Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District appointments

By County Judge David Barkemeyer

At the last Commissioner’s Court meeting Steven Wise was appointed as the Milam County At Large Representative and Bob Stewart was appointed as the Rural Water Supply Representative to the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors.
These two were appointed to complete the unexpired terms of their predecessors and we chose to give them the opportunity to now serve a full term on the board before going through a full blown selection process again. Their new term will begin on Jan. 1, 2016 and expire on Dec. 31, 2020.
There are five members each on the board from both Milam and Burleson County that serve alternating four year terms.
When the legislature established the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District along with several other groundwater districts back in 2001, they determined that each position would represent a designated interest group in the county. One would represent agricultural interests (currently Durwood Tucker), another municipalities (Kerry Starnes), another represents industrial interests (Sidney Youngblood), a fourth rural water supplies (Wilson), and a fifth at large interests (Wise).
Some of the complaints I’ve heard voiced about our appointed board members is that they have special interests. Well, the fact is that the legislation specifically states that they are to represent certain interests as stated above. Others complain that their interests are not adequately represented by the board. For example, some land owners do not lease their water rights and do not wish to have any water pumped from beneath their land. Others have leased theirs and wish to be able to sell water and be paid. And so goes the debate.
There are differences in concerns by those that have land over the shallow parts of the aquifers vs. the deeper end of the aquifers. Currently there is a debate over the state’s vs. the district’s identification of some of the test wells. Every meeting presents new challenges.
In fact, these men appointed to the board must represent the interests of all, not just special interests, and this is not easy.
I’m sure that what I’m going to say here is not going to stop the criticism. They are tough guys and they can take it and don’t need me to take up for them. But I’m going to do it anyway, these men that we’ve appointed are independent thinkers and they are doing their best to represent the best interest of Milam County and deserve our support.
This is a very important assignment and I commend them for their willingness to take on this responsibility for the citizens of Milam County.