When Atascosa County citizen’s stopped San Antonio Water System (SAWS) from taking brackish groundwater from Atascosa County, SAWS tried to take it another way.
SAWS went to the Texas State Legislature to take control of brackish groundwater FROM the groundwater districts. SAWS had bills submitted in both the house and senate in 2013 to do just that! Thank goodness this legislation failed!
However, Mike Mahoney, general manager of the Evergreen Water District (Atascosa, Frio, Karnes and Wilson Counties), unbelievably, testified that only a “few people” in Atascosa County opposed SAWS plan and “his board would support the senate bill.” (Testimony of May 7, 2013).
Later, in May 2013 Mr. Mahoney resigned from the Evergreen District and the assistant manager was appointed general manager and given a substantial raise. Then, in June 2013, the Evergreen board stripped most of the managerial duties from its new manager, hired Mr. Mahoney as a consultant and gave those duties to Mr. Mahoney!
Thus, it appears nothing is likely to change at the Evergreen District given Mr. Mahoney’s past cozy relationship with SAWS and his testimony favorable to SAWS on its bills and the Evergreen board’s past dealings with SAWS. Taped at one Evergreen board meeting where a board member said, “They (SAWS) ask and we give,” to which another board member replied, “…let’s find out what they (SAWS) want and give it to them.” Incredibly, these are direct quotes and preserved for the record!
Finally, only two of the nine Evergreen board members had the conviction, courage, strength and common sense to oppose Evergreen’s consulting contract with Mr. Mahoney. The “no” votes were cast by Larry Fox and Jason Peeler.
Robert L. Ulrich