Voters will pick two of four candidates for the Tarrant Regional Water District board of directors when they head to the polls May 6. 

Incumbent Charles “CB” Team, outgoing River Oaks Mayor Joe Ashton, Fort Worth developer Paxton Motheral and locomotive engineer Chad Moore filed to be on the ballot before 5 p.m. Feb. 17. 

They are running for two at-large seats on the board, which has a total of five seats. The top two vote getters will win the positions. Board members serve four-year terms. 

Team and Marty Leonard currently occupy the two positions up for election. Team, a commercial real estate broker, was appointed to the seat in January after Jim Lane’s death in November. Leonard is not seeking re-election after serving 17 years on the board. 

Team, a regular attendee of water district board meetings prior to his appointment, previously campaigned for a seat in 2019 and 2021. Team said he has not been involved with properties or transactions in the Panther Island area as a real estate broker and doesn’t intend to do so in the future. 

Ashton’s tenure as mayor of River Oaks, a small Tarrant County city of about 7,500 people, will wrap up in May. He also serves as city manager of Pantego, where he oversees the town’s budget and all administrative departments. Since Pantego is landlocked and does not purchase water resources from TRWD, Ashton said he doesn’t foresee conflicts of interest if elected to the board.

Motheral, a vice president at Cassco Development Co., has served on the boards of several organizations, including Streams & Valleys and the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. He ran for a Fort Worth City Council seat in 2021 but withdrew his candidacy after realizing the city’s charter could potentially disqualify him due to his leadership of the Clearfork development – a public-private partnership with the city.

Moore, a locomotive engineer for BNSF Railway, filed for office Friday and was not immediately available for comment by phone. His wife, Marsha, said he is a first-time candidate with a background in emergency management and planning. 

With Leonard set to vacate the seat she has held since 2006, this spring’s election will complete a turnover of board leadership that began in 2017 with the election of Leah King and James Hill. Both were re-elected in 2021. 

Mary Kelleher will become the member with the longest history with the water district, having served her first term between 2013 and 2017. She returned to the water district in 2021.

Board members set the water district’s annual budget, approve contracts for water district projects and receive regular reports from TRWD General Manager Dan Buhman and other staff members. The board also adopts an overall strategic plan to ensure the agency delivers water supply to cities, builds flood reduction infrastructure and provides recreational opportunities along the Trinity River. 

The water district has also played a large role in the development of the Central City / Panther Island flood control project in downtown Fort Worth, which received more than $400 million in federal funding last year. While the city of Fort Worth is taking the lead on creating an economic development plan for Panther Island, water district staff are working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the project’s flood control elements.

To vote for a board member, residents must live within the water district’s taxing district. Voters can check their eligibility by visiting TRWD’s interactive voting boundaries map or checking their tax statement for the code 223 TARRANT REGIONAL WATER DISTRICT. 

Residents have until April 6 to register in order to be eligible to vote in the spring election. Early voting begins April 24 and ends May 2, with Election Day set for May 6. You can register to vote in Tarrant County here.

Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. You can reach them at

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Haley SamselEnvironmental Reporter

Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. You can reach them at Her coverage is made possible by a grant from the Marilyn Brachman Hoffman...