POSGCD directors re-appointed by Milam Commissioners Court
Kerry Starnes and Jim Hodson of Rockdale and Jay Tumlinson of Cameron were re-appointed despite pleas in previous meetings for commissioners to open up the selection process and consider other possible nominees.
County Judge Frank Summers said that’s something the court probably should take a look at in future years.
“When the legislature set this up, and when those of us who were involved in getting this water district started several years ago, were first talking about it, we never thought about having any kind of protocol to let interested people apply,” he said.
“In the future we probably ought to be looking at ways to make this selection process more public, ways to have an application process.” Summers said.
At previous commissioners court meetings, critics of the POSGCD had asked other persons be considered for nomination to the board.
That brought a strong response from Tumlinson who addressed the court during the public comment section of Monday’s meeting.
“I’d like to commend the district and its staff for establishing rules and a management plan that have become a model for other water districts throughout the state,” he said.
“It has established rules for use and permitting and has generated fees that have allowed us to issue $2.5 million in water conservation grants,” Tumlinson said.
He termed the district’s water use rules “stern.”
“We’ve also developed a body of information, developed science to better understand what we’re trying to do,” he said.
“I don’t know how many people understand that not one ounce of water has yet gone out of the district (Burleson and Milam counties),” Tumlinson said.
“There is an immense amount of (underground) water in the district, probably more than we can imagine,” he said.
Tumlinson used a pencil to illustrate the aquifer system under Milam and Burleson counties.
“There’s so much water that it exerts artesian pressure,” he said. “What we’re talking about is a drawdown of that pressure, not the water itself.”
Commissioner Kenneth Hollas praised POSGCD General Manager Gary Westbrook.
“I had a constituent, who is a geologist in the northern part of the county, who was concerned about the water situation,” Hollas said.
“I got him to talk to Gary, who explained about the district, what it is and what it has done, and my constituent came way from that conversation convinced the district and the board were doing a good job,” Hollas said.
In other business, commissioners:
• Appointed Jaecks county judge pro tem for 2010 to serve in any absence by the county judge.
• Accepted the county’s 2010 indigent health care program with changes to eligibility and provides as presented.
• Set 2010 commissioners court dates for 10 a.m. the second and fourth Mondays of each month.
• Named The Rockdale Reporter and The Cameron Herald as official county newspapers for 2010.