GBRA Board actions require immediate answers, overhaul


Recent actions and conduct by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) have raised serious questions about the board’s integrity and mission. In our opinion, enough is enough.
Two weeks ago, the GBRA Board of Directors had the unmitigated gall to unanimously pass a motion allowing the GBRA to consider proposals on building a brand new $5 to $6 million dollar office facility in the city of New Braunfels. The reason they cited was the need for more space for management.
In Gonzales County, our response should be: let the management and GBRA board eat cake. Their moral, legal and ethical responsibility should be to the citizens and taxpayers along their state-mandated territory. They should be figuring out how to rebuild the Lake Wood dam that broke a few years ago due to their negligence and lack of preparation and foresight. Instead, by voting to approve the new space for management and not the H-5 dam for Lake Wood in Gonzales, they have just flipped us the proverbial finger.
What everyone in Gonzales County should be upset about — no, mad as heck about — is the lack of moral, legal and ethical integrity practiced by the board as presently constituted. For two years they have dilly-dallied on the rebuild. They say they don’t have the money. They say they can’t spend from other funds. They say there are working to get a new spill gate design figured out so that sometime four or five years from now they might be able to fix this dam that they are mandated to maintain. They might.
But instead they chose to appease the monied area of their domain, New Braunfels.
It is an insult of the highest order. The Sunset Commission of the State of Texas blasted this authority’s board and management for not maintaining its infrastructure and not having a plan in place to rebuild or repair existing structures. This was the very problem that occurred here in Gonzales — no sincere maintenance of the H-5 dam and no plan on how to replace it.
Yet this board, in all of its egregious wisdom, thumbed its nose at the state of Texas and the good citizens of Gonzales County by spending more money to make their management more comfortable. That does not generate a dime of revenue for the GBRA, whereas rebuilding the dam would create revenue through power generation, create better flood and erosion control, and increase the property tax base and promote tourism in our local economy. Thanks for caring about your constituency GBRA.
Adding insult to injury, for the past two years or so, Gonzales County — which is suppose to have a seat on the board — has gone unrepresented on the board. Either the office of the Governor, or more likely the GRBA board and management, have worked behind the scenes to keep the chair open. It is a travesty of justice, and we demand the seat be filled as soon as possible.
Here is another little nugget to rub salt in the Gonzales County wound. The chairman of the GBRA board was or is the Economic Development Officer for Comal County where New Braunfels sits. Yet he voted to appropriate the millions to New Braunfels instead of doing what is right by the citizens of Gonzales. The appearance of a conflict of interest is manifest, and he should have abstained from the vote. Yet he did not abstain.
This authority operates without restraint, says what it thinks people want to hear, and then does whatever it damn well pleases.
So Gonzales County, here on this page are the addresses and phone numbers of your Governor, State Senator and State Representative. Give them a call—lots of them—and ask them to mandate the building of our dam or fire everyone involved on the GRBA Board and Management team.

Texas Governor
Gregg Abbott (R)

Mailing Address:
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
800-843-5789 (Information and Referral Hotline for Texas callers)
512-463-2000 Office of the Governor Main Switchboard (office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST)

United States Senator
John Cornyn (R)

Washington Office:
517 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2934
Fax: 202-228-2856
Texas Office:
221 W. Sixth St., Suite 1530
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-469-6034

United States Senator
Ted Cruz (R)
Washington D.C. Office
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5922
Austin Office:
300 E. 8th Street, Suite 961
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-916-5834

Texas State Senate District 18
Lois Kolkhorst (R)

Capitol Office:
Room 3E.2
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
Phone: 512-463-0118
Fax: 512-475-3736
District Address:
P.O. Box 1867 Brenham, TX 77834
Phone: 979-251-7888
Fax: 979-251-7968

Texas State Representative District 17
John Cyrier (R)

Capitol Office:
Room E2.806
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
Phone: 512-463-0682