The Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District will have new legal counsel as of the beginning of 2019. The sweeping vote taken by the newly elected board at their December 11 meeting signals a significant change in direction for Montgomery County’s groundwater regulatory agency.
The previous board, appointed by various government entities across the county, has been involved in a protracted legal dispute over their overzealous regulatory policies. The newly elected board is opposed to many of the regulations, and would reasonably want to replace the lawyers that have been defending the previous board’s policies.
After a confidential executive session lasting almost an hour and a half, the board re-emerged for a public vote. Board Vice President Harry Hardman then moved to dismiss the current lawyers at the end of the year, including LSGCD general counsel Brian Sledge. Hardman also moved to hire Austin civil and water attorney Stacy Reese as the new general counsel, and the Houston-based law firm Johnson Petrov LLP as additional legal counsel.
The motion passed 4 to 1, with directors Hardman, Webb Melder, Stuart Traylor, and Jon Bouche voting in favor, and Larry Rogers casting the lone “no” vote. Jim Spigener and Jonathan Prykryl were unable to attend.
The board also voted to hold another meeting on December 18 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the ongoing litigation facing the district. The meeting will be held at the LSGCD building at 655 Conroe Park North Dr., Conroe, TX 77303.