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#1 AndyN

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:54 PM

In case it isn't painfully obvious, that is me on the ballot again for the TRWD Board of Directors.

 

It has been a real blast from the past looking at our previous discussions of Trinity River Vision and everything else from 2006 and 2007. I also ran across some of my posts from 2004 which blows my mind to look at conversations almost ten years old. My opinions on some of the issues have certainly matured. I have definitely paid attention to the board since then and I still think I can make a positive difference.


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#2 Volare

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:07 PM

Which one is you? I dont see an AndyN on the ballot.



#3 RD Milhollin

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:19 PM

I'll bet you can narrow it down to two though.



#4 Volare

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 07:59 AM

I looked at my sample ballot online and there are 7 names. Not much luck narrowing for me- most of the names are male, which I assume "AndyN" is male. I'm kinda intrigued with the election as I've been receiving some materials in the mail from "Flush TRWD." Although they state they are against the mismanagement at TRWD, they haven't really stated what they are for. I have to early vote in the next few days, so I hope I can find out more in time...



#5 AndyN

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:40 AM

Sorry for the delayed reply. I spent the weekend block walking in Azle and didn't mean to leave you hanging. Yes, the N stands for Nold which is the middle initial for BNK (Basham Nold and Kelleher). There are a lot of positive things happening at the TRWD and they have a great staff. While I have experience working at a civil engineering company on projects for Dallas Water Utilities, the City of Fort Worth and some smaller community water supply systems in West Texas (Snyder in particular), I don't think that is necessarily required to being a board member. We have good people working for us and it would not be my job as board member to operate the dams and pumphouses, but to provide leadership and oversight. I think desalination and acquifer capture will take bigger roles in our future water supply in addition to the wetlands recycling. What I think is relevant is the ability to operate the TRWD in an open and fair manner and to stop using public funds on no-bid contracts to friends and political associates. The fact that the decisions are made in committee meetings is troubling because that is now being used against the board in a lawsuit that will likely delay the IPL Project.  There is no notice of these committee meetings which denies the interested citizen the ability to attend and give input. We would operate the committee meetings in the same manner as the monthly board meeting with advance posting of the agenda and the time, date and location of the meeting. We would also move the monthly board meetings to evening hours to improve access to the average citizen. Board and committee meetings will be live-streamed to the internet, offered for broadcast on public access and archived for later viewing.

 

 

I am very concerned about the Trinity River Vision staying on schedule. I know there have been some missed opportunities to leverage some TIF funding and with sequestration and ongoing budget issues in Washington, I am very worried about the project not getting completed for a very long time if we do not move forward with a competently managed project. It seems like most of the amenities that are in place now have been delayed in opening and I can't help but think that might have something to do with having an inexperienced lawyer in charge of project management of one of the largest public works projects in our area. I understand Jim Oliver hired him without interviewing anyone else since he was "so right for the job", but I think we need a board that looks for the best person for the job and evaluates more than one candidate.

 

I know that doesn't answer all the issues but feel free to ask and I will let you know what I think. The incumbents have hired a consultant who is known for last minute mudslinging attacks so I am looking forward to find out what he hits me with. He misrepresented the facts about John and Adrian in the last election but apparently negative campaigning works, right? It's ironic that their campaign manager also won two non-competitive contracts with the TRWD for public relations. I am sure he is going to come after us with a big hammer because I have seen it reported that he makes $30,000 a month for his work for the district. He has to protect his income stream by getting his candidates re-elected.

 

Timothy "Andy" Nold


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#6 johnfwd

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:47 AM

Water conservation and greater transparency for board affairs are fine, but your position on TRV got my vote. I'd like to see the corps project completed during my lifetime.

#7 AndyN

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 09:16 AM

When I ran for the board, there were many people, including some employees of the TRWD who wish to remain anonymous, that spoke of bad things happening at the TRWD. I was looking forward to looking into those allegations but it looks like the weight has been thrown onto Mary Kelleher's shoulders. The board and staff of the District owe us clean and transparent governance for our tax dollars. It is one thing to ignore a Public Records Request from a citizen, but Mary is owed more as a director. 

 

I am curious if the Star-Telegram will ever pick up on this.

 

http://durangotexas....eher-Oliver.pdf

 

http://durangotexas....jim-oliver.html


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#8 johnfwd

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 08:34 AM

Seems this kettle has been simmering for some time.  The controversy in this current election started out with an anti Dallas fund-raising campaign; now it's anti economic development.  I, for one, do not begrudge the TRWD for vigorously pursuing TRV, if that's what this is about.  Regarding a Dallas financial support for a TRWD candidate, I'm not particularly crazy about it, but is there some law against it?

 

http://www.fwbusines...fbca20a669.html



#9 Volare

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 08:43 AM

You must own property in the TRWD area in order to be on the board, but that property doesn't necessarily give you a vote if it's not your residence.

 

There's a whole lot more out there on this election from many difference media sources. This one from the Fort Worth weekly is quite enlightening.



#10 AndyN

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 02:29 PM

I don't have a problem with fixing up the river but the fact is, we have never had a vote on whether to do that. Just like with the new rodeo arena. When we voted last year and the arena was on the ballot, the vote was not whether or not to build the arena, it was just a vote on how to pay for it. It appears that wealthy people in Westworth Village, West Fort Worth and Westover Hills are pretty good at getting our public agencies to pay for their pet projects and land development schemes. Like the Chisholm Trail Parkway. If you've ever looked at a property map of the ranches and undeveloped land between Benbrook Lake and Crowley, Southwest Fort Worth and Joshua, one prominent Fort Worth family owns big chunks of this land. Those tracts are ripe for development now that you and I have paid to open up access with a new road. This family is heavily involved in helping the right people run for elected offices and they have the wherewithal to be very detrimental to those incumbents who do not support their plans.

 

When I was in school taking a business communications class I did a paper on eminent domain. This was not long after Kelo vs. City of New London and a lot of conservative state politicians loudly decried the supreme court ruling and its affect on private property rights. Many passed legislation in their home states to outlaw eminent domain for economic development. In my research at the time I learned that in Texas, only two entities had gotten bills passed to get the power of eminent domain for development. One was in Arlington so Jerry Jones could take some private residences for a parking lot for the new football stadium. The other was the Tarrant Regional Water District for the Trinity River Vision.

 

The Water District is ground zero for this corporate/developer welfare. The agency has generally done a good job in the past developing our water resources and the staff is actively planning and developing infrastructure and resources for our future needs. The cost of flood control and water resources development have been covered by the sale of raw water and a property tax. The levees were built and paid off and over the years, various capital projects come up and get paid off. The district brags about having the lowest tax rate of any entity at 2 cents per 100 dollars valuation and no increase for the last 15 years (they conveniently forget to tell you that they've increased the cost of water 64% in the last ten years), but they haven't even needed that 2%. Mayor Price said at a campaign speech a few years back that they should have cut the tax but they wouldn't because it's hard to reinstate or increase a tax without hacking off your taxpayers/voters. But hey, when you've got a source of free money, the ability to used eminent domain for economic development and you get your friends and fellow land developers elected to the board, well, the developers are all laissez les bon temps roulez on the taxpayer's dime!

 

I support cleaning up and developing the river into a premier central city attraction. But the TRWD has been sloppy in the way it's being done. I think it was a horrible idea to hire a junior lawyer to lead a massive public works project who has no construction/project management experience. Apparently the district general manager didn't look for anybody else and didn't interview anybody else. The lawyer's mom happens to be in the US Congress where the district thinks its going to get a lot of the money to pay for the project, so I suppose that's a major resume enhancement. Then, the gm hired his son (or is it nephew?) as the communications director for the project. And the gm's wife, did she work at the district too until recently retiring? And does or did board member Jack Stephen's son or son-in-law work for the district? And when they got rid of the patrol plane and bought the helicopter for district business, did they put out a want ad for a qualified pilot? They hired the son of one of the lake managers and sent him to school to learn to fly helicopters. If the board is spending our tax money to hire people to work for us, are they picking the best candidates for the job or are they hiring their relatives to help enrich their own family? These are just a few examples but apparently the employment chart at the district looks more like a family tree.

 

Now, how many companies or people who have been awarded contracts (some without even competitive bidding) with the district are related to people who work for the district or are on the board? I'd really like to know. Did Charlie Geren's girlfriend get a high dollar lobbying contract with the District and now when they need legislation, Charlie's their man in Austin who gets the laws changed? Am I wrong that one of the lawyers for the district's outside legal counsel is married to one of the lawyers for the district? I know for a fact that contractors for the TRWD who are working on various projects contribute to the incumbents campaign funds. The campaign manger for the incumbents gets them elected and then they turn right around and award him contracts for public advertising campaigns. Have you been getting those glossy, poster-sized attack ads in your mailbox from the incumbents? The guy who creates those is the same guy who brought you the lawn whisperer water conservation campaign. Jim Lane will tell you to your face that there is nothing illegal with these examples of nepotism and cronyism. That may be true that there is no specific law that applies to the water district to prevent these deals from happening but I'd think Jim is smart enough to realize that the TRWD's practice of nepotism and cronyism is WRONG and they need to rewrite their ethics code.

 

I remember one of the early articles I read about the district in the Fort Worth Weekly. The general manager was going to lavish restaurants and private clubs and spending thousands of dollars on the district's credit cards for food and alcohol. Oliver had failed to follow TRWD policy to note who he was entertaining and what purpose the dinner was for. As I recall, the board fixed that problem by getting rid of that requirement. Oliver seems to run the district as his own little fiefdom and I have heard firsthand accounts from people who have gotten on his bad side and have been chewed out and berated. I have been on the opposite end of his index finger as he yelled at me in a parking lot one time. He seems to be an angry person from what I've seen. I think his salary is north of $200k a year which he may deserve for his management experience but I can't help question his judgement sometimes. There was a recent public information request asking for details about Jim Oliver's perks including a membership at the Fort Worth Club and the Colonial Country Club and he has a golf pro and a masseuse on staff. Those might be appropriate perks for a senior executive at a private company but I see that being in no way appropriate for a tax-funded government agency.

 

I think that the Trinity River Vision project is mismanaged. This was kicked off in 2003 and 12 years later they've just only started a bridge and a roundabout with projected schedule of 4 years. I would not have believed you if had told me 12 years ago the project cost had swollen from $250 million to now near a billion dollars and the project was still being discussed in campaigns. I figured the project would be much closer to completion. The lack of funding and the scope creep has definitely affected the timetable. The pollution on the land that the district will be developing is also an issue. The former American Cyanamid site that is now the jury parking and the Coyote Drive-Inn was an environmental nightmare now bulldozed under an asphalt cap. The district had the property appraised at 9 million dollars after Carl Bell went bankrupt and they decided to bail him out. The final purchase price was $16 million dollars. How can anyone in their right mind say that this is ok? They paid almost double the price their appraisers arrived at to pay off Bell. How many people who had their businesses and property taken for the Trinity River Vision project were paid double the appraised value? Someone said the district also accepted responsibility for the environmental remediation that will add another $20 million dollars to the cost of that land but I haven't read the entire deed yet so I haven't confirmed that. There is definitely a stack of toxic heavy metals and pollutants out there that will need to be dealt with at some point.

 

With regard to the influence of the Dallas money, there is certainly a lot of it in this race. From their early campaign finance reports, the incumbents have reported raising around $500,000 according to their early finance reports and among their donors are 5 Dallas BILLIONAIRES like Ross Perot Junior, Texas Rangers Owner Ray Davis, Ray Hunt, Lyda Hill, Trevor-Rees Jones and Barry Andrews. Why are these Dallas people investing so much in the incumbents?

 

 

If you're a fan of the Fort Worth Way, or perhaps you have some lucrative contracts with the district, or maybe you just enjoy all the entertainment options that the Panther Island Pavilion hosts like the beer floats and concerts and beer busts and beer runs, I'm sure you're ok with business as usual and you will likely vote for the incumbents. I'd like to see some change and some accountability at the District. And I'd sure like to see the records that Jim Oliver is hiding. When Mary Kelleher garnered more votes than anyone in the history of the water board last election and claimed a seat on the board, they changed the rules so that she could not add items to the agenda without the second of another board member. You can read her accounting on her website, for which the web address is in my signature line at the bottom of my posts. The best way to get a little more sunshine in that office and get a thorough accounting of the shenanigans at the TRWD is get a majority of mature, honest adults and so, like Volare, I'm voting for Michele Von Luckner and Craig Bickley and I'm asking you to do the same. Remember that you get to vote for two candidates.


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#11 Volare

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 04:04 PM

Thank you Andy for your comprehensive post. I couldn't have said it better myself.

 

Adding my own two cents, IMHO the level of corruption shennanigans displayed by TRWD is like something you'd see in New York or New Jersey. Realize that this an entirely redundant entity. When TRWD negotiaties the Integrated Pipeline, their counterpart is Dallas Water Utilities aka The City of Dallas. Who makes decisions about the IPL for the City of Dallas? The Dallas City Council. So here in Tarrant County, where we supposedly are super conservative and love minimal small government, we've created an entire extra layer of beaurcracy- the vast majority of whom answer to no one. It boggles the mind.



#12 AndyN

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 04:12 PM

Thanks. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to read today that the Fort Worth Business Press did not endorse the incumbents. As mentioned in one of their articles, we all need to go easy on the use of the word "corruption" until there is solid evidence to back it up.


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#13 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 07:20 PM

I'm still debating on whether I should vote for Michele and Craig or incumbents Martha and Jim.

 

Mary Kelleher's story sounds absolutely horrible, but at the same time, I'm more worried that she's opposed to the TRV and will end the Panther Island project with Michele and Craig. I want to see Panther Island get built.


- Dylan


#14 JBB

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Posted 03 May 2015 - 11:18 PM

Don't lose too much sleep over it. If the board doesn't kill it, lack of federal funding will eventually. But, hey, we'll have some cool bridges over dry land and a water slide down Main St.

#15 AndyN

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 09:09 AM

I know I would get a new project manager, put it up for election and rework the funding plan if I had any say but my name is not on the ballot. I still think it is a worthy project just poorly implemented. I'll try to get with the candidates and ask what they would do with the TRV.


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#16 Russ Graham

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 10:18 AM

The agency has generally done a good job in the past developing our water resources and the staff is actively planning and developing infrastructure and resources for our future needs. 

 

like Volare, I'm voting for Michele Von Luckner and Craig Bickley and I'm asking you to do the same. Remember that you get to vote for two candidates.

 

In other words you're voting for Monty Bennet's hostile takeover of the Tarrant water board.  



#17 AndyN

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 11:33 AM

Russ, I've been working for change on the Water Board since 2004, long before Monty Bennett had a clue about the Water Board. Bennett is a Fort Worth taxpayer who owns two hotels in downtown Fort Worth, pays a substantial amount of taxes to the district and other taxing entities and has every right to be involved in the election.

 

If you're worried about the problem of Dallas money, please take a look at the campaign finance report filed by the incumbents and the hundreds of thousands of dollars they raised from Dallas millionaires and billionaires. The integrated pipeline (which is getting built no matter what scary claims you hear about it being stopped) did not provide any new water sources to Fort Worth and actually gave Dallas a 25% stake in our lakes, Richland Chambers and Cedar Creek.

 

If you believe the propaganda that Bryan Eppstein is feeding you in those glossy mailers, that's your right. I have a lot more faith in the Fort Worth Business Press, which did not endorse the encumbents:

 

 

We decided to support two of the challengers seeking to unseat incumbent board members... because we are convinced that significant changes are needed in the way the water board conducts its business and deals with the public. (The incumbents) are dedicated public servants and have been good stewards of the region's water supply but they have given no indication that they believe changes are needed, much less shown the willingness to take the initiative in generating change.


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#18 youngalum

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 11:36 AM

Anyone who would let a JR style Ewing from Dallas fame take over the board and our future water needs is a fool.  The pipeline is for Dallas too.  Why isn't he going after the Dallas board?  Why did he say he wanted to punish Tarrant County and make us run dry?  All because he promised his mother that he would never let the land be touched like Bobby Ewing id with Southfork.

 

What is ironic is that he is the hospitality business.  A business that is dependent on water and this helps his business.  So you are to tell me that a man that is successful is willing to cut off his economic interests for his main business pursuit.  That is not possible.  So it still comes back to this is his ego getting in the way.  He has no problems with pipelines for oil/gas as his contributions bear that out.  But, he has a problem when it affects him personally.  That is selfish and hypocritical NIMBY.

 

Add in the fact that he moved a WW II veteran and his wife in the pipeline's path and call it a cemetery to stop the pipeline.  This man is unbelievable and the courts have ruled against him many times and will do so again.  Anyone who cares about Fort Worth would not vote for the Bennett puppets.



#19 youngalum

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 11:41 AM

He only owns the FW Hilton



#20 AndyN

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 11:49 AM

And the Ashton.

 

Dallas Water Utilities has contracted with the TRWD to design and construct the line. And I am not aware of them having a board other than the Dallas City Council and City Manager. When did he ever say that he wanted to punish Fort Worth and make us run dry? That is ludicrous propaganda.

 

Again, not sure how you think that he is planning to kill the pipeline. If the TRWD loses its eminent domain suit it is a small matter to move the route. The line will be built. Contracts have been signed and construction is well underway.

 

I take exception to your last sentence in that I do care greatly for Fort Worth and I will be voting for the challengers. Just as silly of a notion would be if I said that anyone who doesn't vote for the challengers must love living on the plantation of the west side masters who are desperate to maintain control of their land development piggy bank.


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#21 youngalum

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 12:24 PM

I'll ask my fraternity brother that owned the Ashton if he sold it to Bennett.  It isn't listed on Bennett's company website.

 

As far as the pipeline goes, it starts from Lake Palestine and so it does add another source of water for DFW.  I'll see if I can find his quote about wanting to run FW dry.

 

I stand behind the last sentence.  A vote for the challengers is a vote against FW.  Bennett doesn't care about the Trinity River project, he only cares about the pipeline thru his property.   If the pipeline would go around his property his support for the fringe candidates would cease as he is only using their conspiracy heads for his agenda.  How anyone could vote for people that change their names to avoid financial responsibility and never once took the time to vote in any election in their lives or vote for someone that owns a little parcel to run for a election but cannot vote for themselves as it is not their primary residence is not voting for FW interests.

 

I see you didn't address his digging up a veteran and a old women to help his cause.  As for your comment that it is a small matter to move the pipeline--that is ridiculous as that costs millions to do so--so much for saying that cost containment is the fringe candidates or your agenda.



#22 Volare

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 12:32 PM

Not that it matters, but...

 

http://www.fwbusines...c4d55865d2.html



#23 Russ Graham

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 02:07 PM

Andy, you may have been working for change on the water independently of Mr. Bennet - but you're not running for office.  You might be motivated by love of our city and sense of fair play or whatever, but I have no such faith in Craig Bickley, Michele Von Luckner, or Mary Kelleher.  I just don't know a whole lot about them.

 

Show me something the existing Board should have done and didn't do, to secure future water supplies for FW.  To me the fact that they are throwing sharp elbows around and using their Eminent Domain powers tells me they are doing the right thing by aggressively pursuing needed water for the future of Fort Worth.  Show me any candidates with as deep of FW roots as Marty Leonard or a record of public service as long as Jim Lane.  These two are on the board as a public service, not to "make a name" for themselves.  And by all accounts they are doing a good job there.   Even the FWBP article admits they have been good stewards of the region's water.

 

So - what's this all about?  It looks to me like an attempt to buy seats to embarrass the board and staff.  If it the pipeline can't be stopped then it's being done purely out of malice.



#24 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 11:02 PM

Looks like I don't have to make a decision on this after all. TRWD doesn't cover all of Tarrant County.

 

http://www.star-tele...le15741308.html


- Dylan


#25 AndyN

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 06:45 PM

Sorry, I've been away working at the polls and catching up at work.

 

The propaganda being served up by the incumbent candidates is just gotten unbelievable at this point. They have resorted to attacking Michele and Craig because they would rather not talk about the issues. Their campaign consultant looked far and wide for dirt that he could put in those glossy campaign posters and couldn't find much so he had to stretch the facts. To begin with, nobody or no bodies have ever been dug up. That is a flat out lie and ludicrous. Michele changed her name when she got married. She is not hiding under a false name and you are not required to run under your birth name. Ask Martha. As many of us did, she and her husband both lost their jobs in 2008 but the unpaid bill referred to in the mailer was paid. Craig lost an election before. Well guess how many elections Jim Lane has lost? Is he up to 4 now with the loss to Mayor Price? To suggest that Bennett will kill the pipeline is a scare tactic. If Bennett is able to win his appeal (doubtful IMHO), the pipeline will still be built. It will be relocated (I'm not saying it should be relocated to appease Bennett) and the line will be completed.

 

So now the incumbents are stooping to the point where they say if you don't elect them, we're all going end up drinking out of the toilet. I was told that glossy poster came in the mail today. That's literally false, something like that is already happening but apparently the incumbents don't understand their own district well enough to realize that the George Shannon Wetlands down on Richland-Chambers Lake takes water out of the Trinity that is mostly effluent from sewage treatment plants, runs it through the swamp and into the reservoir for return pumping to Fort Worth for distribution. The last statistic I found was 63,000 acre feet of water a year finds its way back into the water supply from this project alone. And if you think the water running down the Trinity River on a hot summer day downstream from the Dallas, Irving, Fort Worth, etc. sewage treatment plants is anything other than treated effluent, well.... that ain't spring water they're pumping.

 

You don't see Michele and Craig using personal attacks because they can win on the issues. I have yet to see a mailer from them accusing Lane of representing sex offenders or some salacious garbage about Leonard. The incumbents are resorting to attacks and falsehoods because they can't discuss the issues. And they didn't even show up for the League of Women Voters/FWBP forum because they have no excuses for the shenanigans at the TRWD.

 

I'm a little mad at the incumbents for using my money to campaign on. Yesterday, days before the election, the Trinity River Vision issued an update on the project and mailed copies of it to district residents. The TRWD is already under an ethics investigation for the water district annual report that is conveniently timed for 3 weeks before the election. Today the district staff sent out a press release announcing that the IPL had been awarded a grant from the Texas Water Development SWIFT fund. That's not unusual of a thing to send a press release out but the problem is that is wasn't true. The IPL was allowed to APPLY for the grant. And what's worse, the only district representatives quoted in the release were the two incumbent candidates. Where's the chairman of the board or the district manager? They could only get quotes from the people running for office? These are just some of the ethically challenged uses of taxpayer money to support the incumbent candidates that I have seen this year. Oh, there was also one of the head engineers out on the lecture circuit with the incumbent candidates a couple weeks ago. They don't seem to have any problem with electioneering with TRWD staff and taxpayer dollars.

 

Russ, I appreciate your point of view. I do think I have spelled out my concerns in my post from May 1st. I think the staff of the TRWD has done a good job over the years of with the water supply system, the flood control needs some maintenance, but that will happen as the TRV progresses. What I want is the board to continue to excel at what it does best but I want it done without the hiring of unqualified relatives for high-paying jobs. I want the district to be responsive to requests for public information. I don't want my tax money being spent on incumbent candidate's campaigns. I don't want my tax dollars used to bail out buddies by buying their land for twice the appraised value. I don't want the district passing out contracts without a bidding process to their friends and political allies. This has all been happening and the incumbent candidates seem to think it is acceptable. I think we can do better. Craig Bickley and Michele Von Luckner have been upfront and open and if you've seen any of their mailers you will see their phone number where you can call them and ask them yourself. They do answer the calls and they do return calls if they are talking to someone else and you have to leave a message.

 

 

I still think the Press nailed it in their endorsement and I am taking the liberty of paraphrasing:

 

We decided to support two of the challengers seeking to unseat incumbent board members... because we are convinced that significant changes are needed in the way the water board conducts its business and deals with the public. The incumbents have given no indication that they believe changes are needed, much less shown the willingness to take the initiative in generating change.

 

Regardless of how you feel, please make sure you vote Saturday if you haven't already and thanks to Mr. Roberts for allowing a political discourse on the forum.


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#26 Russ Graham

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 10:28 PM

Andy, thanks for that reply. I guess I don't have an opinion about the glossy attack mailers. I did receive one from Jim Lane with the story about the bodies being moved in an attempt to stop the pipeline. Interesting story, and I guess it would be nice to know the truth behind it all, but to be honest I don't really care either way.

 

Ditto with the no-bid contact for the Woodshed. At the time it happened I wondered about it, but in hindsight you can't argue some other restaurant would have been better in that location, or that another restaurateur would have been a better pick. So if the board picked him without going through a formal process I guess you could say it was a good choice.

 

Same story for JD Granger, it seems to me he's a talented PR guy and a good figurehead for the project. Because he's a congresswoman's son, basically any job he gets, you could say, "well that's because he's well connected". I'm sure he's got a half dozen other opportunities to take advantage of these connections and make more money than this TRV gig is paying. It's a public service that he's doing, and it's going to be a good thing for our town.

One thing I have learned from this election that surprised me is that the pipeline is a far bigger expense than the TRV - $2.3 billion. I don't think anybody is arguing that this pipeline is not needed or that we could get the same amount of water some other way.  And you are saying the pipeline will go forward even if the two challengers are elected. But they are being bankrolled by the one person who opposes the pipeline. So my guess it's that the likely outcome of either or both challengers winning would be that the TRWD would see a while lot of churn and division, while they are in the midst of building the TRV, managing a severe drought, and managing a multi-billion dollar pipeline which by all accounts is crucial to our city's growth.

And as far as I can tell, the worst thing the board has done is getting the Woodshed up and running.

Politics is politics and it seems we can't even have a school board election without mud being flung. That's what happens when all this money starts flowing into every race and professional political advisors get into the mix.

 

EDIT - punctuation, capitalization...


Edited by Russ Graham, 08 May 2015 - 10:43 AM.


#27 hannerhan

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Posted 08 May 2015 - 01:14 PM

This is the first election since I became eligible to vote where I feel like I'm very informed about both sides and still cannot come to a conclusion.  Undoubtedly, the incumbents are running a flat-out dirty campaign at this point.  And anyone willing to resort to these kinds of tactics is someone that I don't want to vote for.  But I also believe Russ's general point, which is that the actual results of the current group don't seem bad at all.  And I certainly don't want to hand the board over to someone who's just in it for the vendetta.  This is the kind of situation where I think change is certainly needed, but maybe just not THIS particular change.



#28 Jimmy

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 09:14 PM

Looks like ol' Monty should've saved his Dallas $$$ for bottle service and valet parking.  His candidates got posterized worse than Shawn Bradley in the '05 Playoffs. 



#29 JBB

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 09:22 PM

Well, a pretty solid win by the incumbents.

It was an interesting election night in Tarrant County. Arlington ousted a sitting mayor for the first time in more than 60 years. In Fort Worth, Sal Espino eeked out a win by 27 votes and Danny Scarth was given a pretty resounding notice. I would call both of those races surprises since every other incumbent pulled in more than 3/4 of the vote.

#30 johnfwd

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 09:25 AM

Are the TRWD election results good news or bad news for TRV's future?



#31 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 11:16 AM

We've finally seen some progress on TRV in recent months, so hopefully we will continue to see progress since the incumbents won.

 

Craig and Michele seemed to be primarily concerned with rerouting an expensive pipeline.


- Dylan


#32 youngalum

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 11:53 AM

That is all the losing candidates could talk about was the pipeline during the concessions speeches.

 

I am all for accountability, but these folks put up by Bennett are not the answer. The accusations that the incumbents ran a dirty campaign is unfounded.  The mailers all had source citations for the stances that could be looked up at will. If they were false, file a elections board complaint and do so with the state as well.  One will find out they were not false.



#33 Austin55

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 05:37 PM

A bit late, any last thoughts on the election here? Admittedly I haven't paid much attention.



#34 Volare

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 05:39 PM

Expecting single digit turnout.



#35 JBB

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 08:24 PM

Looks like Mary Kelleher is going to lose her seat despite what I thought was an unexpected endorsement from the Star Telegram.

On the FW city council, it looks like Zim is being shown the door, Sal Espino's old seat is headed to a runoff, and Ann Zadeh is coasting to a surprisingly easy win. The rest of the seats look like incumbent landslides.

#36 Volare

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 08:26 PM

... And single digit turnout percentage.



#37 beverlyb

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:38 AM

When I went in to vote at 11:00 am, I was the 9th person to vote that day.



#38 youngalum

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 02:51 PM

Best part of the TRWD election is getting rid of the dallas businessman's influence and political hatchet folks he had on the board or tried to put on the board.  There is sanity in this county.



#39 AndyN

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 04:28 PM

The winners took HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars from Dallas donors compared to that 1 businessman's donation of around $6,000. Why are the other Dallas donors so generous to the incumbents and their chosen replacements? Is altruism? I doubt it. The losers were out spent 15 to 1. It's all in the campaign finance reports.

 

Now we can continue with what I believe are improper handouts to developers, employment of relatives Like Granger's son and Oliver's nephew (among others) and the cronyism, like hiring Whitley's accounting firm for TRWD contracts after he went out on the stump for the incumbents. It's the Fort Worth way.

 

Maybe the investigation into the vote fraud from the last election will get some legs now that they are finding it in Dallas County too.


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#40 youngalum

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:36 PM

Please--you have an ax to grind as one of the past losing candidates.  We get it and the voter fraud is a nothing burger. 



#41 AndyN

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 10:45 PM

So, rather than address the allegations, you turn it back on me as a losing candidate? Is that not the definition of a weak argument/ad hominem attack? I will take that as your tacit approval of the way the TRWD board approves of nepotism, cronyism and corruption. You need say no more.

 

As for "nothing burger"?! Don, really?! you sound like a fox news reporter defending president trump. I was going to say that your opinion was worthless because you didn't even look at the compelling evidence for the vote fraud that I linked to, but that was actually renamerusk, so I'll give you a pass on that one. But I hope you have watched the video and can come up with a better response than nothingburgers. 


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#42 youngalum

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:25 AM

The evidence was produced was done by a highly suspect partisan source that like you, has an axe to grind.  The reality is voter fraud is so small of a number locally and nationwide, hundreds of nothing cases, that its effect on any election outcome is laughable at best.  Stats don't lie, people do. 

 

As far as TRWD board, nothing they have done is suspect in my mind.  I am for Fort Worth and growth.  I don't want outsiders and folks like you, that don't even live here for pete's sake, to make decisions for Tarrant County residents.  This is especially for tea party/libertarian/freedom caucus folks that don't like any government at all and wish it to fail and hurting society in the process.  You need say no more.



#43 AndyN

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 10:21 PM

Your arguments are laughable, but I understand your fear. I think the major failing of social media is that we have lost personal contact. For all of the failures of the TRWD, I still love fort worth. I would encourage you to reach out and get to know people that you politically disagree with. I'm pretty sure we all want the best for our city. We just don't need to be ****** to get there. I just helped moved a house today. What did you do to make Fort Worth better?
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#44 youngalum

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:57 AM

I having nothing to fear, the least of which is development that helps Fort Worth.  I make contact with all types of folks and I am not afraid to discuss rational things.  However, I stand by my assertion that conspiracy theories is the provenance of small minds and people who think no government is good government, especially in regards to the TRWD.

 

Glad you moved a house!!



#45 John T Roberts

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:48 PM

Over the last several weeks, Andy did a lot to further the efforts of historic preservation in this city. 



#46 AndyN

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 04:52 PM

Apparently, here's what money gets you. 

 

http://www.star-tele...e152686639.html


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#47 AndyN

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 10:15 AM

Blake Woodard's commentary pretty much sums it up. 

 

Thank you, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and TRWD GM Jim Oliver, for acknowledging that the fight with Monty Bennett was Dallas' fight and not Fort Worth's fight. All this talk in the paper and in campaign mailers about Bennett's blocking Fort Worth water was Fake News. The truth is that Bennett was the only obstacle keeping Dallas from gaining access to Fort Worth's water.

The Integrated Pipeline (IPL) largely benefits Dallas. Dallas wanted to build a pipeline across Bennett's land, because Big D has no pipeline to its Lake Palestine in far east Texas. According to TRWD's own engineers, the litigated section of pipeline may never benefit Fort Worth, because it's headed too far in the wrong direction.

The IPL provides NO new water to Fort Worth, as it adds NO Fort Worth lakes. To the contrary, it might take water from Fort Worth: The IPL gives Dallas a big fat pipeline to Fort Worth's Cedar Creek and Richland Chambers Reservoirs, which require much less energy for pumping to Dallas than would Palestine.

Your Tarrant Regional Water District board agreed to share the cost of this $2.3 billion project, plus share millions of dollars in needless litigation costs over Dallas’ pipeline to Palestine, AND give Dallas access to our water. What did TRWD get in return? Pipeline redundancy and control of the construction and its lucrative contracts.

Now you can see why the three victorious candidates in this year's TRWD board election indirectly received about 400% more Dallas money than Mary Kelleher, including a $20,000 contribution from the Dallas Citizens Club, which alone is about equal to Mary's total fundraising this election cycle. That's right: The Dallas Citizens Club was one of the largest indirect donors to the winning TRWD directors' campaigns.

Dallas’ future depends on the IPL, and Dallas' business community wanted Dallas-friendly directors on the TRWD board. Team Dallas won this year's TRWD board race bigtime: Now all five sitting members of the TRWD board were financed by the Our Water Our Future PAC, which has raised much of its money from Dallas in the last two election cycles. That a lot of Dallas control over Fort Worth's water.

Congratulations, Dallas Mayor Rawlings. You are going to get your pipeline to Lake Palestine and your permanent access to Fort Worth’s water.


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#48 AndyN

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 11:11 AM

Here's your nothing burger. You want fries with that?

http://www.wfaa.com/...fraud/443716569

http://www.wfaa.com/...ation/443718906

They may be focusing on Dallas, but the fraudulently elected politicians he refers to are all in Fort Worth and Tarrant County. Elections were stolen, including the TRWD and if you're ok with that, then we have nothing more to discuss.
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#49 Askelon

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 07:55 PM

 I got no bid'ness in this discussion but,

    1. As long as we equate Money as Free Speech?,,, Votes will always be for sale. Papaw always said " Anything your willing to pay for your gonna be able to get more of."

    2. Even though it is illegal for national candidates to accept contributions from foreign powers it still happens indirectly through lobbyists. That said, why isn't this illegal at the State and local level as well? And at the least, very distasteful.

 ( I really hope I didn't open a can of worms here. If so, my apologies.)


Without deviation from the norm progress is not possible. F. Zappa.


#50 youngalum

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 11:29 AM

Yes Andy--saying it is fake news tells me you are a tea party person.  And the total votes that might be fraudulent are a nothing burger.  I don't like fries either.

 

No election was stolen---period!!!!  But, I like that it gets you all up in a tizzy.  Andy, it makes you focus on the small things while the folks that want to make the city better are leading the way and pushing your theory on how government should work out to pasture. 






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