Election Day is May 6 and the Fort Worth Report is committed to keeping you informed through our Election Central.
To help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box, we asked all four candidates for the Tarrant Regional Water District’s board of directors to respond to a candidate questionnaire intended to touch on the most pressing issues candidates may face while serving in elected office. Voters can select up to two candidates, and the top two vote-getters will win the seats.
Only residents who live in TRWD’s taxing district are eligible to vote for the board. Use this interactive map to check if you live in the district, or look for the code “223 TARRANT REGIONAL WATER DISTRICT” on your tax statement.
Elections are coming up. Here are some key dates:
April 24: Early voting begins
May 2: Early voting ends
May 6: Election Day
Name: Joe Ashton
Occupation: City Manager, Town of Pantego
What makes you qualified to serve on the Tarrant Regional Water District’s board of directors?
I’m a lifelong Tarrant County resident with over 20 years of local government experience, as both an elected and an appointed official. I’ve served as Mayor of River Oaks since 2020, previously serving on the City Council for over eight years. I’m also currently the City Manager of Pantego.
What are your top priorities if elected to the board? Describe briefly how you would approach those priorities.
Establishing real transparency in the district. Moving meetings to the evenings so working members of the public can participate would be a good start. Rescinding recent authority the board gave to the general manager to extend contracts without public input or a public vote.
What do you see as opportunities for growth or improvement when it comes to the water district and its board of directors?
The district’s mission is to provide flood control and responsibly manage the water supply to keep pace with regional growth. The board and the district need to refocus on these priorities in the future.
The water district has played a large role in overseeing the Central City/Panther Island flood control project in downtown Fort Worth. As the project surges ahead, what role should TRWD and its board play as far as oversight, development and flood control?
Far too much time, effort, and money has gone into this project to stop it, however it requires a new set of eyes and perspectives to evaluate its future and how it can be completed efficiently and in a way that maximizes value to all public stakeholders.
TRWD and its board have faced criticism from residents over a perceived lack of transparency, nepotism and payouts to former employees. If elected, how would you address those concerns?
Transparency is an easy buzzword but implementing real transparency takes work and dedication. Anything policy that even appears to make more information exempt from public view needs to be reversed. The board doesn’t need to micromanage the general manager or staff, but has a responsibility to provide oversight.
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If so, when.
Have you ever been convicted of a crime, in Texas or another state? If so, what crime and when.
You can find other candidates’ responses by reading our voter guide here. The candidate’s responses may be edited for grammar.