Directors on the board of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation district have killed a proposal to hire a lobbyist with tax dollars a second time in the last two weeks.
The proposal initially appeared on the agenda for the January 15 meeting. After an effort by Republican Party activists, and speeches by a number of the directors against the idea, the board voted unanimously to take no action on the item.
However, when the agenda for the January 22 meeting one week later was released, the agenda item to hire a lobbyist had been resurrected, albeit under a different name. The phrase “legislative consultant” had been substituted for the word “lobbyist”.
It’s unclear who placed the item back on the agenda. The Texas Scorecard has confirmed that LSGCD General Manager Kathy Turner Jones is responsible for drafting meeting agendas. However, Board President Webb Melder and Vice-President Harry Hardman also favor the district hiring a lobbyist.
Grassroots activists again attended the meeting and registered their opposition. Not a single citizen registered in support of hiring a “legislative consultant”.
“There are many ways we can do what we need to do without spending taxpayer dollars,” said Director Larry Rogers.
Director Jonathan Prykryl reiterated his opposition to taxpayer funded lobbying, and noted that he had spoken with State Sen. Brandon Creighton who said he was willing to help the board with legislation in Austin.
Explaining his opposition to taxpayer funded lobbying, Director Jon Bouche argued that the board needs to take a stand against the corrupt culture in Austin:
“Montgomery County has the opportunity to lead. I’m not proposing that it’s going to be easy- hell, it’s going to be hard. But it’s necessary, and we need to take this stand.”
In the end, none of the board members made a motion in favor of hiring a lobbyist, and the item died for lack of a motion.