is critical that our community stand against them.



Mark Key (District 3 candidate, Dripping Springs) - He's running against incumbent Andrew Backus. Mark owns a utility construction business, making his money from developments. He lives in a subdivision that does not have anything to do with Hays-Trinity groundwater. During a candidates forum in Dripping Spring on April 8 he proudly announced that he was 'not the smartest candidate and had graduated in the lower half of his Dripping Springs class.'

Mark believes he has the whole groundwater budget figured out and has a solution to preserving wasted water. On April 6 when Mark spoke at Commissioners Court he said that 'the aquifer was like a leaky bucket, and the natural springs are the leaks in that aquifer bucket.' He said we could 'use a whole lot more of the water in the aquifer if they just pumped it down so the springs quit leaking.'

He went on to do some math on how much water flowed down the San Marcos River as a result of spring flow at San Marcos Springs. He did the same for Jacob's Well Spring and Cypress Creek, and Barton Springs and the Colorado River. It seems so simple and he figured it all out on his own! His thought process reflects a total lack of understanding of the interconnected natural systems, and law associated with spring flow. Is this who you want to elect to the water board? An uninformed developers' contractor?

Jimmy Skipton (District 1 candidate, Henly/Dripping) – He has been attending groundwater district meetings for about a year and criticizing everything they do. Despite no obvious means of income, Mr. Skipton has filed a lawsuit against the County over its new subdivision rules – rules that were designed to promote some measure of aquifer conservation and water management.

At candidate forums, Mr. Skipton has suggested all the pressure can be taken off the aquifer if everyone collected rainwater. There is certainly truth in that, but then everyone would be running out of water at the same time during the next drought. Increased rainwater collection is an important part of a diversified water supply solution but it's not the total solution. Collected rainwater would be the first thing to dry up in the periodic droughts we experience in Central Texas. Using the logic he proposes, we all had better ask ourselves, "then what?"

Craig 'Nevada' Reitz (District 5 candidate, Wimberley) – He has recently moved into the Wimberley area. With no background in hydro-geology, he has declared that 'there is only a problem with the aquifer during periods of drought.'

Mr. Reitz has suggested that a reservoir in the Wimberley Valley on the Blanco River would be a good idea. This simple sounding solution has a couple problems – most important is that the rights to the river flow are spoken for, and secondly the eminent domain (forced) taking of expensive river front homes would not be politically or financially feasible and shows no concern for the property rights of Texans.

Mr. Reitz has been proud to say at the candidate forums that 'with every rule the groundwater district makes, property owners lose a right.' He'd rather just use Eminent Domain to rip people's personal property out from under them. He's come up with no suggestions about how to pay for it all but it seems obvious the Hays-Trinity board would need Eminent Domain power to build a lake. Such powers have been rejected as unnecessary by the current board. Conversely, he has stated at both candidate forums that he believes 'the conservation district is an unnecessary layer of government,' yet without it there is no local management of the aquifer. He should probably make up his mind. Is it too much government? Or is he just saying that while he plans new taxes to pay for a new lake and a board with the power to rip private homes away from their owners?

These three candidates have mutually beneficial interests in allowing a free-for-all of development and exploitation of our water. One is an anti-regulation finance and banking guy that is a newcomer to the area. Another is a big utility contractor who stands to personally benefit through unregulated subdivision development. The other is mystery man who is suing our county for conservation rules for no obvious reason. He's not disclosed his purpose for running or his vision for our community.

There is no big aquifer bailout option. There is no opportunity for these special interest agents to mess up and get a "do-over." Our entire Hays-Trinity community stands to suffer greatly if these guys get their way. This is about conserving safe and clean drinking water. We cannot allow this group to put us all at risk so their big companies can rob hard working Texans of their property or their Water. Help us fight back!

28 comments:

dazed and confused said...

Whoa!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Backus group is concerned that the emperor is going to miss his coronation.

Earth to Cat: Why spin a democratic election as a "takeover"? Takeover from what? There are no incumbents for two of the positions. If the voters elect Backus' opponent, it's an election not a "takeover". 'Drew does not "own" the HTGCD. Hail to the king - not.

Re Mark Key v Andrew Backus: Mark is a resident of single member district #3. I tend to favor a Constitutional form of government rather than a regime where a few decide who is "entitled" to be in office. Mark can speak quite competently on the operation of the district and the various groundwater sources. Can you say the same about the Backus proxies?

If Highpointe is on surface water, then isn't the Key family already exercising groundwater conservation? Backus has a major LCRA line running in front of his subdivision. You don't see Backus hooking up to LCRA surface water to conserve groundwater, do you? Who is a better example of groundwater conservation at home?

The Backus group sought to impose ad valorem taxes on ALL properties in the district. Shouldn't any resident in the district be able to serve on a board contemplating property taxes? Is Cat promoting taxation without representation?

Re Jimmy Skipton v Christine Carlton: At least Cat observed that Mr. Skipton has attended GCD meetings for over a year. Backus proxy Ms. Carlton showed up once for the sole purpose of announcing her "candidacy" - undoubtedly at the goading of Backus. She is a professional irrigator - not that there is anything wrong with that. But given Cat's attacks on Mr. Key, wouldn't it be fair to characterize Ms. Carlton as someone who profits from the growth and sales of systems that dump water on the ground?

Instead of claiming that Mr. Skipton is sued the county for "no apparent reason", Cat might actually read the petition or contact Mr. Skipton. The reality is that Cat is ignorant of the reasons by her own choice. Can't fault Mr. Skipton for Cat's deliberate ignorance.

Re Carl Reitz v. Joan Jernigan: Although Cat has vainly tried to sully Mr. Reitz by disparaging a lack of "hydro-geology" credentials, Cat conveniently failed to mention that Ms. Jernigan has no "hydro-geology" credentials. So now where's the beef?

Ms. Jernigan promoted production fees, ad valorem taxation, and "full Chapter 36 powers" which purport to include unwarranted property searches among other things. You don't need to have a degree in "hydro-geology" to address these issues or to disagree with the agenda that the Backus group has pursued. At a minimum, Reitz has some fresh ideas and can engage in competent debate and discussion. He's also not as gullible as Backus' proxies. That's why Backus fears him.

Not everyone in the District buys into the Backus "groupthink" philosophy nor Backus' tax and confiscate agenda. see

[URL="http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/groupthink%20overview.htm"]http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/groupthink%20overview.htm[/URL]

Note that Cat can't say anything positive about the Backus group (Backus, Ms. Carlton, Ms. Jernigan) nor can she deny the Backus agenda of production fees, ad valorem taxes, metering, elimination of residential wells, unwarranted searches/seizures, etc. Cat can't defend the indefensible so she stoops to false propaganda in a desperate attempt to mislead voters.

Voters aren't as gullible as Cat believes them to be.

Anonymous said...

There's more than one "we" here Catherine because I don't agree with you about "our" water. I certainly don't agree with your idea of "community" where only people you approve of should be allowed to run for office. This isn't your HOA.

Backus' conduct has created an uprising by property owners who oppose the totalitarian regime of taxation and takings that Backus has tried to impose on residents in this district.

Some look forward to returning the HTGCD to pursuit of the stated objectives at the time of founding instead of spending lots of taxpayer money on just the opposite. Good day.

Anonymous said...

The Roundup’s opening remarks for this Karen Ford hatchet job on the 3 candidates state,

“We were very disturbed to hear very recently that two of the above candidates have personally threatened to fire the hard working staff of the HTGCD if they get elected to the board. For what we are not informed.”

What a crock! More unfounded rumors, why do you sink so low? You do not identify the ones that you accuse, probably because it is just rumor or another lie such as the recent one about another candidate, Jimmy Skipton.

Many have called the 3 candidates for the “Backus slate” of candidates “robots” intent on creating an HOA out of the board. I see that as very possible due to the comments from their fans on this blog and the lesser 2 female candidate’s lack of understanding and confidence while speaking on the subject of groundwater. Backus has figured out that creating a team with weak members will allow him to control a majority on the board. Backus still has a bone to pick with Rose and just can’t help himself.

It wasn’t all that long ago that The Roundup was pushing Backus for the “Rose seat” in the Legislature, which ended with the blog having its butt handed to it. The same could be said for the re-election bid for Liz Sumter, which also went in the dumper. The Roundup is just not relative in these local elections because it only supports liberal candidates and their ideas.

BTW The “hard working staff” mentioned in the opening rumor have been working for the Backus slate of candidates all along. If Backus and company lose the election, the staff should resign anyway.

Liberal Alert! said...

Isn’t it strange that the Roundup failed to give any mention to Dr. Cat’s vocation.

Here it is in her own words;

“My philosophy is to offer "respectful psychotherapy - the freedom to express and explore your self". My goal is to support people in becoming their most authentic & loving selves. Work experience includes university counseling centers, first as trainee and then as staff psychologist; therapy with nursing home residents; two years at the University of Texas at Austin as a sexual health & rape prevention educator; and therapy training at Austin's Waterloo Counseling Center which specializes in services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and HIV-affected individuals and couples.
I offer both short-term services to help people rapidly meet the challenges of their lives, and longer-term work for those who seek deeper exploration of their selves. I combine methods from insight-oriented, relational, cognitive-behavioral and solution-oriented approaches.
Although my background is broad and I consider myself something of a generalist, I have a particular interest in working with gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.”


Now I ask you, where is there anything that qualifies this touchy feely liberal to speak intelligently on the subject of groundwater?

Water vaquero said...

Some rumors have a basis in fact. Whoever is threatening to fire the staff is crazy. I doubt they would admit it. The staff are doing a fine job. They are professionals. They know the district and its functions like the backs of their hands. They should not be treated like collateral damage in a vicious war. That's bullsh*t!

Having your own staff in place is one thing, but having your hand picked staff in place to implement wholesale destruction of our groundwater management program is another. By some of the anonymous comments here, it sounds like that is the aim of the three horsemen. I notice nary a one of them is rebutting the specific points Mr. Ford has raised, instead resorting to personal attacks.

Mark Key's and Craig Reizt's ideas of draining our creeks, rivers and streams and building a lake are just this side of psychotic right wing stupidity.

But I'm glad to see this debate taking place. High strung as it may be, maybe once all the venting and rumor mongering is over, more people will appreciate the legal role of our groundwater district. Google Texas groundwater districts and Texas water code, chapter 36. See for yourselves that our district and current board have only been doing what the law in Texas requires.

Stories of district imposed high property taxes, well metering and stuff like that don't scare me. The district's voters will keep a tight reign on the district's authority no matter who is on the board. The important thing now is to elect people who will work to protect our groundwater supply for all of us and not let it be overused and drained away by powerful developer interests. You should take that to the bank too, Jimmy.

There are several cases now pending before the board that could swing in favor of special developer and landowner interests or to the best interests of all users. We should all be asking who are the behind the scenes backers of these three candidates.

I've got a good well at my home that I depend on for my water. So far it's doing good thanks to the district's careful management practices over the past 10 years. I'll be damned if I'm going to let a bunch of crazy yahoos dry it up. Everybody within shouting range better be thinking first about the producing health of their own wells. Political leanings and ideology should have no place in this election as Jack Hollon pointed out in his article.

It's all about WATER and the CAREFUL MANAGEMENT of our groundwater supply. You can vote for careful management or you can vote to give it away to the highest bidders.

Anonymous said...

How about the general ignorance of the statement that if rain water is your sole source of water, than during the drought you will run out of water? What in the hell have people been ranting about then? If you take the people who are solely on rainwater, then what ARE they going to do in the next drought? Cry for a well and find out then that it is too late to get one because the District isn't permitting new wells?

Rather, here are the facts, those who are solely dependent upon rainwater collection need to have systems large enough to collect water that would be in excess of 30,000 gallons of water, which if budgeted properly and watched carefully, will carry you through even the drier periods. During the recent drought, there were still rain events that could fill up rain water tanks - so what this blogger posted is pure b.s. And am I to understand that she is also a candidate for the District? If she is making disparaging remarks about Mark being in the bottom of his class, she must have been dead last!

Anonymous said...

So, with all the gossip and so little facts how do we voters know who to vote for?

This site really has turned into a back yard fence free for all with little documentation proving otherwise inaccurate accounts of facts and/or opinions.

Editor, you need to maintain some sort of respectability, truth and real discourse on this blog. It is long overdue. You are going to lose a lot of readers, including myself.

Abe's little brother said...

What we have here is a failure to communicate reasonably and honestly. It's not an uncommon thing in elections. I am surprised people are upset over rumors flying and the grossly misleading information that is being spread to scare the voters. If the voters are uninformed about something so important as our water supply then they can easily be lied to and they will get what they get at the ballot box. Candidates will look you straight in the eye and lie through their teeth. Candidate forums and "factual" interviews are a farse. They do not reveal true intentions and/or the hidden agendas. Candidates should simply be more honest with the voters. If a candidate wants to fire the staff and do away with the district, he/she should say it. If a candidate wants to tax the hell out of everybody and confiscate their wells, he/she should say so. Backus is the only candidate with a long history on the district's board and a "factual" record. The records and agendas of all the rest of the candidates are anyone's guess. They can lie freely about anything and everything they want to. The most important question the candidates should be most honest about is...do you want to contribute to preserving and protecting our underground aquifer, and all the residents and natural ecosystems our aquifer supports, or not? If a candidate can honestly say no, then that candidate should not be running for a seat on the board, and by all rights should be soundly defeated at the ballot box. Have we got any candidates with the guts and the honesty to step forward and say, No. Please let us voters know before the voting is over.

Anonymous said...

Water vaquero said:

" By some of the anonymous comments here, it sounds like that is the aim of the three horsemen..."

Do you make your decisions based upon hearsay from anonymous gossips? Do you believe the rest of us are herd animals, vaquero? How about making a decision based upon the record?

"See for yourselves that our district and current board have only been doing what the law in Texas requires"

Misleading at best Backus spent considerable funds on attorneys and lobbyists to try to change the law and to misrepresent the law to suit his agenda. Backus sought changes to give him far-reaching powers over district residents and their properties. He failed to garner support from residents - and for good cause. He tried legislative fiat and failed at that. Backus challenged Rose to pursue his dreams of control and failed at that. Backus pursued merger of several districts to get the power those districts have and to water down the "no" votes in this district. He failed at that. Backus has caused many homeowners to have to take time away from their families and work to defend against his incessant attempts to take their rights and their property. Enough.

"There are several cases now pending before the board that could swing in favor of special developer and landowner interests or to the best interests of all users."

The courtroom is a better place for an impartial tribunal regardless of who the board members are.

Regarding developers: Backus et al. and the county have pushed subdivision rules to push central well systems which definitely favor developers and the investors of those water utilities.

Ask anyone in Woodcreek whether Backus' policies promote conservation of water - or water waste. Backus' production fee scheme relies upon generating revenues for the district through pump down of the aquifer and taking of property from homeowners. Backus' focus is all about the money - getting more of it for his regime whether through taxation, transfer fees, production fees, etc.

The April 15, 2010 House Natural Resources committee hearing gives insight what happens when a GCD gets some of the powers Backus seeks. Move to the end of the hearings where the long time homeowners are being threatened with liens, "fines", litigation, unwarranted intrusions onto their property, and demands from the EAA that they plug their long-term existing wells or "purchase" water rights from other private investors who can charge whatever they want.

"I've got a good well at my home that I depend on for my water. So far it's doing good thanks to the district's careful management practices over the past 10 years."

Do you question what does the tooth fairy does with all of those teeth? You probably believe that the GCD board also controls the weather through its management practices. Yeah sure.

Believe what you will, the incumbent tried taking away homeowners' right to a well - even yours. You need only review copies of the legislation Backus hired lobbyists and lawyers at taxpayer expense to draft and promote.

The new subdivision rules actually ensure a greater rate of water consumption per acre. They had nothing to do with conservation and will utterly fail of the pretext that they were adopted under. They will generate higher revenues to HTGCD via production fees though if validated. Catch a clue.

Anonymous gossip is not a reliable source of information. The frenzy on this blog and the level of unsubstantiated gossip only reveals how desperate the Backus camp has become. How about doing some research and making an educated vote rather than acting like another lemming? "Roundups" are used for herd animals. We're not all the herd animals you want us to be, vaquero

Anonymous said...

Ms. Ford said:
Jimmy Skipton (District 1 candidate, Henly/Dripping) – He has been attending groundwater district meetings for about a year and criticizing everything they do. Despite no obvious means of income, Mr. Skipton has filed a lawsuit against the County over its new subdivision rules – rules that were designed to promote some measure of aquifer conservation and water management.

I say:
Jimmy Skipton has attended more meetings of the HTGCD and meetings related to the HTGCD than some of the present board members. Mr. Skipton is a Rancher by trade and Ford would have known that if she really checked it out, even though it doesn’t matter. She is being coached on her statements. Jimmy has indeed filed a lawsuit against the County for reneging on the freedom to subdivide his land if he were to decide so. This is a “Regulatory Taking” of value by Hays County without any compensation to Mr. Skipton, so he is suing them for damages. The new subdivision rule, Ms. Ford refers to is the 6 acre rule that solved nothing while crippling of the livelihood of some land owners. At the very least, Mr. Skipton and others should have been “grandfathered” in. The “regulatory taking” that is referred to in this suit amounts to “eminent domain” by another name.
Ms. Ford Said:
At candidate forums, Mr. Skipton has suggested all the pressure can be taken off the aquifer if everyone collected rainwater. There is certainly truth in that, but then everyone would be running out of water at the same time during the next drought. Increased rainwater collection is an important part of a diversified water supply solution but it's not the total solution. Collected rainwater would be the first thing to dry up in the periodic droughts we experience in Central Texas. Using the logic he proposes, we all had better ask ourselves, "then what?"
I say:
Skipton is correct that jillions of acre-feet of groundwater could be saved if we all went to rainwater harvesting and he has support for that fact by many rain harvesters in western Hays County. It is an ignorant lie that all Rainwater harvesters would run out of water during a drought. During the recent drought, no one reported running out of rainwater except some small 50 gallon rain barrels for irrigation purposes. Ask Jack Hollon, an avid user and supporter of harvesting rainwater.

Ralph said...

Why are all the water gluttons so up in arms about the criticisms of three candidates who want to disembowel the HTGCD. Of course it is true what everyone is saying about them.

But that doesn't mean they are incompetent or bad people. It just means that they should not be elected to the HTGCD because they clearly have a not-so-hidden agenda i.e. castrate the Board's power whenever they can.

So what we are voting for in the HTGCD election is whether we want a Board with teeth or a Board that uses Polident.

For me, if we are going to have a water board (no pun intended) at all it should be one with teeth and not some sham Board with faux Board members who are just there to facilitate more unbridled growth.

Come on all you right wing Anonymouses; admit it. You don't want teeth. And my guess is many of you don't have any teeth.

By the way, Anonymous 1, is your name "Cat" for Ms. Ford supposed to be some condescending male chauvinist endearment or are you just a simple twit? Which is it?

Redneck Whisperer said...

Liberal Alert! needs to change his blog name to "Strutting Ass Alert".

Anonymous said...

Those that can't defend Backus' record are reduced to name-calling and insinuations as their chief campaign tools. The scent of desperation is getting stinky.

Madder than Eddy said...

If Mark Keys lives in a subdivision that gets its water from another source (probably LCRA pipeline) why would he give a rat's ass what happens to the Hays Trinity groundwater that everyone else depends on? I wouldn't trust him one bit on a board that makes policy about the water source I use and he doesn't!!!!!!!! Don't mess with my water, Keys.

Anonymous said...

So now a qualification to sit on the board is that you have to use a well. Wonderful, so will all those who are in support of illegal immigration please stand up? Are you the same idiots? Most likely, jeez.

Madder than Eddy said...

Number 1, Keys is a development contractor. Number 2, Keys doesn't rely on groundwater for his own home use. Number 3, Keys relies on development for his livelihood. Number 4, Keys has stated in public at county commissioners court (quoting Ms. Fords's article), in so many words, that he doesn't think we need flowing streams, creeks and rivers because they are a waste of groundwater. Number 5, the guy has got "Drain the Aquifer" stamped on his forehead. Number 6, whadaya think I am, a dumbass?

Anonymous said...

The liberals don’t want conservation, they just want to shut down development. They are of the same ilk as the hippies of the 60s, which are still among them. They can’t stand the strong and successful. It is a kind of guilt thing like the ones who suffer from “white guilt” and voted for “Obomination” for President just to cleanse their soul of being white. Still, they are losing.

Wow, you can almost smell the liberal anger here.

Anonymous said...

"Madder than Eddy"

Point 1: "Development contractor" - do you mean gainfully employed? Is there something wrong with running and repairing electrical lines? Do you use an electric well pump? Exactly what is Backus' livelihood, marrying it?

Point 2: So you malign Key for conserving groundwater on one of his properties? Would you prefer that Key drill a well on that property and switch to groundwater? Backus has a major LCRA line running in front of his subdivision, yet Backus prefers his exempt well and has taken the position that he should be able to keep his but no new exempt wells should be allowed for anyone (see legislative drafts 1-10 or so). In any event, the property tax that Backus pushes apply to all properties, not just those using wells. I don't support a Board that thinks the Board members or "some residents" are "more equal" than the rest of the residents in the district regarding eligibility for the Board.

Point 3. "Relies on development"? This is dubious at best. However, as a practical matter, so does your county. The county relies upon growth and taxation without the provision of services by forcing all new homes to be in HOA regimes. Carlton relies upon sales, installation, etc. of irrigation systems and Jernigan is trying to build a commune of townhomes in the area. Are they relying upon development? Backus has tried to make the GCD reliant upon development by funding through mandated central water systems and production fees - yet another "tax" to be paid by "those" people. What exactly does Backus rely upon for his livelihood, his wife?

Point 4. Quoting gossip and hearsay doesn't give nonsense any more credibility. You are incorrect.

Point 5. Forehead stamps: I haven't seen any. Backus has supported higher groundwater consumption rates per acre via the new subdivision rules. All you have to do is look at the city of Woodcreek/Aqua Tex to see what happens when everyone is forced to use a system that loses 50% of its water. Backus doesn't care because he gets production fees on 100% of what's taken out of the ground. Backus also used district money to pursue an agenda of taxation and confiscation of wells and property via legislation and/or merger with other districts. Backus would have you believe that he has protected homeowners from metering and production fees during his term, yet he spent lots of money on lawyers and lobbyists trying to impose metering and production fees on homeowners. The reason you are free from production fees and metering is because other residents opposed Backus at the legislature. Backus was so upset that Rose would listen to other constituents, single-minded Backus tried to unseat Rose in an effort to pursue the Backus agenda. Time for Backus' ill-conceived policies and abhorrent conduct to end. The residents dispatched him in the primaries and they can do so again for this GCD board election.

Point 6. Your self-characterization: How many GCD meetings have you or Cat attended? Have you looked at any of the legislation that Backus tried to get passed? You suffer from self-imposed handicaps of being deaf and blind. Those that will not listen cannot hear. Those that will not look cannot see. Your self-characterization of "dumbass" seems quite appropriate.

P.S. - Eddie's dead.

IC_deLight said...

Anonymous #10: I also noticed the smell. Like Anonymous #8 said, it's the scent of desperation.

Madder than Eddy said...

Point 1 – Do you mean that electrical contractor Keys will use his inside connections on the board to pick up extra jobs fixing everyone's well pumps?

Point 2 - Keys is not conserving groundwater by being on another source for his home. Ask Doug Combs of Dripping Water Supply if his water company's use of groundwater, or anyone else's, has been reduced one gallon by the LCRA pipeline. That's a myth. That was the stated purpose of the pipeline. Ain't happening. Remember our groundwater "emergency" that Judge Powers fraudulently pushed through commissioners court that brought in the pipeline? All it's done is support huge new subdivision developments. Maybe Keys is Power's latest operative. And Backus is NOT pushing a property tax. Ask him. Besides, it would be up to the voters of the district, not Backus, to decide on a property tax to support the district. You should quit spreading false information.

Point 3 - What business has Keys got being on the district's board if he is not a user of our groundwater? He has no personal stake in it. So whose interests does he represent? His business and developers will benefit through the granting of groundwater permits and increases in pumping permits. Keys is in it for his own business gain and to grant favors to land developers around Dripping who want access to low cost or free groundwater when they should be using expensive water from LCRA so that our groundwater can be saved for current residents. I say make the developers use the expensive LCRA water.

Point 4 - I believe Ms. Ford when she says Keys told commissioners court streams, creeks and rivers are a waste of groundwater. That is just about the craziest thing I've ever heard anyone say. I'm sure Ms. Ford can prove up her claim. The proof is probably in the court's video and transcript.

Point 5 - Why should I fear Backus if his agenda keeps getting blocked by other more powerful interests. At least Backus is an expert in the field of groundwater management. He should stay on the board for his extensive knowledge. Keys does electrical contract work. Woodcreek is in the fix it's in only because of the monopoly Aqua Texas holds over the community. I'm told the POAs prohibit homeowners from installing rainwater systems. Pumping fees from large users is about the only source of revenue for the district. The fees were not imposed by Backus but by the legislation Rick Green, Jim Powers and Molenaar crafted in 2000 and is held in place by Patrick Rose.

Point 6 - I have stayed informed of the district's activities since it was created. I think the district and its many conscientious directors and staff have done an excellent job in the face of constant resistance from some politicians and wealthy water system owners and landowner/developers.

Eddy is a current of water. It's a play on words. Comprende?

Madder than Eddy said...

I wanted to say also that Eddy is very much alive in our parts, thanks to our current board and staff. Current is another watery play on words. I don't want people like Keys who are out to kill our eddies and currents on the HTGCD board.

Anonymous said...

Should we likewise assume that "Madder" equates to "crazier"?

1. Never suggested such a thing. Backus' plan of taking wells away from owners to re-allocate their water to investor owned utilities is far more likely to create and sustain graft and corruption within the HTGCD.

2. "And Backus is NOT pushing a property tax. Ask him. Besides, it would be up to the voters of the district, not Backus, to decide on a property tax to support the district. Backus IS pushing a property tax. He has consistently tried to give the HTGCD ad valorem taxation powers. Backus didn't like the prohibition against property taxes so he spent considerable district resources on lawyers and lobbyists trying to change the law. When that failed, he tried to merge with other districts. At the Wimberley forum, he presented statistics about the dollar value of taxable property in the district and how much it could raise for the district. You could smell the sense of entitlement. Backus spent tens of thousands of dollars on lobbyists and lawyers trying to repeal the prohibition against property taxes for the district. Catch a clue. Backus support sproperty taxes for the HTGCD.

Regarding the reduction in groundwater claim, you make little sense. Why would existing groundwater users reduce their use because an LCRA water line is in town? For example, Backus didn't stop using his well when they ran an LCRA water line in front of his house. The LCRA water line does relieve the impact of population growth on groundwater load because most of the growth is forced to use LCRA water.

Those forced to rely solely on surface water by governmental edicts already pay a disproportionate burden for "conserving" groundwater. Folks like yourself think you should be able to tax them to boot and exclude them from serving on the HTGCD board?

3. The HTGCD has no right to operate as a closed governmental agency. Certainly, the positions cannot be limited to people that currently have wells. That group (evidenced by Backus' single-minded legislation) has taken the position that no one else should be able to have one. The property taxes that Backus supports would be paid by all property owners. I certainly don't support a few well owners having the authority to dictate that no one else should have a well and then to decide how to tax all the other residents in the district.


4. I'm sure you believe a lot of things - mostly myth, hearsay, and gossip. Still waiting for the tooth fairy?

5. Woodcreek is in the fix it's in only because of the monopoly Aqua Texas holds over the community. I'm told the POAs prohibit homeowners from installing rainwater systems.
Backus has tried very hard to push everyone onto these central water systems - JUST LIKE AQUA TEX.
Your buddy 'Drew is trying push all new housing onto central water systems via changes to the subdivision rules. Backus supported the new subdivision rules in conjunction with a prohibition against any new residential wells to ensure people would have no choice. He spent lots and lots of district money on lobbyists and attorneys and even tried a run at legislative office to pursue this agenda. [In contrast, a candidate for another board seat, Skipton, is the one who challenged this monopoly racket of Backus, et al. by challenging the new subdivision rules.]

Backus' history speaks for itself.

6. Well you are not that informed. Hearsay and rumors are hardly "education". You are a Backus rube. All you have to do is to look at Backus' legislation to recognize that the prime beneficiaries would be Backus, a few of his disciples, the HTGCD, and the investor owned utilities. The people getting the shaft would be the individual property owners - you know, the ones that vote and pay the taxes. Hopefully they will vote against Backus' agenda of metering, production fees, ad valorem taxes, transfer fees, etc.

Anonymous said...

Madder than Eddy said:
I wanted to say also that Eddy is very much alive in our parts, thanks to our current board and staff.

No Madder. Eddy is alive due to the seasonal change in weather and volume of precipitation - neither of which have any causal relationship to the actions/policies of the board or staff.

Madder than Eddy said...

Andrew's record is an open book. You can agree or disagree with it. I don't happen to see him or his record as a threat to me or my well. Keys has no record to speak of. He's a plant for developer interests and Aqua Texas. I can smell him a mile away.

The so-called Backus agenda of well metering, ad valorem taxes, transfer fees, etc. that you keep blowing smoke about ain't gonna happen. Get over it.

It appears the only campaign Keys has going for himself are lies and myths about Backus' record and intentions.

Other than asserting that the board needs fresh leadership and other such hogwash, Keys has not said one word about his groundwater conservation game plan; not one word about his position on the district's groundwater waste rule. My guess is that the waste rule will be the first thing he will attempt to dismantle if he is elected; and second, to grant pumping permits for the cases involving the Dripping baseball fields, Jim Power's development and then Aqua and Wimberley Springs. He will be nothing more than a sellout.

Keys is worthless if he's not advocating conserving our groundwater for the long term use and benefit of current residents with vested property and water rights.

Keys crazy statement about pumping all our streams, creeks and rivers dry is all I need to know about his game plan. He is ten times the threat to our community and environment than Backus will ever be.

Small well owners should consider filing a class action property and water rights takings lawsuit against Keys just for running.

IC_deLight said...

Andrew's record is an open book.
Apparently you have chosen to be blind or illiterate

You can agree or disagree with it.
The record isn't something you can agree or disagree with. The record is a fact. Backus' agenda of metering, production fees, ad valorem taxation, transfer fees, and entry onto property without consent as evidenced by his record are things that many disagree with.

The so-called Backus agenda of well metering, ad valorem taxes, transfer fees, etc. that you keep blowing smoke about ain't gonna happen
"So-called"? The record shows Backus spent lots of HTGCD money hiring attorneys and lobbyists to promote that very agenda. Backus' agenda was unsuccessful because citizens went to the legislature to oppose Backus. Backus hasn't given up on the plan, he just uses a euphemism for it: "full chapter 36" powers.

HTGCD already has chapter 36 powers except those specifically set out in the enabling act. The powers that HTGCD would gain with "full" chapter 36 would be a) metering, b) production fees, c) ad valorem taxation power, d) entry onto property without consent, e) ability to prohibit residential wells. Backus has made his agenda very, very clear by his past record and his current campaign platform. Backus supports, has a history of pursuing, and has made it a campaign platform to pursue: metering, production fees, ad valorem taxation, unwarranted entry onto property, and prohibition/confiscation of residential wells.

Backus short-lived campaign for the legislature used the mantra "We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome" (see backus2010.com website). You heard it from the horse's mouth. Neigh. Neigh. The same thing applies to the HTGCD. You can't keep putting Backus in office and expect that he will do anything different.

I don't happen to see him or his record as a threat to me or my well.
That's because you can't read or see, remember?

Keys has no record to speak of.
Sure he does. Key has gone on record opposing Backus' metering & production fee, transfer fee, property tax, and well and property confiscation schemes.

.. a plant for developer interests and Aqua Texas.
Backus is the candidate that has tried to force everyone onto central water systems just like Aqua Tex. Backus also operated under the mask of various astroturf "stakeholder" organizations before the Commissioners Court to likewise try to force all new subdivisions onto central systems such as Aqua Tex through platting requirements.

Backus seeks to become "feudal lord" over all property in the district. The feudal dues he is seeking include production fees and ad valorem taxation. Backus refers to himself as "dogcatcher" because he does not view residents of this district as people entitled to constitutional protections against takings or unwarranted search and seizure of their properties. To the Backus group, you are a "dog" - a serf to be obliged to pay feudal dues to the Backus regime and who has no real property rights or constitutional protections.

Key has opposed Backus' feudalism agenda including Backus' confiscation and taxation plans.

...conserving our groundwater for the long term use and benefit of current residents with vested property and water rights.
The school board example provided earlier illustrates the oppressive governance you seek to create/maintain with Backus. The Backus camp definition of "our" doesn't include all citizens or property owners in the district. Maybe Cat can help you with your xenophobic deficiencies.

I can smell him a mile away.
That smell is the scent of desperation in the Backus camp. Citizens don't appreciate being treated as dogs or viewed as peasants to be excluded from representation on the HTGCD board by elitists such as yourself.

Anonymous said...

I have known Jimmy Skipton for at least 13 years. I know him to be an intelligent, trustworthy, reasonable, caring person. He wants what is good for the citizens and the groundwater of the area.

The joker said...

Trinity and the three horsemen. How biblical is that! Are we in the end times? I hope not and I hope the voters put off electing the horsemen. I've got some other things I need to do first.