San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 22nd, 2009
Letter to the editor: Rose must lead

To the editor:

Hays County is suffering the worst drought in the last 100 years according NOAA, and thousands of residential water wells are increasing at risk.

Our local Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (HTGCD) can’t stop the drought, but it could be doing more to protect our wells if it had full Chapter 36 (Texas Water Code) authority.

With full authority and responsible funding, the district could reduce water waste, mitigate irresponsible over pumping by some well owners, and protect existing wells from depletion by developers as occurred in the Northridge subdivision.

The bill creating HTGCD was concocted in 2001 by a small group of Good Ole Boys.  Their legislation ensured the new district had only BB guns to protect existing well owners from the wolves.

State Representative Patrick Rose has steadfastly refused to work for full Chapter 36 authority.  Many citizens ask why he denies them the protection of Chapter 36.

Rose argues that he won’t sponsor taxation legislation.  This is just another Rose smoke screen.  Chapter 36 only authorizes HTGCD to “ask local voters” to approve a small property tax – a couple cents per $100 valuation.  Why does Rose deny citizens the right to decide?

Consider the HTGCD a cheap insurance policy to protect our wells from being sucked dry. These unpaid elected officials have earned our trust by their tireless efforts on our behalf despite not having essential tools the legislature provided.

Contact Rep. Rose and let him know that you want our GCD to have full Chapter 36 authority, and you expect him to get it done in this legislative session.  If Rose can’t serve the public good then we need a representative who can.

Phone (512) 463-0647, email: patrick.rose@house.state.tx.us fax to (512) 473-9946, or snail mail:to  P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78701.

Charles O’Dell, Ph.D.
HaysCAN

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0 thoughts on “Letter to the editor: Rose must lead

  1. Admittedly, I don’t have all the answers. We, the people, need to take the time to solve this problem, not run to the government and beg for higher taxes. Spring is just around the corner; you can feel it in the air. Springtime usually brings rain. We should never rush to a decision without thoroughly thinking it through (with all it’s repercussions) and discuss all other options. To actually suggest we ask for higher taxes and more government regulation is unconscionable. Did our Texas ancestors run to the government to solve their water issues in the past?

    ” . . . to approve a small property tax – a couple cents per $100 valuation.” Sure, sounds good at first glance, but don’t you think that “couple cents” will increase? Let’s have those couple “sense” now and seek alternatives; your children and grandchildren will thank you.

  2. Guess you didn’t read closely – you will have the right to vote for or against those taxes at the ballot box. Meanwhile, the drought rages on.

    And if you think rains will come just because it is Spring… guess you missed living in Texas in the 1950s. My sister was 5 years old before she saw her first rain. Scared the hell out of her.

  3. What “scared the hell out of her” at the ripe age of five (5) years old, when it finally did rain or the five years it didn’t rain? What Texas city was this you speak of? I’ll bet you’re stretching the truth a bit there. Immeasurable rain is still rain.

    FTA:
    “Contact Rep. Rose and let him know that you want our GCD to have full Chapter 36 authority, and you expect him to get it done in this legislative session.”

    This doesn’t sound as though I have the right to vote for or against anything.

    In my comment above I wrote, “Springtime usually brings rain.” “Usually” does not mean “will”.

    By the way, spiders “scared the hell out of” my niece when she was five years old.

  4. You may be a “Hays County Resident” now, but I’m betting you came from somewhere else or you’re just a young thing that doesn’t know any better.

    Lubbock in 1952 did not receive even a trace of rain. West Texas was hit very hard. Dust storms returned to Texas – just like from the great Depression. Many cities had to truck in drinking water from other places. Livestock died. Agriculture failed. It was the most severe drought in Texas history. And it extended (to one degree or another) to over 10 states. In the end, 244 out of 254 counties in Texas were declared Federal disaster areas.

    I could go on and on. Sorry you failed to see the significance of the story about my sister. Now I had to go and revert to a bunch of boring facts.

    A drought would teach you something. But I’m not willing to live through it or put others through it either to make you realize the value of water over your own stinginess.

  5. So, full Chapter 36 authority will solve the drought? Is that a guarantee?

    Again, FTA:
    “Contact Rep. Rose and let him know that you want our GCD to have full Chapter 36 authority, and you expect him to get it done in this legislative session.”

    This doesn’t sound as though I have the right to vote for or against anything.”

    The following is from NOAA, it’s a government site (you can probably figure out the website from that information):

    LUBBOCK ALL TIME RECORDS

    TEMPERATURE
    Highest: 114 on June 27, 1994
    Lowest: -17 on February 8, 1933
    Highest Monthly Average: 85.4 on July, 1966
    Longest at or below 32 degrees: 207 hours December 17-26, 1983
    RAINFALL
    Maximum in 24 hours:
    7.80 inches on September 11-12, 2008
    (2nd place: 5.82 inches on October 18-19, 1983)

    Maximum in one calendar day: 7.46 inches on September 11, 2008
    (2nd place: 5.70 inches on June 1, 1967
    Maximum in one month: 13.93 inches in September, 1936
    Least in one month: 0.00 inches in December, 2003 (+previous)
    Wettest year: 40.55 inches in 1941
    Driest year: 8.73 inches in 1917

    DRIEST YEAR ON RECORD WAS 1917. So, the government’s records don’t quite match your “facts”.

    I’m not saying there wasn’t a severe drought in the ’50’s, I do know my Texas history. I’m just saying we don’t need to run to more government and higher taxes so they can do a rain dance!

    You’re not willing to live through another drought? What a statement!

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