The Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District swore in members of the board Dec. 13 whose terms expired as of the last election with one notable absence—John Yoars.

Despite winning his Nov. 8 election for Position 7, Yoars was prevented from taking his position due to a conflict involving also being a municipal utility district board member.

The LSGCD board called a special meeting Dec. 13 ahead of its regular meeting to swear in new board members before the new year starts.

Yoars won the Nov. 8 election to Position 7, serving voters within The Woodlands Township. After winning with 51.56% of the vote on Nov. 8, Yoars received a letter from the district’s legal counsel Dec. 9 claiming he was not eligible to be sworn in.

He has served as a member of Municipal Utility District No. 36 for Grogan's Mill since 2018, most recently re-elected in May 2022. According to Kristen Fancher, of Fancher Legal, holding that position while running for the LSGCD board of directors is not allowed.

“Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code governs the district and has a very unique provision that prevents a person already on another board of a political subdivision from being elected or appointed to a [groundwater conservation district] board,” Fancher said.

This fact was not noticed until the final canvassing of the votes to prepare for the swearing in. Fancher said the district made contact with Yoars and claims Yoars stated he was “on the same page" regarding his ineligibility.

Because of this, the board will now move forward with treating Position 7 as a vacant position on the board. Since Larry Rogers, the incumbent, was secretary, the board voted to make new director Janice Thigpen secretary.

Neither Yoars nor Rogers were present at the meeting. Yoars could not be reached for comment prior to the Dec. 13 meeting.