Sunday, May 3, 2015
Mary Kelleher & Blake Woodard Tell You The Truth About The Nasty TRWD Board Election
I came upon two letters today which pretty much sum up what the big deal is that is going on at this location on the planet, election-wise.
People in other parts of America, and the world, have trouble comprehending how a water board election can generate so much interest and be referred to as a historic moment.
Well, if the result of the election turns out the way I hope it does, the election will amount to being a revolutionary moment for Fort Worth and the area that surrounds Fort Worth.
The two aforementioned letters spell it all out for you.
The first letter of the day came to me via email. A few minutes later I saw that same letter on the Star-Telegraph. Please note that that is Star-Telegraph, not Star-Telegram. One would never see such a letter in the Star-Telegram, due to the fact that the letter counters the Star-Telegram's propaganda about this election. The first letter I am referring to is from Mary Kelleher, in which Ms. Kelleher tells you the truth about the "nasty" lies spewed in the TRWD incumbent's mailers and Star-Telegram ads.
You can read the Mary Kelleher letter in the blog post titled Mary says.... in the Star-Telegraph.
The second letter came from the pen of Blake Woodard. Blake Woodard is the son of one of Fort Worth's finest, Don Woodard. I saw the Blake Woodard letter posted on Facebook. The letter is re-posted below, in its entirety, for your reading enlightenment....
1300 South University Drive Suite 600
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Fellow Fort Worth citizens:
I invite you to participate in a historic moment for our city. A sea change – or more appropriately, a lake change – is coming to Fort Worth on May 9 in the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) election. This change is long overdue.
You’ve found the flyers on your door or in your mailbox, or perhaps you’ve seen the ads in the Star-Telegram, with Mayor Betsy Price and former Mayor Mike Moncrief warning you that a Dallas businessman is trying to take control of Tarrant’s Water Board. The businessman is my friend Monty Bennett, whose company owns two landmark downtown Fort Worth hotels that pay far more Fort Worth property taxes than either of the mayors, and who, like me, is supporting Michele Von Luckner and Craig Bickley for the TRWD Board.
Betsy and Mike are trying to divert your attention away from the real Dallas threat to Fort Worth citizens. Here’s what Betsy and Mike don’t want you to know:
• Moncrief raised $500,000 (so far) from an exclusive group of North Texas millionaires & billionaires, cashing in chips with his richest friends. If the incumbents get re-elected, these are the people who will continue to influence the Water Board. It sure won’t be you and me.
• Yours and my names were not on Mike’s Rolodex®, but five Dallas billionaires were. Don’t you think it’s hypocritical of Mike and Betsy to stuff our mailboxes with mailers warning about one Dallas businessman when they have stuffed their coffers with donations from five Dallas billionaires?
• Why are five Dallas billionaires eager to hand former Fort Worth Mayor Moncrief hundreds of thousands of dollars to finance his friends’ perpetual control of Fort Worth’s Water Board? Perhaps it’s because the TRWD Board is planning on spending $2.3 billion of your money to build a pipeline that forever will connect Fort Worth’s two prize east-Texas lakes to Dallas’ suffering water system. You’ve seen the severe water restrictions that Dallas-area residents have suffered the last two years. Some communities can water their lawns only once every two weeks. Thanks to the TRWD leaders from the 1960’s and 1970’s who built Cedar Creek and Richland Chambers reservoirs, Fort Worth is in much better shape. Once that “Integrated Pipeline” (IPL) is built, Dallas forever will have access to Fort Worth’s water. The IPL adds no water to TRWD lakes. TRWD’s own needs assessment shows that the IPL is a big win for Dallas but could exacerbate Fort Worth water shortages. Does that sound like a good deal to you? Isn’t buying Dallas a $2.3 billion pipeline to Fort Worth’s lakes like giving North Korean hackers the password to your computer firewall?
• Given Mayor Price’s and the TRWD incumbents’ passion for regional (Dallas-imposed?) water restrictions, this permanent connection of Fort Worth’s lakes to Dallas should concern you greatly. Dallas’ new pipeline into TRWD’s lakes + Mayor Price’s regionalism = Loss of Fort Worth’s water sovereignty.
In another flyer, Mayor Price tells you that we have the best water board in Texas. The best? I have higher standards than Mayor Price. Here’s my TRWD Board report card:
• They get an A for their east-Texas wetlands project.
• They get an inherited A for the outstanding employees of the Water District, many of whom, including one of my friends, have worked there decades to provide us water.
• They have failed to buy Oklahoma’s surplus water, dealing so poorly with our neighbors to the north that they ended up in a costly, losing federal lawsuit.
• They have failed to supervise the TRWD’s general manager, who among other incidents interjected himself into the 2013 TRWD election by sending hateful, belittling emails to one of the candidates from the TRWD’s email server. You might have gotten fired, but the incumbents did nothing. I think the incumbents are intimidated by this man. I think he needs supervision.
• They have failed to respect your private property rights, lobbying State Rep. Charlie Geren to sponsor a bill that gave the TRWD exclusive eminent domain rights to take your land for economic development, even if miles from any water. They then abused these eminent domain privileges to take your neighbors’ land for the $1 billion Trinity River Vision project.
• They have failed at transparency, only lifting the veil slightly when Mary Kelleher joined the TRWD Board in 2013. Mary needs two more votes on the board to effect change.
• They have failed to focus on water supply and flood control and have been distracted for years by Trinity River Vision, a sweetheart-deal restaurant, and other economic development.
• They have failed at conservation, insisting on top-down, big-government water restrictions, window-dressed with a silly Lawn Whisperer campaign that is pointless when citizens have no flexibility. Conservation works best when the citizens buy in. Yet in 2014, TRWD officials and Bryan Eppstein (TRWD’s lobbyist and the incumbents’ and Mayor Price’s political consultant) aggressively lobbied your city council to reject even a pilot project to test my conservation plan, the Woodard Plan1, which may increase conservation with less government.
• They have failed to trust you. Ask the incumbents if they trust you enough to give you the Woodard Plan. They were desperate to kill the Woodard Plan, because they are afraid that you will waste water if given the slightest flexibility. So they told the City Council on 4/8/2014 that if it approved the Woodard Plan, the state would deny any more inter-basin pipelines and lakes for Fort Worth. This assertion was completely fabricated, but it succeeded in swinging the Council’s vote against the Woodard Plan. You are seeing similar scare tactics in their campaign. When leaders don’t trust you, they do desperate things. Michele Von Luckner and Craig Bickley represent change. They are smart young business people, who like you and me are raising families in Tarrant County. None of their donors hopes to make a buck off of TRWD contracts. They want transparent government. They are passionate about conservation and ample water supply. They don’t want the TRWD taking your property for its next economic development idea. They want TRWD focusing on water, water, water. And they trust you. You will be proud to have Michele and Craig represent you on the TRWD Board. You get two votes for the TRWD Board on May 9 (early voting runs April 27 through May 5). Please join me in voting for Michele Von Luckner and Craig Bickley. I encourage you to visit their websites to make a donation or request a yard sign: www.michelevonluckner.com and www.craigbickley.com.
1 - For a copy of the Woodard Plan, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.