Brownwood News – On the ballot in the November 3rd general election will be six candidates for the Board of Directors of the Brown County Water Improvement District #1. Voters can vote for one, two, or three candidates. The top three finishers will be elected to the Board. Earlier this month we sent a questionnaire to the six candidates. On October 21 we published the answers of three of the candidates. We have now received a response from one more candidate. Below are the answers to our questions from candidate Johnny Hays.
Please give your name, occupation, how long a resident of Brown County, and any other biographical information you care to provide.
I am Johnny Hays, aged 48 years, born and raised in Brown County. I am a physician, Interventional Radiologist. I went to Texas A&M University, class of 1994 and studied nuclear engineering/radiation protection engineering. I went to Texas Tech for medical school and surgery internship, then the University of Oklahoma for residency, and fellowship at U.T. Southwestern. I also ranch, raising bison.
If incumbent, how long have you served on the Board of the Water District?
I was on the Board for 7 of the past 8 years and president for most of that tenure.
Why do you wish to be elected to the Board of the Water District?
I want to be elected to the Board for several reasons. First, I have always had an interest in hydrology. I love math and engineering, of which there is very little in my profession. I am not running just to be on any Board in town. I really do like the subjects we deal with. I have always wanted to be on the Board since I was in high school. Back then I was never happy about the way people were treated at the lake and the strict rules around the lake. During my first tenure we accomplished a lot of those goals, friendlier lake patrol, and projects like building facilities at Flat Rock Park, and dredging at the lake, which I would like to expand. I am open to any other suggestions for the lake. Second, I have unfinished goals from my first tenure. Most people I speak with want to be able to vote for the Board. We serve almost the whole county and then some. Those people are being taxed via the water rates. Taxation without representation! I have followed another water district as they added to their district. Now I know how to circumvent the hurdles we faced trying to do this years ago. We should let the people vote if they want to be in the district or not.
What do you see as the biggest issues facing the Water District? And what do you hope to accomplish if elected?
I think our biggest issue which is all but ignored is Zebra mussels. They are already in Lake Ivie. All it takes is one boat from there to Brownwood that is still wet to ruin our lake, Brown County’s most precious resource. Within a year or two of an infestation then most hard surfaces will be covered by 10,000’s razor blades per square meter cutting your feet, clogging pump intakes, and coating your boat. The state’s plans are woefully inadequate compared to other states. I have spoken to their invasive species person at Texas Parks and Wildlife, and I am already talking to our state representative about prevention. Which, admittedly, is an exceedingly difficult challenge to meet. I also maintain contact with various people at the Water Supply Enhancement Program, U.S. Geological Survey, and the General Land Office to constantly share ideas for our area.