Posts Tagged ‘Kirk Watson’

Elections Have Consequences, Sometimes They’re Great!

George Washington, father of our country

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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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Breaking…Are UT Dell Med School & Watson Misspending?

For Immediate Release                                                                            February 8, 2017

Are UT Dell Medical School and Sen. Kirk Watson
Misspending Central Healthcare Hospital District Funds?

Austin, 2:30 pm: UT Dell Medical School appears to be misspending taxpayer dollars committed to the Central Healthcare Hospital District. If they are, this raises serious questions about potential violations of law and the public trust, so says longtime reform attorney, Fred Lewis and former State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos (D-Austin). Linda Curtis of Independent Texans is raising questions about her own State Senator, Kirk Watson’s law firm having benefited from it.

From UT’s own financial records, the reports shows 84% of all UT Dell Medical School compensation is paid for with Central Health funds and the vast majority of these expenditures are going to personnel who do not provide any health care of any kind.

Linda Curtis of Independent Texans PAC said, “Everyone knows that Senator Watson has been the leading cheerleader for building the medical school, which is fine. However, when he failed to pass legislation in 2011 (SB 821) to authorize Central Health to help pay for medical education, I believe he continued to find ways to get his way. Senator Watson nor UT can now claim that in 2012, when Travis County voters gave the Health District the right to increase property taxes, they also gave them the power to do what SB 821, in its failure, did not do for them. Spending tens of millions of dollars per year — for things other than health care — is a rip off of low-income citizens, not to mention all who are paying for it.”

Lewis remarked that, “No other hospital district in Texas, to our knowledge, has funded a medical school’s non-health care services. Hospital districts typically contract with medical schools to provide health care for the poor, but no hospital district other than Central Health funds non-health care services of medical schools.”

Former longtime State Senator for the Austin area, Gonzalo Barrientos, helped draft the bill that passed in the 2003 legislative session to allow for the creation of the Central Healthcare Hospital District. Barrientos commented, “My intent in passing the law that we passed in the legislature was to create a district that medically treated poor people, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year but right now when they’re hurting.”

Senator Kirk Watson is a partner at Husch Blackwell LLP. The firm represents Central Healthcare Hospital District and has paid the firm over $3 million.

For more details on matters contained in this release, see these 4 charts and the Fred Lewis report.

For More Information:

Linda Curtis, 512-657-2089
Fred Lewis, 512-636-1389

 

 

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Reminder: Cedar Creek, Rockne, Red Rock residents!

If you are a Bastrop County resident who lives in Cedar Creek, Red Rock or Scan 7Rockne, you might not want to miss this meeting to discuss the plans to dump sewage sludge on 2,000 acres between FM 535, and Highways 20 & 21. (Click on the map for the full flier you can share).

Community Meeting
Tuesday, June 28, 6:30 to 8 pm
VFW Hall, Rockne
1503 FM 20

This is an informational meeting organized by Independent Texans, not the TCEQ. That public meeting will come later — likely sometime in the next two months and was requested by State Representative Cyrier and State Senator Watson.

Tomorrow, we will give you the information we have gathered, our own opinions about it (and we are not experts, just concerned citizens) and Rep. Cyrier will lay out the process at TCEQ to make sure you know your rights.

Please feel free to invite area residents and to call us if you need more information before this meeting.

P.S. We could use some help at about 6 pm with set up or help at the end breaking down. Thanks all!

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BASTROP ALERT: Austin sludge may wind up in Cedar Creek

Message from Bastrop County: Don't Sludge Us, Austin

A company is trying to get a permit to dump Austin’s sludge on 2,000 acres in the Cedar Creek flood plain. Send a message: Don’t Sludge Us, Austin!

Update!  Make sure to attend a meeting about this being held on Tuesday, June 28th, 6:30-8 pm at the VFW, 1503 Highway 20, Rockne, Texas — especially if you live in Rockne, Red Rock or Cedar Creek. Spread the word!

Did you see this in the Statesman about the plan to dump sludge in the flood plain of the Colorado River? This company just pulled out of Fayette County (due to citizen opposition) but they still have a permit application on file with the TCEQ to dump in Cedar Creek (Bastrop County).

This map might be a better copy for you.

Rep. John Cyrier and Sen. Kirk Watson have asked Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for a meeting for citizens to discuss the plan by Denali Water Solutions to dump treated sewage sludge (biosolids) from Austin’s Hornsby Bend on over 2000 acres of land in Bastrop County in the Cedar Creek floodplain.

It is VERY important that you post a request NOW yourself to the TCEQ to hold a public meeting on this subject and that you oppose it.

Simply request a public MEETING and tell them you oppose this or are concerned about it to the TCEQ at: (Note: be sure to use the permit number WQ0005197000).

Electronically (it’s faster) at: www14.tceq.texas.gov/epic/eComment/

Or via regular mail to:

Office of the Chief Clerk, MC 105
TCEQ
PO Box 13087
Austin TX 78711-3087

Click here for a poster to be shared with local businesses, citizens and neighbors.

More detailed information on this project can be found at this excellent site — a work in progress: DontSludgeBastrop.info.

PPS More on the water front next week — that is the plan by water marketing companies to take water out from underneath Bastrop, Lee, Milam and Burleson counties to the I-35 growth corridor. This week’s hearing went fine and Lost Pines took no action….yet.

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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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