BY ROBERT MORALES
Last Wednesday, the Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District fired John Jones, the districtâ€™s general manager, after serving 10 years in that position.
Board members met at their regular meeting Wednesday afternoon and went into executive session “to discuss the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee.â€
The announcement was made after the board members returned to open session about an hour later. The vote was 4-1, with Board Member Kyle Brookshier voting against.
“I want to know why I was terminated,â€ said Mr. Jones. “Was it my age? I want to be sure. Iâ€™ll take to court. I might take it to court any way, but I donâ€™t know why I was dismissed.â€
The Advocate will continue to investigate the story based upon facts and not rumors that this office received this week.
“The mission of the District is to develop and implement an environmentally conscious, economically efficient, and scientifically sound groundwater management program to protect and enhance the groundwater resources within the District, thereby extending the quantity and quality of available groundwater while protecting groundwater users,â€ according to the Districtâ€™s 2013 Proposed Management Plan.
District will adopt rules to regulate groundwater withdrawals, primarily by means of well spacing and production limits. The District will make periodic assessments of groundwater conditions within the District and will report those conditions to the Board. The District will undertake investigations and, to the extent appropriate, cooperate with third-party investigations of the groundwater resources within the District. The results of the investigations will be made available to the public.
With respect to the aquifers within the Districtâ€™s Wild Horse Flat, Michigan Flat, and Lobo Flat management areas, the District will adopt a historic use period and provide preferential permitting rights to those well owners that can demonstrate beneficial and non-wasteful groundwater usage during that period. A similar approach might be adopted for other groundwater sources within the District as well.
For the purpose of protecting the aquifer and groundwater availability, the District may, at the Boardâ€™s discretion after notice and hearing, amend or revoke any permit for non-compliance or reduce the production authorized by permit. The District will enforce the terms and conditions of permits and the rules of the District as authorized by Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code.
The District will employ reasonable technical resources within its budgetary constraints to evaluate the groundwater resources within the District and to determine the effectiveness of regulatory or conservation measures.
5. a limit on the maximum amount of groundwater permitted for withdrawal from the Lobo Flat Management Area. This plan is the guideline for the operation of the Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District.