Monday, August 13, 2012

Letter of formal complaint against the Texas Dept. of Transportation

To The Honorable Senator John Carona, Chair Senate Committee on Transportation:
copy to our district State Senator Jeff Wentworth and Representative Jason Isaac:
Several years ago as Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation you led an investigation into the actions of TxDOT and its ongoing belligerence and questionable if not corruptive and illegal misuse of taxpayer dollars. The committee considered more oversight and restructuring of the runaway agency and yet it seems that little has been done since that time to curb the agency’s irresponsibility and misuse of funds. 
I am hereby formally filing a complaint with you and the Senate Committee on Transportation against TxDOT’s administration, its ongoing questionable alleged illegal actions and the agency’s special interest agendas that enable the TxDOT to act arrogantly, illegally and inappropriately and certainly NOT in the best interests of the Texas community.

One case in point: TxDOT usually whines that it has no tax dollars to build and maintain Texas roadways; however, the agency recently stated it had “found” $130 MILLION dollars that is now plans to use for the proposed “managed lanes” [tolls] on MOPAC instead of using the money to build and repair our regular roadways.
In addition, the watch dog group TURF has sent a threat to sue letter (and will sue the San Antonio MPO) for a violation of the Open Meetings Act at their June 25 meeting. The MPO down here did the same thing. Completely changed a toll proposal over the weekend without posting it or discussing it in public. It took the control of the 281 & 1604 toll lanes (and hence who gets to set and collect the tolls) away from the RMA and gave it to the Via transit board (to buy the Via votes presumably) who wants to use the toll revenues to build their street car system downtown. They don't want to come to the voters with their street car (San Antonians overwhelmingly rejected light rail in 2000, street cars are in effectively a less safe form of light rail), so they think this is just a dream to be able to raid revenues without ANY accountability to the voters.
The MPO also allegedly stole $20 million from 281 and gave it to 1604 which their bylaws require to be posted on the agenda, and it wasn't. These MPOS so flagrantly and so frequently violate the Open Meetings Act, TURF decided it was time to sue them. These back room deals down in the dark of night at the eleventh hour that will effect generations of Texans have got to STOP!
Such actions are unconscionable and the fact that Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Legislators and the Senate Committee on Transportation all seem to turn a blind eye to these illegal actions indicates that TxDOT and toll authorities are permitted carte blanche to do whatever they want without ANY oversight or regulation that threatens the misuse and/or abuse of our tax dollars. THIS REQUIRES YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION.
I ask you to rise up to the statements/promises you had made as Chair and work again with the Senate Committee and demand TxDOT to act legally and prevent such a dangerous precedence from abusing Texas tax dollars and misuse of the agency’s responsibility to all Texans. 
Thank you for your consideration re: this commentary, request and complaint and I trust this email will provide the needed catalyst that will lead to finally restructuring runaway TxDOT and require it to work legally in the best interest of the Texas community.

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