For Immediate Release January 23, 2017
League of Independent Voters of Texas Claims Texas Water Development Board
Austin, Texas, 7:30 am: The people of Texas have a vital interest in water. Yet, the Texas Water Development Board is, in essence, holding a secret meeting--what they call a "unique opportunity" available only to their invited presenters and those who pay $525 to attend--to set their course on water allocation issues. If there was ever an issue where transparency should rule and dissenting opinions ought to be heard, it is the big issue of water.
The Texas Water Development Board, the state agency responsible for water planning, and financial and technical assistance services to the citizens of Texas, is holding a “closed meeting” in violation of six sections of the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA), according to the non-profit League of Independent Voters of Texas (LIV). LIV members are active in water planning and preservation in Central Texas, and, along with other interested persons, desired to attend the Water for Texas 2017 meeting being hosted by TWDB on January 23-25, 2017, only to discover that the meeting is not open to the public unless they pay $525.
Attorney and Texas open government expert Bill Aleshire issued this warning letter to TWDB on behalf of LIV late Sunday afternoon, stating:
Further, Aleshire suggested the following remedy:
LIV Board member Michele Gangnes is a landowner and attorney who has fought for the last seventeen years to protect the coveted Simsboro formation of the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer underlying Lee, Burleson, Milam and Bastrop counties. Gangnes said,
LIV Board member, Samantha Davis, of Cedar Park said,
The Water for Texas conference, hosted by TWDB, features two statewide officials, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar and five members of the Texas Senate and House. Additional participants include Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith and a host of leaders from business, large-scale agriculture, local government and environmentalists. Noticeably missing are representatives of small farming interests and those who opposed the Constitutional Amendment known as Proposition 6 on the 2013 statewide ballot. Prop 6 set up a funding mechanism, run by the new Governor-appointed, paid TWDB Board, for financing the billions of dollars worth of projects in the state water plan.
For more information:
LIV Office: 512-213-4511