Don Woodard: Grab your brooms – the water board needs a sweepdown

Despite the millions of federal and Fort Worth taxpayer dollars that have gone into the Trinity River Vision boondoggle, last May the public – frightened by water board incumbents’ dire warnings of hundred year floods – was gulled into voting for a $250 million bond issue with a promise of no tax increase!

The decision of the incumbents to go with their staff and award a contract to build three costly untested tinker toy bridges has proven to be a bad one. “O judgment thou art fled to brutish beasts and men have lost their reason.” Now nobody knows what will become of the unfinished Ozymandias fiasco except to plow on, spend more money and trust that the sun will rise again and it all will have been a bad dream.

In the Tarrant Regional Water District election on May 4, we can vote for two candidates for the district’s board of directors. Two challengers to the incumbent candidates are Mary Kelleher and Gary Moates. The incumbents are in hot water due to the catastrophe of the unfinished bridges built over dry land where water may never run because the Feds now won’t pay to dig the channel under them. Lo the poor business owners without ingress to their property. Woe to Fort Worth taxpayers with their $250 million bond obligation. In view of recent revelations provided by newspaper and television news coverage, it would seem that the obsession of the incumbents to run, run, run would be an argument in favor of term limits.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price recently went up to Washington and was told: no more federal funds now for the boondoggle. What? The threat of biblical floods and no federal funds? Alarmed, the mayor hurried home and led the city council into demanding an independent review of the Trinity River Vision. What is that review going to show? Who knows? The natives are restless. They hear the drums of tax increases. The taxman cometh.

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When I was a sailor aboard USS Bowie APA 137 in World War II, every morning the Boatswain’s Mate would issue this order to the crew over the loudspeaker:


The voters should follow the Boatswain’s edict in this Water Board Election: Clean Sweepdown – Fore and Aft!

When Meriwether Lewis and William Clark sighted the Pacific Ocean after a year’s journey from St. Louis, Clark exclaimed “Ocean in view! O the joy!” If and when Kelleher and Moates are elected, we’ll all be exclaiming “New blood on the water board! O the joy!”

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Don Woodard is a Fort Worth businessman and author of Black Diamonds! Black Gold! The Saga of Texas Pacific Coal and Oil Company.