Petition Rights

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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Bastrop Outsiders Unite!

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Help us win this election by doing this tonight!

Help us take full advantage of the rather lame efforts by a number of Bastrop City Screen Shot 2016-10-07 at 9.06.36 AMCouncil members and their allies to defeat Propositions 1 thru 5, for More Reasonable Petition Requirements. You can do this tonight by reading this article that just got posted online at the Statesman and offering a comment.

Here’s the article — and please consider our concerns below before you post.

Boldly, Lisa Hines who sits on the Bastrop Ethics Commission is defending signing on to this effort to influence this election, along with Council members who have thwarted the ethics laws. One of them, Gary Schiff, says in this article that he wanted to defend our water and our charter amendments are getting in his way. Seriously! I promise you, Schiff hasn’t lifted a finger to help on any level moreover, he helped Mayor Ken Kesselus put water hustler Joe Beal on the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation Board. Beal then tried to help Schiff help himself recently to over $100,000 of BEDC money. When citizen outrage poured out on the Bastrop Advertsier Facebook page about this, Schiff pulled his project funding request back.

Many people are telling us they’re voting FOR Props 1-5 (lots more on the props here) and thank us for the work we have continued to do year in year out. Let’s make sure we keep that going. With high turnout in this election, we have a real shot at putting Bastrop City Hall on notice — they must clean up their act or clean out their desks in the next election.

We’re counting on y’all! Thank you.

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Breaking: Seen this letter going around?

Folks, this is about as bad as it gets when you have an official, Lisa Hines, a member of the city of Bastrop’s Ethics Commission, trying to influence an election along with some local politicians who don’t give a hoot about ethics. That would be Councilman Gary Schiff, who recently tried to access $100,000+ for his private development venture. He pulled it back when there was so much outcry he was having dreams of the tar and feather treatment.

Have you seen this letter circulating around Bastrop? (Click on Jefferson screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-6-29-37-pm& Madison to read it.)

This curious letter’s first complaint is that Props 1 thru 5 are the work of “a few individuals, led by a political operative” who doesn’t live in the city of Bastrop. It never mentions that hundreds of registered city of Bastrop voters signed petitions to place these measures on the ballot because they want the petition tools to rein in their city officials. Moreover, many of those who supposedly signed this letter against Props 1-5 petition rights don’t live in the city of Bastrop! (City Councilman Gary Schiff also signed this letter weeks after a clear attempt to violate the city’s ethics law by trying to access over $100K for his private development — More here!)

We have repeatedly warned that what is underlying all of this is the goose that laid the golden egg — the priceless water underlying Bastrop, Lee, Milam and Burleson counties — shared by hundreds of thousands throughout the region east of Austin. Over 100,000 acre-feet of groundwater has been permitted as the area’s water districts bowed to the demands of San Antonio (Vista Ridge), Forestar Real Estate Group and End Op, L.P.. Unless landowners get lucky in the courts and our communities gets behind them (including our elected officials), we all in central Texas face a bleak economic and ecological future. This is entirely brought to us by the IH-35 developer-lobby and the ‘good ol’ boys’ of Bastrop.

The goose that laid the golden egg -- the Simsboro

The goose that laid the golden egg — the Simsboro aquifer formation underlying Bastrop, Lee, Milam and Burleson counties.

Remember this. When the “water grabs” were underway, Bastrop city elected officials put a water marketer on the Bastrop Economic Development Board – Joe Beal, a paid consultant for End Op, L.P.. That’s one and the same Joe Beal who had the audacity to sign on to this letter.

Help us reach voters in the city of Bastrop (to vote FOR Props 1 thru 5), in Hays County (to vote NO on Props 1&2), and in the City of Austin (to vote NO on Prop 1).

Learn lots more about Prop1-5 here and all endorsements here with links to other websites.

We have every faith in the voters to get this right — once they have the information.

Step up and help us stop Jefferson and Madison from turning any further in their graves, y’all.

Got time to volunteer? Reply or call us right away at 512-535-0989.

PS If you use Facebook, be sure to help share posts on the ChangeAustin.org and IndyTexans.org pages. Thank you!

 

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Endorsements. Split Your Ticket! Watch your wallet and your water!

Mark Miller, Railroad CommissionWe know who you are — you’re cats not easily herded — but for what it’s worth:

Independent Texans Proudly Endorses —
Split Your Ticket, y’all!

Texans are going more and more independent — we vote for the person rather than party — and we’re looking for a way out of the two-party dualpoly.

We have some candidate endorsements, including our only statewide endorsement (Mark Miller for Rail Road Commission). And we are very concerned about ballot measures involving billions of tax dollars.

We are opposing Prop 1 in Austin and Props 1&2 in Hays County. In the City of Bastrop, we support More Reasonable Petition Requirements (Props 1 thru 5) as voters’ check and balance on local government.

See all of our on this Endorsements Page — you use the share buttons on this page to tell your friends on Facebook.

Thank you, independent-minded, split ticket voting Texans, wherever you are!

PS Why no presidential or federal endorsements? We are “localists” and don’t — yet — get involved in federal elections especially without redistricting reform. Though we do have one Congressional race with an honorable mention of longtime independent friend running on the Democratic ticket, Tom Wakeley in Congressional District 21.

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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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