WCID election

Richard "Dick" Young, left, and Allen Cloud are sworn in as members of the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District board of directors following their election to the board in May.

Just eight months after its first election in 24 years, a group with control of area water is seeking to end elections and have area cities appoint representatives.

Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 is seeking support from local representatives to eliminate voters’ right to elect representatives to the district that control water for more than five towns and has the power to tax water users.

How do other water districts function? Many have elections, said Marty Otero, spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

According to the TCEQ, water district elections are governed by the Texas Water Code and the Texas Election Code, unless specific requirements are established for a particular district by the Texas legislature.

A water district proposing to revise the process by which it elects its board members, like WCID, would require a legislative change.

Otero said board members can be elected or appointed depending on the manner in which the district was created.

If the TCEQ creates a district, appointment of temporary directors that are named in the creation petition are done in accordance with Texas Water Code. The temporary directors serve until the initial directors are elected and have qualified for office.

If the district is created by the Legislature, the legislature provides the method for selecting directors.

WCID No. 1 was approved by the State Board of Water Engineers in 1952, according to the district website, and was authorized by House Bill 632 during the 54th Legislature in 1955.

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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