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

March 6th, 2009
Letter to the Editor: Who's afraid of Chapter 36?

To the Editor:

Everyone in favor of our Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (GCD) having full Texas Water Code Chapter 36 authority as the legislature intended, raise your hand.

OK, you understand that authority would allow our GCD to protect existing wells from being damaged or ruined by unnecessary and preventable over pumping of our Trinity Aquifer.

Now, everyone wanting to keep our GCD handcuffed so it can’t protect our wells raise your hand.  Come on; raise your hand so we can hear why you oppose protecting our wells.

State Representative Patrick Rose aide, Mireya Zapata recently said. “The (Rose) bill two years ago didn’t have taxing authority and still got tons of opposition. It’s about what the constituents don’t want. Many said, ‘we don’t want our district empowered.’”

Who are these constituents who make up “tons of opposition”?  We know who the constituents are who make up tons of support for Chapter 36 authority.  Many of them signed a petition urging Rose to represent the public interest by passing a local bill in the legislature.

At a recent public meeting in Wimberley, Rose informed citizens favoring Chapter 36 authority for our GCD that his bill in the previous legislative session was killed in committee.

Who are these powerful constituents who can kill a local bill (addressing only a local issue confined to the sponsor’s district), especially a bill sponsored by such an experienced and powerful representative as Rose is?

Perhaps Rose or his staff will share with us a signed petition by his “tons of constituents” who oppose Chapter 36 for our GCD.  Then we would know what interests oppose protecting our wells.

Charles O’Dell, Ph.D.

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0 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Who's afraid of Chapter 36?

  1. Let’s remember to throw in the missing third and very important question – raise your hand IF you support protecting our existing wells, but without government regulation on metering them, and taxing us more. Very important. There are a good number of people who are NOT opposed to protecting our wells (and to say otherwise creates a straw man argument), but are deadset against any additional taxing entities to suck us dry of yet more money. When the GCD was created, the statements were made early and often that the District would never meter existing wells. Now eight years later, this is on the table, especially as a part of the Ch 36 authorization. If regulating new wells, no taxation were possible, then not a problem. IF the GCD were run as an arm of the County (since it is only in Hays County), then it could be funded by County taxes which are already being charged without creating another taxing district. I raise my hand FOR protecting our existing wells, but OPPOSED to any new taxes and a bureaucracy that does not have oversight and flies mostly below the radar of most of its constituents (not committing fraud or hiding anything, but with enough government agencies to keep track of it is just one more to watch out for). My thoughts…

  2. Will Conely your dragon scales are showing and it’s not a pretty sight. You will be voted out next election. I can’t believe you suckered me in to vote for you, I feel so dirty!

  3. Jon,

    You wrote that “…you support protecting our existing wells, but without government regulation on metering them, and taxing us more.” You are joking of course.

    As Development Coordinator for Dripping Springs, tell us how our real properties are protected with your review of development applications and support from city employees without cost? When did you start pushing the idea of a free lunch? Maybe the tooth fairy will pay your home insurance premium. Get real.

    Jon, you also know that metering existing wells is just an emotional red herring. It’s not like you to be so insincere. Read the proposed legislation.

    “IF the GCD were run as an arm of the County…” This one takes the cake. Maybe Dripping Springs could be run as an arm of the County. What do you think?

    Screw your head on before posting such disingenuous comments. I know you have more to offer than this nonsense.

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