Crisis at Tecolote Farm

*****   See 05/19 update here *****

“This is the time.  And this is the record of the time.”


MEETING POSTPONED

The Commissioner’s Meeting has been postponed until 1:45pm on Tuesday, April 7th.

Please email/phone your Commissioner this week!


Buy local and raise hell

Please Email or Call Your County Commissioner Now Before they Vote on April 7th

§ 551.071. CONSULTATION WITH ATTORNEY; CLOSED MEETING.

A governmental body may not conduct a private consultation with its attorney except:

(1) when the governmental body seeks the advice of its attorney about:
(A) pending or contemplated litigation; or
(B) a settlement offer; or

(2) on a matter in which the duty of the attorney to the governmental body under
the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas
clearly conflicts with this chapter.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.


Katie and David Pitre of Tecolote Farm


Action Alert: Tecolote Still Needs Your Help:
Call or Email County Commissioner Prior to Vote on 4/7

Background:
Tecolote Farm has been providing locally-grown, organic vegetables to the Austin area since 1993.  It is a vital part of and gives much value to our community.  Recently they have suffered a water crisis.  Water levels in Tecolote Farm’s well dropped dramatically, and then went completely dry, soon after Travis County installed nearby high-production wells used to water recreation fields a few miles away.  At first, Travis County officials indicated that if they had caused the problem, they would help fix it.  Since that time, several highly-qualified hydrogeologists, including ones with extensive experience in studying and working with the local aquifer at issue have confirmed what Tecolote has always known:  that the high-volume pumping by the County was at least a significant contributor of what has happened to Tecolote’s water supply. Tecolote Farm is just asking for access to the groundwater that they always had, and they are willing to exchange that access for providing produce to County Jail inmates.

This coming Tuesday, March 31st, the Travis County Commissioners’ Court will be considering Judge Biscoe’s plan to help solve a problem that they (at least in part) created.

Email the Travis County Commissioners

Please send an email very soon – preferably today, Friday, 3/27- but no later than Sunday, 3/29, letting all of the Commissioners, especially Commissioners Eckhardt and Davis, know how important it is to you that the County step up to the plate and help solve preserve this local farm. If you don’t know who your county commissioner is, just send the email to all of them.

List of County Commissioners and their email addresses and telephone numbers:

County Judge – Samuel T. Biscoe – sam.biscoe@co.travis.tx.us – 512-854-9555
Commissioner, Precinct 1 – Ron Davis – ron.davis@co.travis.tx.us – 512-854-9111
Commissioner, Precinct 2 – Sarah Eckhardt – sarah.Eckhardt@co.travis.tx.us – 512-854-9222
Commissioner, Precinct 3 – Karen Huber – Karen.Huber@co.travis.tx.us – 512-854-9111
Commissioner, Precinct 4 – Margaret Gómez – commissioner.gomez@co.travis.tx.us -512- 854-9444

Below is suggested text for such an email.  Feel free to add to it by discussing your relationship with Tecolote or how important it is that our local governments support those within our community who produce local, healthy food, and that Travis County not contribute to the demise of Tecolote or ignore this legal opportunity to do the right thing.

Suggested text:

Dear _______

I am a supporter of local, sustainable agricultural in Travis County.  It has come to my attention that the Travis County Commissioners Court is ready to vote on whether or not to assist Tecolote Farm solve its water crisis.

I understand that County Judge Sam Biscoe has drawn up a plan that would allow the County to provide Tecolote Farm with access to groundwater in exchange for the Farm providing produce to the County Jail.  I also understand that this plan has already been approved by the County’s attorneys and that there are no “legal impediments” to its implementation.  Please do the right thing to support sustainable, local agriculture and save this long-standing farm. Small family farms are the county’s heritage, and hopefully you will help to preserve them for the future.
First Option – You can do nothing.  You can wash your hands of this matter and seal the fate of Tecolote farm.  And the way you can do that is by hiding behind the antiquated but still-in-effect common law doctrine known as the Rule of Capture.

But there is nothing about the Rule of Capture that prevents the County from doing the right thing and helping Tecolote Farm.

Second Option – is that you can decide to not hide behind the Rule of Capture and decide to implement one of the low-cost options that will prevent the loss of Tecolote Farm. In this era of obesity and poor nutrition, please back up your recent adoption of a Sustainable Food Policy Board and keep this local provider of healthy, high quality produce in business.

Sincerely,

____________

SFC

Contact Information
Susan Leibrock
Community Relations Director
Sustainable Food Center
512-236-0074 ext. 111

2 thoughts on “Crisis at Tecolote Farm

  1. Dear Commissioners:

    I am a supporter of local, sustainable agricultural in Travis County. It has come to my attention that the Travis County Commissioners Court is ready to vote on whether or not to assist Tecolote Farm solve its water crisis.

    I understand that County Judge Sam Biscoe has drawn up a plan that would allow the County to provide Tecolote Farm with access to groundwater in exchange for the Farm providing produce to the County Jail. I also understand that this plan has already been approved by the County’s attorneys and that there are no “legal impediments” to its implementation. Please do the right thing to support sustainable, local agriculture and save this long-standing farm. Small family farms are the county’s heritage, and hopefully you will help to preserve them for the future.
    First Option – You can do nothing. You can wash your hands of this matter and seal the fate of Tecolote farm. And the way you can do that is by hiding behind the antiquated but still-in-effect common law doctrine known as the Rule of Capture.

    But there is nothing about the Rule of Capture that prevents the County from doing the right thing and helping Tecolote Farm.

    Second Option – is that you can decide to not hide behind the Rule of Capture and decide to implement one of the low-cost options that will prevent the loss of Tecolote Farm. In this era of obesity and poor nutrition, please back up your recent adoption of a Sustainable Food Policy Board and keep this local provider of healthy, high quality produce in business.

    Sincerely,
    Susan Alexander/Wilson
    78745

    ____________

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s