J. Parker Ragland
Fort Worth Business Press
Recently elected Tarrant Regional Water District Board Member Mary Kelleher once again abstained from the board’s voting process saying she was bothered by allegations that the organization was not in compliance with the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA).
“TOMA and the Open Records Act are intended to provide public access to, and increase public knowledge of, government decision making,” said Kelleher. “I requested records from the board members … a month has gone by now, and most of the records I have requested have still not been made available to me. This is the first time I have served on a board, and while I may lack procedural knowledge, my common sense remains in tact.”
While there was a small group of observers at a board meeting last month, the Monday, July 22 meeting took place in front of a larger crowd. Kelleher won her seat on May 11, part of slate with two other candidates supported by wealthy Dallas landowners who have filed suit to stop the water district’s plans to build a pipeline through their land to East Texas.
Kelleher has requested documents from the water district and that led to several heated exchanges between Kellerher and other members of the board.
“Y’all [Kelleher and her supporters] are all here, and this is all orchestrated, and we all know that, and that’s fine. I’m trying to figure out how to get you [Kelleher] to vote on things at this board and to participate,” said Jim Lane, a TRWD board member. The board voted on new governance policies and code of ethics; two new contracts, with DCI Contracting Inc. and Pavecon Ltd. All votes had four in favor, with one abstention.