Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, June 3, 2004
Ward district yet too reply to Red Bluff suit
By JON FULBRIGHT
Ward County Water Irrigation District No. 1 has not taken any action yet in regards to a lawsuit filed last month by Red Bluff Water Power Control District seeking to keep Tom Nance from becoming the district’s representative on the Red Bluff Board this month.
Red Bluff filed suit on May 11 in 143rd District Court in Monahans against Ward County Water Irrigation District No. 1 in Barstow, seeking to block the seating of Nance on the seven-member board.
Nance said last week Ward County WID No. 1 would wait until after Red Bluff’s monthly meeting on Tuesday before taking any action in response to the suit. “We will see what happens, and then we will go from there,” Nance said on May 24, during a tour of the district’s salt cedar removal effort along the Pecos River at Barstow Dam.
The suit was filed following a dispute at the May 11 Red Bluff meeting over an agenda items that stated that the board would “discuss and consider to seek judicial review of whether or not an elected director from a converted Chapter 58, Texas Water Code, irrigation district, is permitted by law to serve as director of Red Bluff Water Power Control District, and for the President to engage legal service to pursue a judicial determination.”
Attorney Robert Scroggins of Kermit said at the time the suit only involved Ward County WID No. 1. He declined to comment on the details of the lawsuit, but said,” It’s just a matter for the courts to interpret three statues,” dealing with the rules for voter eligibility for the seven Red Bluff sub-districts.
Nance was elected without opposition to serve on the Red Bluff Board. But two years ago Ward County WID 1 changed from a water improvement district to a water irrigation district. Eligibility rules for voting for representatives of the two types of districts are different, and Red Bluff Managing Director Randal Hartman said, “We can’t have two sets of guidelines. You can’t have two voting standards.”
“We converted from a water improvement district to a water irrigation district in 2001,” Nance said. “We did that in order to give the landowners in our district a voice in the (Red Bluff) board of directors.
“With the way it is, with a water improvement district the landowners don’t have a say-so unless they live within the boundaries of the district,” Nance said. Under the water irrigation district rules, landowners residing outside of the Barstow area can vote in the Ward County WID 1 election.
Nance has the support of the president of at least one of the other six sub-districts. Alan Zeman, Board President of Reeves County Water Improvement District No. 2, said, “I am extremely disappointed in Mr. Hartman’s and Red Bluff’s actions against our sister water district, Ward 1. Red Bluff is attempting to prevent a duly elected representative from being seated by using the courts.”
Hartman said it wasn’t fair to have voting eligibility rules different in Ward 1 than in the other districts, while adding that he wanted the courts to decide whether or not red Bluff was correct in their interpretation of the law.
“We need rules and regulations settled before something happens we’re not aware of,” Hartman said. “We need the court to settle the problem with some kind of legal determination.”
“I believe Mr. Hartman is dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, resulting in the action he has taken. I also believe that Ward 1 will prevail in court and Mr. Nance will be seated on the Red Bluff Board. Mr. Hartman is playing politics with Red Bluff’s money in the courts,” Zeman said.
Zeman and Nance argued unsuccessfully with the Red Bluff board two years ago for financial support to reinstitute a cloud seeding program over the Pecos River basin in Texas. Eventually, a four-county cloud seeding program supervised by Ward County WID 1 was begun last year, based out of the Pecos Municipal Airport and using funds from the Reeves 2 and Ward 1 WIDs, along with other area and state sources.
The Barstow seat on the Red Bluff board has been vacant for over a year, since board member Manuel Lujan moved out of the area. The Red Bluff board will hold its monthly meeting at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the district’s office on West Second Street in Pecos.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff’s Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment and release.
Francisco Salcido Menchaca, 31, was arrested at 4:08 p.m., May 31, for theft and evading arrest.
Angie Salazar, 17, was arrested at 8:03 p.m., May 30, in the 700 block of Oleander, for DUI.
Ramon Salazar, 21, was arrested at 1:48 p.m., May 30, for evading arrest and failure to identify, in the 1300 Block of South Oak Street.
Rudy Renteria, 32, was arrested at 2:16 a.m., on May 29, at the corner of Third and Cedar streets for public intoxication (enhanced).
Rafael Carillo, 19, was arrested 10:44 p.m., on May 28, at the corner of Fourth and Eddy streets, on a Reeves County Sheriff’s Office Warrant for burglary of a motor vehicle.
Belinda Kristy Contreras, 18, was arrested at 12:59 p.m., May 27, at Lamar AEP, .for enticing a child.
Gonzalo Armendariz, 34, was arrested at 11:14 p.m., May 26, at the Adult Probation Office, for a warrant for theft by check.
Michelle Carrera, 18, was arrested at 9:47 a.m., May 25, at the corner of South I-10 Service Road and Kerr Road, on a warrant for contempt of court and on a warrant for minor in possession of alcohol.
Maria Escontrias, 42, was arrested at 9:30 a.m., May 25, on the corner of Highway 17 and Lindsey, on a warrant for speeding in a school zone.
Tracy Coleman, 38, was arrested at 11:28 p.m., May 24, at the Town and Country Convenience Store, 1219 S. Cedar St., on a warrant for no seat belt and a warrant for no liability insurance.
Mariano Rico Jasso, 17, was arrested at 7:44 p.m., May 22, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut streets for public intoxication.
Abelardo V. Marquez, 29, was arrested at 12:22 a.m., May 21, at the 2200 block of Missouri Street, for assault family violence and evading detention.
Rufina Hernandez, 55, and Ormero Hernandez, 46, were arrested at 3:53 p.m., May 21, both for failure to identify. The couple was picked up at La Tienda Thriftway for trying to shoplift.
Rene Quinones, 18, was arrested at 7:51 p.m., May 20, at the corner of Eighth and Martinez streets, on a warrant for possession of drug paraphernalia and a warrant for possession of a controlled substance (marijuana).
Kristy Contreras, 18, was arrested at 5:34 p.m., May 19, in the 1400 block of South Plum Street, for burglary of a habitation.
Fabian Orona, 19, was arrested at 7:17 p.m., May 16, in the 1300 block of South Cypress Street, for evading arrest, resisting arrest and criminal mischief.
Rosa Hernandez, 40, was arrested at 2:11 p.m., May 16, at the corner of Second and Elm streets for DWI, refusal.
Sotero Navarrette, 59, was arrested 11:56 p.m., at La Club on East Second Street, on a warrant for possession of alcohol beverage open container.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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