To the Taxpayers and Voters in Tarrant Regional Water District:
Most of you are aware that Saturday, there is an election for two seats on the Water Board, and three persons are challenging the two incumbents.
When Don Woodard, a prominent Fort Worth Democrat, and Steve Hollern, a former Republican County Chairman, agree on this matter, you know it is a bi-partisan issue.
Here are some facts:
• The race is about water – returning the TRWD’s focus to it.
• The race is not about five Dallas billionaires supporting the incumbents. And it is not about a wealthy East Texas landowner supporting some challengers.
• The race is about crony capitalism. It is about taxpayers funding infrastructure so developers can build without having to provide the infrastructure normally required of them.
• The race is about the Water Board loaning around $250,000,000 (million) to the Trinity River Vision (TRV) because the TRV is not and will not be self supporting without taxpayer funds. In fact, the tax increment financing district supporting the TRV had to be extended from 15 to 40 years to provide needed funding.
• The race is about spending almost $1 billion for economic development when our roads and local infrastructure are sorely in need of those dollars for repairs and expansion.
The Water Board’s initial charter called for flood control and water supply for the needs of our community. But in 2005, State Rep. Charlie Geren snuck a bill through the Legislature that empowered the TRWD to engage in economic development, condemn private property, borrow money, loan money, and own business property. As a result, water rates have continued to rise while valuable taxpayer dollars are being diverted to build a restaurant (awarded to an operator in a no-bid contract) and engage in other commercial activities that are not related to flood control or water supply.
Actually, the proposed TRV bypass channel will create flooding issues that require holding ponds to prevent downriver flooding.
For these and many other reasons, we support the election of Craig Bickley and Michele Von Luckner. Please make an effort to get to the polls and cast your vote for these two outstanding individuals who have pledged to return the Water Board to its original mission.