There weren’t enough parking spaces for the cars outside, and there weren’t enough chairs for the people inside.
A big turnout is rare at a Tarrant Regional Water District board of directors meetings. The water board isn’t known for transparency and doesn’t exactly embrace outsiders (aka taxpaying citizens) who poke their noses into the board’s business, even though much of it is supposed to be public information.
Board members appeared a bit surprised to see a full house at this morning’s meeting.
The big draw was Mary Kelleher, the only challenger during last month’s citywide election to oust an incumbent and get elected to a board that hadn’t seen a fresh face in a few years.
After a hard fought campaign that included more than a little mud-slinging, Kelleher was ready to be sworn in and take her place at the big wooden table with the four other board members — Marty Leonard, Jim Lane, Jack Stevens, and Victor Henderson.
Water district critics have accused the board of losing focus in recent years.
The water district has been pushing private development projects such as Trinity River Vision, and filing lawsuits and appeals in an expensive and ill-fated attempt to gain access to Oklahoma’s water, rather than focusing on local flood control and water sources, the critics say.
They view Kelleher as a kindred spirit and a symbol of hope — someone who isn’t aligned with the good ol’ boys clubs or the deep-pocketed developers that work closely with water district officials to help push through private development projects that rely on public funding.