In a surprise 5-4 decision, the Fort Worth City Council on Tuesday tabled a controversial vote on whether some temporary watering restrictions should become permanent.
Before the meeting, Mayor Betsy Price and other city leaders appeared to favor the proposal to conserve water, but a last-minute appeal by opponents swayed enough council members to delay the vote.
Fort Worth resident Blake Woodard argued the restrictions, which limit watering lawns to two specific days a week, go too far. Resident watering days are based on odd or even addresses.
“People want to be treated like adults,” Woodward told city council. “They want to be given choice. They want you more than anything else to trust them. Trust them. Trust the people."
Woodward proposed a compromise - which would still limit watering to two days a week - that would give residents more of a choice of the two days.
After hearing his presentation, the council delayed the decision for one week.
In an interview before the meeting, Price said she supported the proposal.
"My opinion is it's the right thing to do,” Price said. “It has a proven track record and has saved a lot of money. And if we don't do this, we're going to be faced with even bigger problems and even higher rates than we are now."