The Woodlands Water Agency released a statement Jan. 13 alongside a letter sent to the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District regarding a legal issue that prevented John Yoars from taking a seat on the board following his Nov. 8 election win due to his holding a position on a municipal utility district board at the same time.

James Stinson, general manager of The Woodlands Water Agency, issued a news release Jan. 13 stating, “Like voters throughout Montgomery County, leaders with the 10 Municipal Utility Districts served by Woodlands Water believe the appointment of Mr. Yoars to the LSGCD board would be in the best interests of the community."

A letter was also sent to the board of directors for LSGCD from the WWA’s board of directors oan. 12 ,which read in part, “We do not dispute the legal opinion provided by [legal counsel Kristen] Fancher on behalf of LSGCD is accurate. Despite this, the election was indeed held, and the canvas validated results clearly demonstrate that the voters desire Mr. Yoars to represent them as their LSGCD Director.”

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

At the Dec. 13 swearing-in meeting of the LSGCD board of directors, Position 7 was left vacant by the board.

Yoars served as a member of Municipal Utility District No. 6 for the Village of Grogan’s Mill since 2018, most recently re-elected in May. 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 GCD board,” according to Fancher.

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

According to the news release from the WWA, Yoars has agreed if submitting his letter of resignation from MUD 36 would allow him to serve on the LSGCD, he would do so prior to being appointed.