Elections for two board seats on the Trinity River Water District are heating up in a pitched battle as the pro-Panther Island boondoggle establishment grow their war chests against the taxpayers.

Panther Island, as previously reported by Texas Scorecardis a real estate development money pit in Fort Worth that has cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars with extremely little to show for it. Because this project is operated by the Trinity River Valley Authority, a branch that reports to the TRWD, this year’s local election is critical as to whether or not more taxpayer money will be burned on this project—and the pro-boondoggle establishment is determined to continue the burning.

The most recent campaign finance reports show that the campaign fund of U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R–Fort Worth), whose son is the paid executive director of the TRVA, has dumped $6,750 into incumbent board member Jim Lane. Granger is the mother of the Panther Island project and used her position in Congress to have federal taxpayer dollars redirected to this project at which her son works.

Moreover, a PAC called the Tarrant Water Alliance has raised almost $35,000 to support incumbent board members Lane and Marty Leonard.

On the other side of the line, former Fort Worth City Councilman and taxpayer defender Clyde Picht has endorsed former TRWD board member Mary Kelleher and real estate attorney Gary Moates to fight the boondoggle.

Also running is Charles C.B. Team, whose goals include putting “millions of dollars back on the tax rolls at maximum value for the taxpayers” and developing TRWD land “with private dollars instead of tax dollars.”

In a race where the two top vote getters will win the two seats on the TRWD board, this will be a race that will be critical for taxpayers.

Early voting for the May 4 elections begins April 22.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.


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