Independent Texans

Elections Have Consequences, Sometimes They’re Great!

George Washington, father of our country

If this newsletter inspires you to jump in we need volunteer writers, artists, programmers, policy wonks, researchers, fundraisers, attorneys and just good ol’ organizers…we need it all, so give us a call!

Note: Independent Texans is a political action committee with our mission best expressed in the following excerpt of George Washington’s farewell address in 1797:

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

In this newsletter:

  • San Antonio, Hope is in the Wind!
  • Elections Have Consequences, Sometimes They’re Good!
  • On the Water Front: Handsome Dog or Nothin’ But a Water Houndog?
  • Cedar Creek Waste Transfer Station Petition — sign-it, Bastrop Countians.

Upcoming Events!

  • Austin: If you were a supporter of the 10-1 voting system and independent citizens redistricting commission, plans are developing for Austin. Call us right away to get involved at 512-535-0989.
  • Bastrop: Bastrop City Council Ethics Workshop, Tuesday, July 11, 5 pm, Bastrop City Hall
  • Texas! Hide your wives, the Special Session starts! Seriously, we have no dog in the hunt between and internal to both parties in this 30-day session, but we’ll be paying close attention.
  • Lee & Bastrop Counties: Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District Monthly Meeting, Wednesday, July 19, location TBA.

San Antonio, hope is in the wind!

The San Antonio city council and mayoral election resulted in the election of a new Mayor – Ron

Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of San Antonio

Nirenberg. That’s right, Vista Ridge cheerleader Mayor Ivy Taylor got the boot! Much to his credit, Ron Nirenberg at least took the time to travel to Burleson County last year to hear landowners’ concerns about the effects of the San Antone Hose on their water and their lives. What’s more, a number of new council members have already been raising questions about the Hose, so there is hope in the wind.

Elections Have Consequences, Sometimes They’re Great!!!

Connie Schroeder, Bastrop’s new mayor

The historic election of Bastrop’s first woman Mayor, Connie Schroeder, brought another wonderful surprise when she decided not to reappoint water marketing ally Joe Beal to the Bastrop Economic Development Board. You might remember that Beal’s latest news coverage was about his association with End Op, LP, now “Recharge”. We defy you to discover anything about who is running this outfit on their website. Two months ago, their PR man was none other than former Austin Mayor Will Wynn, a downtown developer who helped the ongoing raid on the Austin’s affordability.

Read this article in today’s Bastrop Advertiser – the good Mayor does her homework!

It was also fun watching a grown man cry — newly elected Bastrop Councilman, Lyle Nelson. Watch his touching, and very brief, acceptance speech at the 8:15 in the video.

Suffice it to say, elections have consequences and sometimes they are good ones, especially when more regular folks like us get involved like we did with petition drives for recall and more reasonable petition requirements on July 4, 2016.

On the waterfront! Handsome Dog or
Nothin’ But a Water Hound Dog (Crying All the Time)

Hydrologist Michael Thornhill showed up at the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District last week as the sole representative for “A Dog aka A Handsome Dog LLC”, a 1,000+ acre ranch in Lee County. The ranch is owned by the heirs to the Enterprise Products pipeline and oil storage empire based in Houston. Because it probably has never happened, we can’t remember the time an applicant thought it sufficient not to show up to personally ask for the privilege of a commercial-sized permit, or at least send an attorney or other authorized representative to answer any and all questions of a governmental board. Instead, the Board tolerated the “I don’t know the answer, but you have to give them the permit” responses of Mr. Thornihill.

The Dog is looking for 444 acre-feet of water every year to keep its 100+ acre “recreational” lake brim-full year round, regardless of drought. Very quickly this dog started looking like just nothing but a Water Hound Dog. The already-drilled well is within 4,000 feet of two Forestar wells but Forestar’s attorney and the manager of the company (Archway – that has little information available about) that is buying out Forestar, sat silent in the audience. Keep in mind that, under Texas water law, all landowners own the groundwater under their land, no matter how many times they are told they are not “affected” by a neighbor’s pumping because they don’t have a well in the “right” place or even if they don’t have a well at all.

What made all the difference here is that a few neighboring landowners did their homework, especially Nancy McKee. McKee’s testimony here hit the nail on the head. Read it and come to the next Lost Pines Meeting!

Cedar Creek Transfer Station/Landfill Waste

News is getting out about a waste transfer station that is seeking approval from the TCEQ to be located near 812 and Highway 21 in Cedar Creek.

Landowners in the area are organizing and have asked us to share this petition to TCEQ with Bastrop County residents.

Both area representatives – Rep. John Cyrier and Sen. Kirk Watson – have asked for a public meeting by TCEQ. Rep. Cyrier also asked for a traffic study by TxDOT. There are very serious traffic and highway safety concerns. Cedar Creek a Lost Pines GCD to take a look at this. A TCEQ meeting asked for our legislative representatives will take place sometime after the comment period closes on July 31st. Go here to make comments by July 31. Again, Bastrop countians may sign this petition and contact the circulator, Steve Chamberlain at (817) 360-0678.

On July 4th, a year ago, we initiated a petition for recall and petition rights in the city of Bastrop. Today, Bastrop is finding itself. Though we are far from done, it’s a great start. We hope to see similar results across Texas in the coming year. YOU can help!

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Congrats to Lyle Nelson and all of Bastrop!

Tom & Kelly Dawson with newly elected Bastrop City Councilman, Lyle Nelson, all residents of Hunters Crossing

Yesterday’s historic runoff for the Bastrop City Council Place 3 seat resulted in a very decisive win for Lyle Nelson — 59%, 361 votes — over Lee Harle.  Congrats to Lyle, his family, his neighbors in Hunters Crossing and Riverside Grove, and to the entire Bastrop community!

This is a big win for the entire city of Bastrop community, a community that is still reeling from years of ‘good ol’ boy’ cronyism that seemed unchangeable. Bastrop city voters put their boots on in the first round of voting in May and elected the first woman mayor, Connie Schraeder, with a similar decisive lead.

This comment by “Texas Voter” in the Bastrop Advertiser article today about the race well captures the significance of Lyle’s triumph:

Nelson’s achievement here is historic in that he was able to marshal outlying voters to overcome the solid block of downtown votes consistently wielded by the handful of power brokers who control and exploit Bastrop. Congratulations to both Nelson and Bastrop.

Another way of saying it is this — the Good Ol’ Boy Network had its ears clipped in this city election — good for us all! Just don’t take your boots off yet…we still have some kickin’ to do.

There are still people on the Council who think it’s their task to serve themselves and their friends, not to mention similar characters on the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation. Both are handling YOUR money and still don’t know where the buck stops.

There are now ongoing discussions about the Ethics Ordinance. We are asking you to pay close attention to this. While we support any tightening up of the ordinance that is needed, we have already lodged a concern about what appears to be a complete rewrite of the ordinance. Not only do we not believe a costly and complete rewrite is necessary, we heard enough whining at last week’s Ethics Workshop from Council members Deborah Jones and Gary Schiff to signal that a rewrite could wind up doing more harm than good. Watch the video of June 13 and see for yourself.

We hope to see you at the next Ethics workshop at 5 pm on Tuesday, June 27. The Council meeting starts at 7 pm and will likely start with Lyle Nelson’s swearing in.

We’ll be calling our own meeting soon to lay out some ideas we’ve had cookin’ but were waiting to share with you until after the election.

Of course, always feel free to contact us any old time.

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Another dump in Cedar Creek? Vote for Lyle!

Reminder for you city of Bastrop Voters. Early voting in the historic Place 3 runoff for Bastrop City Council ended

Lyle and Jennifer Nelson & Family

on Tuesday. Election Day is this Saturday. Here is why we support Lyle Nelson. It’s pretty simple. Lyle is clearly committed to transparency at City Hall, a prerequisite for good government.

Cedar Creek (Bastrop County) Another Dump? This message is also being sent to our pals in Caldwell County who have been fighting a dump in Lockhart.

As Austin’s affordability crisis has made Bastrop County the 6th fastest growing county in Texas, we see yet another plan to put a dump on the westside of Bastrop County in the Cedar Creek area where growth is headed. It’s a 47-acre facility – though a “transfer station” — proposed for an area close to the junction of Highway 812 and Highway 21 for garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, abandoned automobiles; dead animals, drugs, contaminated foods, empty containers which have been used for pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or rodenticides; Class 2 industrial waste; and Class 3 industrial waste which includes rock, brick, glass, dirt, and certain plastics and rubber.

We don’t know yet what “transfer station” really means. Area residents are checking this out and getting in touch with County officials.

You can read the 75-page application right here.

A public meeting with TCEQ – Texas Commission for Environmental Quality – has already been called for by Sen. Kirk Watson. This meeting will happen sometime after the public comment period is over on July 31st.

Click here for the TCEQ notice and how to post a public comment
with the permit number 40291

If you want to work on this issue please contact us. We will assist you in every way we can.

Is it not yet clear to you that voters of all persuasions are going to have to work together to get things done? We vote for the person, not the party and we call ourselves small “i” independents!

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Bastrop Runoff Voting Starts Monday!

The long awaited runoff for the Bastrop City Council, Place 3 is coming with Early Voting starting Monday, June 5th and Election Day on Saturday, June 17th. This is the first runoff election in the City of Bastrop’s history! We are supporting Lyle Nelson in this runoff. Read the rest of this entry »

Enjoy this Bastrop Update…get ready for the runoff!

We took some snippets of the swearing in ceremony of newly elected Bastrop Mayor Connie Schroeder and Council member Place 4 Bill Ennis. Schroeder was a class act and so was Ennis. We let Ennis know that even if we didn’t support him we have every intention of working with him, especially in light of his comments about open and ethical government.

See for yourselves – in these short clips. (Apologies for the lighting.)

The big news is that there was historic turnout in this election. We have the first runoff in Bastrop’s history taking place on Saturday, June 17 with early voting starting on June 5.

Though we are supporting Lyle Nelson against Lee Harle for the Place 3 council seat being vacated by Kay McAnally, we wish them both well… and McAnally a big thanks! We recommend you read this Bastrop Advertiser/Statesman piece about the runoff.

Today, Bastrop Advertiser columnist Debbie Moore wrote a very helpful and critical commentary about the video on the home page of the City of Bastrop and the actions of the Bastrop City Attorney, David Bragg. Moore also announced that the deadline to apply to serve on a city commission is May 23 as requested by Mayor Schroeder. Read Moore’s commentary here.

As usual, we have our hand out.

Yes, we still need lots of hands and donations for the runoff. Click on the hand to give.

More soon…after you do your homework with the contents of this message. Gracias, y’all!

Independently yours,

Linda Curtis
512-535-0989 home office * 512-657-2089 cell

P.S. Please share this message!

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Austin is Not Developers’ Monopoly Board

Sign it, if you live in Austin

Austin is Not Developers' Monopoly Board

Dear Mayor Adler and Austin City Council Members:

[signature]

Why don't you share this with your friends, please:

Make Growth Pay for Itself

No Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose

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