SJRA needs to be investigated for their abuse and neglect in Montgomery Co., Tx.
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Petition: Reform and Hold the San Jacinto River Authority Accountable
We are petitioning for the Texas State Legislature and Texas Governor to take immediate and sustainable actions to reform the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) and hold its senior management and Board of Directors accountable for their failure to fulfill their responsibilities as legislated, corrupt practices and causing deaths and millions of dollars in property damage due their reckless disregard for safety. In addition to their negligence in flood control, the SJRA has acted to increase fees and their budget to unjustified levels causing hardships on many families and small businesses. In response to public outcry, the SJRA has only responded by issuing misleading, inaccurate statements and using others who are beholden to the SJRA to speak on their behalf.
We are requesting the following specific actions as a part of the efforts to reform the SJRA.
· Require that the SJRA Board of Directors be elected and reside in the area of the SJRA’s jurisdiction which includes the entire San Jacinto River watershed excluding Harris County. Elections to be held in 2020.
· Accelerate the “Sunset Review” of the SJRA into early 2019.
· Clearly reinforce the SJRA existing mission to provide flood control and that require the SJRA comply with this responsibility by prioritizing its budget for this purpose.
· Provide relief from the unreasonable “fees” charged by the SJRA
· Rescind all past actions and prohibit all future actions by the SJRA to monopolize water supplies in Montgomery County .
· Direct the current SJRA Board of Directors to terminate all actions contesting the City of Conroe lawsuit concerning the GRP Contract, retract the notice provided to the Attorney General and the Texas Water Development Board regarding contract breach, and to withdraw their suit filed in Travis County for an expedited declaratory judgment confirming the validity of the GRP Contracts and SJRA’s legal authority to enforce the GRP Contract terms, including the fiscal year 2017 GRP rates.
· Direct the current SJRA Board of Directors to lower compensation of SJRA employees so that is in line with private businesses and provide documented benchmarks supported the new compensation.
· Direct the current SJRA Board of Directors to terminate the employment of the President of the SJRA and the SJRA General Manager for cause.
· Order an independent financial and operations audit of the SJRA to ensure that all revenues are accounted for consistent with accepted, standard accounting procedures to ensure that kickbacks, bribes and other illegal or unethical payments have not been made.
· Require that any future SJRA Fee increases be approved by a majority vote of the citizens who will be required to pay the fees.
The SJRA should recognize their inherent obligation to gain the trust and respect of the citizens they serve. They have clearly failed to fulfill this responsibility. Their arrogant management has lied to the public and appears to be only interested in their own self-interest.
The SJRA’s callous refusal to accept the responsibility for their actions releasing unprecented volumes during Tropical Storm Harvey and lack of empathy for those affected should clearly demonstrate to everyone the need for major changes in the organization.
It is now necessary for The Legislature and Governor to act decisively to reform the organization so it can honestly, efficiently and cost effectively perform the services as intended when the Legislature created the San Jacinto River Authority in 1937.
R. Gary Blackburn
SJRA Reform Committee
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