Thursday, June 25, 2009

Opening Salvo...

For my maiden entry, I'm thinking a bit of background.

GMD4 was formed only following a 1976 public election of landowners and water users within the district. Being a "special purpose district" not everyone (all registered voters) got to vote. When the dust settled, 1,040 votes were cast and 668 were in favor of organizing and locally assessing ourselves for the right to: "determine our own destiny with respect to the use of the groundwater insofar as it does not conflict with the basic laws and policies of the state of Kansas."

The entire shebang is operated under the Kansas Groundwater Management District Act (K.S.A. 82a-1026 et. seq) which is a piece of enabling legislation - allowing locals to form a district but not requiring anything. This act is the heart and soul of the GMDs in Kansas. It basically sets out how a district is to be formed, and if formed, what it can do and what it must do. One thing each GMD must do it produce a management program before doing anything along the lines of active management. The plan must be approved by the state engineer and the GMD members and must be reviewed annually. The GMD 4 plan is the second requisite document for GMD understanding.

GMD 4 operates under an elected board of directors who are responsible for all district activities. One-third of the board is up for election each year at an annual meeting of the members. This is by far the best chance you have to effect any agenda you feel appropriate for our GMD. I am continually amazed at how many people have an issue with the GMD but refuse to contact a board member or consider running for the board to address it. More on this comment in a later post because it's one of my hot buttons.

From here (future posts) I'll try to cover what we're doing. And then we can begin chatting about what we should be doing. Beyond this preliminary outline who knows where we'll go. Later.

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