I was born and raised in Texas, so I feel I have a right to complain about a rotten thing that is happening here.
Texas used to be the best place in the world to live. No more. The people who now run our Legislature do not care about the people, their rights, or their needs. I've been reading in The Herald Zeitung and The San Antonio Express News about people whose land is being "legally stolen" by greedy developers...with the help of "our" Legislature and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
Let me make one thing clear. I do not know anyone involved in any way with this situation. I have nothing to win or lose here. It is simply not fair--and I fight against injustice whenever and wherever I find it.
I have not researched "eminent domain" laws. Like Will Rogers, I only know what I read in the papers. And what I've read is really rotten!
It appears that someone can buy several hundred acres of Texas land with a plan to build many hundreds of houses. The person can then create a fake "municipal utility district" and proceed to condemn and take a neighbor's adjoining land for their huge sewer facility. Lust, greed, and theft.
It's a subdivision, people--not a city!
This situation reminds me of David's sin against Uriah in the Bible. King David had many wives and hundreds of concubines, yet he lusted after his neighbor's one wife. He sent her husband to the front lines of the war so he would be killed. Then David was free to take Uriah's wife. Lust, greed, theft, and murder!
The Herald reports that "a developer bought a 300-acre ranch"... yet he lusted after 7.7 acres of his neighbor's land. He worked the system so he could keep all of his land...and legally take possession of his neighbor's land for his sewer plant.
Common sense says the developer must set aside some of his own land for his sewer plant. The family whose land he, the Texas Legislature, and TCEQ are taking is private land which has been owned by the ranching family for 110 years.
The family refused to accept this attack on their land and protested through the courts. A judge ruled against them and that the family must pay legal fees of $86,000 plus attorneys' fees...for trying to protect their own land from a developer and a fake MUD.
They're not allowed to fight the ruling without more stiff penalties. The same judge ruled that if they appeal or take their case to a higher court, they must pay another $20,000...plus an additional $25,000 if it goes to the Texas Supreme Court.
Does that sound un-American to anyone else?
I hate injustice anywhere and on any level. This appears to be a huge case of injustice. And when Texas' government is involved, that makes it worse!
I and many others working for justice wrote to the TCEQ when It was accepting public comments. Despite the many letters protesting this travesty of justice, TCEQ granted the permit allowing "the developer to release an amazing amount of treated sewage effluent from the Johnson Ranch subdivision into a watercourse in an adjacent Lux-Graham-Hastings family pasture." It did this despite the fact that "the effluent and stormwater would both use the same watercourse." This means that during floods, all would be mixed and spread over the entire area.
The newspaper piece ends, "from the watercourse, the effluent and stormwater would make its way to Cibolo Creek..." I add...polluting the grounds and waters along the way!
Texas--my wonderful Texas--where have you gone?
People, we've gotta' vote these crooks out and change our laws to protect people from this sort of injustice! Some TCEQ officials also need to be replaced. Both entities have given the current developer and any future developers a license to steal.
Will we allow this to happen?