Endorsement: Leonard, Team, for TRWD board

Engineer explains Panther Island flood prevention project

Tarrant Regional Water District engineer, Woody Frossard explains how the Panther Island flood prevention project works.
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Tarrant Regional Water District engineer, Woody Frossard explains how the Panther Island flood prevention project works.

When Diane Keaton’s city-slicker character in the movie “Baby Boom” learns that the well has run dry at the Vermont orchard she bought, she suggests getting a hose from the nearby farmhouse and filling it up.

Told that it doesn’t work that way, Keaton blurts, “I just want to turn on the faucet to have water. I don’t want to know where it’s coming from!”

Isn’t that pretty much most of us?

Yet, clean, safe, ready-when-you-are potable water is the first thing we need in times of disaster, and the last thing we should take for granted any other time.

That’s just one big reason why the impending election for the Tarrant Regional Water District Board of Directors — early voting in the May 4 election starts Monday, April 22 — should command your attention. We’ll give you another reason — in fact, over one billion of them: the Central City/Panther Island project, a $1.17 billion flood control and economic development program overseen in large part by the water board.

After interviewing and discussing each of the five candidates for the five-member board’s two available seats — you vote for two of the five — we recommend board veteran Marty Leonard and newcomer Charles “C.B.” Team.

Incumbency isn’t often thought of as a positive anymore, but the truth is that experience and knowledge have to count for something — especially when it comes to providing water to well over 2 million. In this regard, Marty Leonard is, frankly, a gem.

The 82-year-old businesswoman and daughter of the Leonard’s Department Store founder has been key plank of the TRWD board since 2006. Besides riding herd on the Central City flood control project, she has, for instance, been among those overseeing the $2 billion-plus Integrated Pipeline Project being built to eventually supply 200 million more gallons a day to TRWD customers and another 150 million gallons to Dallas.

You don’t learn how to do all this overnight.

The thing is, C.B. Team doesn’t have to. Though a first-time candidate, Team, 36, has been attending TRWD meetings for three years and, as one board observer put it to us, is running for the right reasons and “doing his homework.” The son of a well-known ranch family, he teams a land-loving background with experience as a real estate broker — an exquisite combination for this board at this particular time. And despite his real estate background, he wants Panther Island to be a flood-control project first and foremost.

This is why we believe Marty Leonard and C.B. Team would be a great pair for the Tarrant Regional Water District.