Most Popular Stories
Discover News By District
Racist reference brings calls for official’s resignation
Friday, March 21, 2008 by Kimberly Reeves
Local elected officials have called on the general manager of the Creedmoor-Maha Water Supply Corp. to step down over racist language he used in an agenda posting, but any real retribution for Charles Laws’ comments will have to come from the Legislature.
City Hall Reporter
The item appeared to be consideration of water service out to a potential immigrant detainee facility in the Creedmoor-Maha WSC service area, said Council Member Mike Martinez. That language has since been removed from the SOS website. A copy of the agenda language was provided to reporters at a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
“It is my understanding that Mr. Laws has offered an apology to members of the press who have contacted him about this, but I can assure you that this was not the tone when he and I spoke today, and if it takes negative press for someone to admit and apologize for the use of such hateful, inflammatory language, I think the overall judgment is called into question,” Martinez said. “And I think he ought to step down.”
“Not only as a state representative who represents this area, but as a Mexican-American, I intend to do whatever I can to get this man to resign… I will not stop until this man resigns,” said
“At the minimum, I would expect an apology, and hopefully also for his resignation from his two posts,” Leffingwell told reporters.
Laws is not only the general manager of the Creedmoor-Maha WSC; he’s also the
“I wouldn’t do it again. I picked out the wrong words,” Laws said. “When you’re in a rush and you don’t check it, you can make a mistake. Normally, I go over things.” But
Creedmoor-Maha WSC holds a certificate of convenience and necessity, or CCN, for a couple of thousand acres of land along State Highway 130 that straddle the Travis-Hays county border. Not every area of the state is served by an established municipal water utility, so the Legislature created CCNs so developers in rural areas know which providers are intended to provide water to what areas.
By securing a CCN from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, a municipality, water supply corporation or water district – such as Creedmoor-Maha WSC — declares it intends to provide water service and is given an exclusive water franchise over its CCN territory.
The Laws family is a major landowner in the Creedmoor-Maha territory. The water utility serves about 2,050 homes, or 8,000 residents, in the area. Back in 2002, the Laws family went to court to fight the City of
Creedmoor-Maha WSC has been less successful in securing a consistent water supply source. The WSC began on a $3 million loan from the Texas Water Development Board’s Rural Water Assistance Fund back in 2002. Creedmoor-Maha has had rather fruitless negotiations with the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, as recently as late last year, to increase its permitted pumping.
The only ways Creedmoor-Maha could lose its CCN would be to either charge fees that might be considered “onerous” by the state or if the WSC agreed to be bought out by another entity. In Creedmoor-Maha’s case, that would likely be the City of
After the news conference,
Join Your Friends and Neighbors
We're a nonprofit news organization, and we put our service to you above all else. That will never change. But public-service journalism requires community support from readers like you. Will you join your friends and neighbors to support our work and mission?