We lost the election...
Have you ever taken a test and thought you did really well only to get your results back and discover you totally bombed!
That's how I, Craig Bickley, Michele Von Luckner, and our election team felt after the TRWD election on May 9th.
We lost by 10,000 mail-in votes....smh! How could it be? We worked so hard!
Naturally, foul play is suspected but proving foul play is another thing. Maybe there were actually 10,000 people so interested in the TRWD election they took the initiative to request a ballot and mail it in.
The fact of the matter is we lost and we lost big; but you know what.....we have another shot at it again in 2017, then 2019, then again in 2021. The TRWD is no longer the best-kept secret in town.
The current TRWD administration has a very loyal, vast, established voter base of people who either are "strongly" encouraged by their employers to vote for TRWD incumbents out of fear of losing their jobs or out of greed for maintaining the status quo, comfort, and ease of no bid contracts.
But there's a new TRWD voter in town! 7,000 new voters.....people who now know what TRWD is supposed to do but isn't doing, how much power they have and how badly that power is misused, and how much money is at stake. These people want change and aren't going to quit until we get change!
Unfortunately, less than 5% of the people who could vote did, and this is what we must change if we want change at TRWD.
The overwhelming response I received from you after you received my letter telling you what it's like to be a Director on the TRWD Board has encouraged me to keep fighting for what's right, despite the odds. I thought I was a loner in my opinion about the difference between politicians and public servants but I now know I am not.
I have 2 more years on the TRWD Board and it's been made very clear to me that my election in 2013 was simply a miscalculation and won't happen again in 2017.
I'm insulted some think my election to the TRWD Board was simply a mistake. This thinking is disrespectful to the people who voted me onto the Board and to God who does everything for a reason.
Why I am blogging? For a couple of reasons. First and foremost, you asked me to keep you updated on what's going on at TRWD and I want to show you there are still some elected officials that do what they say. Second, there's so much more you need to know about our scandalous local politics; which I commonly refer to as the "Fort Worth Way". Third, I hope to increase our voter base for the 2017 TRWD election as there is no way way we can win if we can't get enough people to vote.
I'm interested in your thoughts and ideas on how we can defeat the good ol' boys and girls and change the Fort Worth Way of doing business.
I'm proud to serve you!
Here's some thoughts about taking on the TRWD:
--I believe most of you challenging the TRWD come from the conservative Tea Party wing of the Republican party. (Correct me if I am wrong, my apologies.) I think you can and should do a much better job of reaching out to liberals/progressives and minorities to join in the cause. I am a life-long leftist and am just as disgusted by TRWD as you are.
--Mail-in ballots are the Achilles heel of the voter ID controversy. I've often wondered why all those who insist that voters present photo IDs say nothing at all about absentee ballots -- the barriers to voting that have been put in place have no effect whatsoever on mail-in ballots.
--About the election itself. How does the percentage of mail-in ballots compare historically to other elections in Tarrant County? In Texas you can only vote absentee if you will be out of town, are over 65, or are sick or disabled. Can you track down some of the people who voted absentee to verify their status? Did the ballots come from certain precincts? If there really were 10,000 absentee ballots, you should be able to find out if there were some organized effort to get those voters to participate -- out of 10,000 people, someone will talk. Churches, community centers, shopping malls -- somebody got out there and met with large groups and gave them mail-in ballots. (Before the next election, you can reach out to those same groups and convince them why they should support change at TRWD.) And you don't have to 'prove' it in a court of law; if you can put together enough circumstantial evidence you will win in the court of public opinion.
I look forward to updates about fighting the Fort Worth Way on your blog. Good luck!
P.S. It would be nice if you allowed anonymous comments so that people like me don't have to use dummy gmail accounts. :-)
Glad you're taking the fight to the Blogosphere, Mary.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and make some great suggestions! We have less than 2 years to prepare and I believe the only way we can win is to really work together....all political affiliations. Water is supposed to be a non-partisan subject and I was amazed at how partisan many people made it. While you are correct in your observation as to Tea Party and Republican involvement, I'm proud to report we also had tremendous support from all types and combinations of political affiliations. We probably could do better in making it more widely known all of the political affiliations interested in bringing change to TRWD. I hope you will be willing to help us in our efforts. I would love the opportunity to meet with any groups who would like to know more about TRWD.
Regarding the mail in ballots, we are currently reviewing those and will definitely ask the good questions you did.
I'll keep you posted and you have my phone number if you'd ever like to talk more.
While I am happy you have cracked the good 'ol boy facade of the TRWD and starting asking questions, I have some issues to ask you about. I have searched your blog for the words "conservation", "climate" and "change" and did not find those words. You seem to be most concerned about flooding because your land was flooded in 2010, and I don't blame you for that. However, the primary goal of the TRWD is to provide water to over 1.7 million people and water conservation is the key. You can only build so many reservoirs. Water conservation and dealing with climate change are real issues that MUST be met by the TRWD if we are to have enough water in the future. I do admit that flooding is and will continue to be exacerbated by climate change, as will drought. However, water conservation is key.
Keith Annis, who ran for the board unfunded by big business, is concerned with conservation and climate change. He also wants to know how the TRV will continue to be funded. I voted for Keith and Keith only, as I agree that conservation/climate change are the real issues at heart here.
You discuss flooding alot in this blog. However, storm water flooding is a city issue, not a TRWD issue. You will have to work with the city to mitigate any storm water and culvert/ditch issues you have.
To get my vote in 2017, you must show me that you are truly working on the conservation issue and start talking about climate change. And, as I stated above, I am happy that you broke through into a very secretive, good 'ol boy board and are asking the right questions. Next, let's talk about the hunting land! I need someplace to hunt this fall!
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