Owner or custodian is an interesting comparison. We as humans tend to be very possessive by nature. In the pure sense, we all are only passing through this world for a very short span of time. We all are only temporary custodians of what we have and when we leave this life, all we have will pass to a new custodian. That being said, let’s look at the word’s “owner” and “custodian”.

The general meaning of the word owner or ownership is: The state or fact of exclusive right and control over property. The property could be a variety of things that we claim ownership of.

The general meaning of the word custodian is: A person who has responsibility for or looks after something for someone else. A custodian is generally hired, appointed, or elected to serve in that position until he or she is fired, re-appointed, or voted out of the position.

Let’s take an objective look at our Aransas County Navigation District Board of Commissioners. It appears that they are elected by the resident voters of this county. They serve defined terms and appear to be responsible to look after the assets of the Navigation District for someone else. They all appear to be custodians and not owners.

So, if they are not the owners, who are the real owners? Since they are elected to serve in that position for an appointed time only, we need to identify who elected them. Bingo! “We the People” elected them so “We the People” must have the exclusive right and control over any assets held by the Navigation District and “We the People” are the owners.

In fact, if “We the People” choose to replace our custodians, we can.

Let’s see how this discussion applies to our current drainage situation with the City and Navigation District. The Aransas County Navigation District (ACND) Commissioners have become very possessive with the assets of “We the People.” They are telling the City of Rockport and probably the county next, “That you can’t enter ACND property without our written consent.”  “You can’t drain storm water that floods our community into Rockport Harbor.”  “We want documentation that gives you the right to drain your water into Rockport Harbor.”  “We want you, City of Rockport, to provide environmental studies on the impacts to our harbor.”  “We want to see alternative analysis of taking your water somewhere else away from our harbor.”  “We have a multitude of concerns of how all of the above will impact our harbor and our future.”  “And most of all we want you, City of Rockport, to divert all existing drainage away from Rockport Harbor and we give you 5 years to accomplish that assignment and post a bond or other financial assurance that will fund all of the above.”

Looking at this discussion from the citizen’s perspective, “We the People,” it appears the Navigation Board is not fulfilling their role as custodians and are saying they are in fact the owners. A wise person once said, “It is good that we don’t get all the representation we pay for, we couldn’t afford it.” This statement is so true in this issue with the Navigation District. Anyone that can read between the lines can see really fast that citizens and taxpayers in this county will not fare well in the ACND plan. It appears we are at the end of our rope and have no recourse.

But wait, those commissioners work for us. “We the People” elected them as commissioners and “We the People” own any assets that they have as custodian rights over. They are not acting in our best interests as they plan to delay or block our upland drainage into the waters of our bays and harbor. “We the People” have the right to fire them, re-appoint them, or vote them out of office.

We, as citizens and taxpayers of Aransas County, can no longer afford the ACND Government we pay for. Not only are they putting us at financial risk, but they are also putting the health, safety, and welfare of our present and future at risk. We all need to wake up and smell the coffee! The truth is we are the owners and they are only custodians.


Jerry Brundrett