Tiny Improvement in Texas

The Texas Legislature has passed a bill to protect people who xeriscape their lawns from the HOA Lawn Nazis. If the Governor signs it, it’ll become law.

The tougher thing to understand is why Texas waited so long. The state is desperately short of water, it’s suffering under an ongoing drought. Clean drinking water is going to be the world’s challenge as environmental conditions continue to deteriorate under human stewardship.

The kind of bluegrass mandated by many Homeowners Associations is horribly thirsty. But Texas homeowners who try to conserve water have been harassed, fined and liened countless times over the years.

This gives the HOA management monsters one less way to rake in money. No need to feel sorry for them, though, as long as they can continue stealth towing of vehicles, fines for solar panels, and lawsuits over the display of the American flag.


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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

1 thought on “Tiny Improvement in Texas

  1. RTO

    “The tougher thing to understand is why Texas waited so long.”

    Some investigative journalist should investigate if there are relationships between private water companies and Senator Carona’s Associa. If such relationships exist, eg — privatized water companies are part of the Associa cartel — then the H.O.A. industry has financial incentives to “encourage” homeowners to use water; because the private water companies make a profit.

    PFLUGERVILLE — When Robert White opened his water bill last month, his jaw dropped: $250 for a month’s worth of water and sewer service. The 63-year-old construction contractor, who shares a three-bedroom home with his wife in the bucolic Springbrook Centre subdivision, said he likes to keep his lawn green and expects hefty water bills. “I just don’t want to be hijacked,” he said.

    White’s water service is provided by a private utility owned by California-based SouthWest Water Co. LLC. Just across the four-lane Pflugerville Parkway, where White’s neighbors in the Springbrook Glen subdivision — a nearly identical grid of neatly arranged brick-faced homes — get their water from Pflugerville, rates are on average about 60 percent less.

    And White’s bill for water service may nearly double soon, if SouthWest Water gets the latest rate increase it has requested. “I have never felt so helpless,” he said.

    He’s not alone. Across the state, a growing number of suburban Texans are getting their water from large, private corporations owned by investors seeking to profit off the sale of an essential resource. State figures show private companies are seeking more price increases every year, and many are substantial.

    – “Growth Of Large Private Water Companies Brings Higher Water Rates, Little Recourse For Consumers

    In the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace” (2008), the villains attempt to take over Bolivia by privatizing the water supply:

    Bond meets with CIA agent Felix Leiter, who discloses Greene and Medrano will meet in the Atacama Desert to finalise the coup. Warned by Leiter, he evades the CIA’s Special Activities Division when they attempt to kill him. At the hotel, Greene and Medrano negotiate their terms. Greene then finally reveals his true plans: now that he controls the majority of Bolivia’s water supply, Greene forces Medrano to accept a new contract that makes Greene Planet Bolivia’s sole water utility company at significantly higher rates.

    Unlike the super villains in secret volanco bases, underwater cities, or orbiting space stations, the bad guys from “Quantum of Solace” were not entirely fictional:

    Narrator: The prospect that two thirds of the world’s population will have no access to fresh drinking water by 2025, has provoked the initial confrontations in a world-wide battle for control over the planet’s most basic resource. When Bolivia sought to refinance the public water services of its third largest city, the World Bank required that it be privatised, which is how the Bechtel Corporation of San Francisco gained control over all Cochabamba’s water, even that which fell from the sky.

    Oscar Olivera: All these laws and contracts also prohibited people from gathering rainwater. So rainwater was also privatised. Unpaid bills gave the company rights to repossess debtors’ homes and to auction them off. People had to make choices: from eating less and paying for water and basic services, to not sending their children to school, or not going to the hospital and treating illnesses at home; or, in the case of retired people who have very low incomes, they had to go out and work on the streets. Then, with the slogan: “The Water is Ours, Damn it!” People took to the streets to protest.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTKn17uZRAE (a 4 minute excerpt from the 2003 documentary “The Corporation”).

    Perhaps the producers of the James Bond movies should make the next one about a secret cabal of ex-Soviet agents who attempt to impose Communism on Americans by tricking them to “agree” to the collective ownership of their property.


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