Comments that came in after the December 1 article hit the front page…
—“Shame on our elected officials. This is corporate tyranny at its worst. Did our new Troll Masters donate any money to our benevolent ‘elected officials’??? We need some hangings here in Texas, starting with the Tollers who’ve sold their soul to the devil. When they complete our freeway improvements, the toll plazas shall be pushed aside like the trees that have fallen. FREEWAY OPEN!! Thanks for all you’re doing – keep the faith!!”
—“What can I do to help?”
—“what can I do right now? I read the article and I am sick about it. “
—“Maybe this has been addressed – maybe not! As I understand this operation a private company will build and operate these toll roads. There will be right of way takings I’m sure. The State will step in and condemn private propety and turn it over to private companies to operate their business. Is this correct? If so this is a federal constitutional issue.
Thank you for your work on this issue. I support you and wish you success.”
NOTE: He’s right, they’re taking our private land and leasing it back to private corporations. We need to litigate this aspect, absolutely since our politicians are ignoring the will of the people on this and REFUSE to take action!
—“i even read in the paper that in washington they are
looking at a driving tax-the more you drive the more
—“i think we need to band together and buy air time on tv-and
run infomercials telling the american people what
they are planning to do to us-the toll roads-i go down
281 all the time-and the national tax by the mile
driven-maybe we might even have a state tax on miles
driven also-these politicians are constantly thinking
up new ways to tax us.”
Letters and comments about Judge Wolff’s statements in his State of the County address…
I was surprised to hear of your remarks in the state of the county address yesterday, especially in light of Gov. Perry’s very secret negotiations with a firm from Spain and his refusal to provide details to the citizens.
If you review the information posted on TexasTollParty.com you will find that the average cost to each Bexar County family will be more than $3000.00.
I want a say-so if our state government wants to take $3000.00 from me and I’ll bet my neighbors feel the same way.
I am running as a Democratic Candidate for State Representative in District 122. Part of my platform is to put all toll roads in Texas on the ballot, out in the open. This issue is not a done deal, and I will not accept it. I truly hope that you will not accept it, either. I ask that you take a stand against this kind of secret deal, starting with the secret deal to create toll roads right here in Bexar County. Let the people in Bexar County decide if they want to pay for toll roads.” – Larry Stallings
—“Mr. Nelson Wolff,
Having heard your interview on WOAI yesterday, I am disappointed regarding your general remarks about toll roads. Your remarks seemed to indicate an “indifferent attitude” towards your constituency in Bexar County.
I don’t think your remarks reflect what the majority of folks in Bexar County believe – that toll roads are not a viable solution to our traffic congestion issues.
It is unfortunate that you choose to basically parrot the views of TXDOT without any regard for really understanding the entire issue of toll roads. As a lifelong resident of San Antonio and Bexar County, I am concerned that we are going to impose a system which basically serve as a hardship to the average San Antonian wage earner. I am fortunate to be well compensated, but I know that the mean wages for San Antonio fall somewhere in the range of the mid $20’s and thus the potential costs of utilizing toll roads will certainly lead to more congestion along our access roads. Briefly looking at the history of toll roads, they have not really eased traffic congestion issues – rather they have been a mechanism for generating more revenue for local and state government entities. Is your mantra really about increasing the size of the government in Texas?
As a representative of this county government, I would trust that you would want to assure that the citizens of this area are effectively served by any solution posed by TXDOT or any other state entity. But from the gist of your comments on WOAI yesterday, I surmise you’re more interested in assuring you remain well-liked by your fellow state politicians. From my standpoint, that is quite unfortunate.”
—“Dear Judge Wolff:
I respectfully disagree with your opinion of toll roads in San Antonio. I drive 281 daily and I can see that the only problem with that freeway is that it has been turned into a city street with the addition of lights at major intersections. All that is needed to relieve congestion is a bypass system where the lights now exist. This would be much more cost effective than a huge toll road project. I don’t think I want to “get used to them”.
I’m sure that after you examine the facts, you too will agree that a toll road system will only serve to anger the public even more. We already have too many taxes imposed on us. Most of the public has reached an intolerable level of taxation, and now with gasoline prices going higher I can feel a very strong movement to rollback taxes and to remove all politicians that do not actively seek to reduce public expenditures. We see it with the anger against school districts for abusing public funds and we will see it with the toll roads, as well.
I fear that this debacle will ultimately bring San Antonio’s economy to a screeching halt. For example, I am a systems analyst making a fair salary and paying a hefty amount in taxes every year. But that doesn’t seem to satisfy our city leaders’ hunger for more money. Every year my taxes are raised 10%. I am tired of fighting this, as are many others in similar or lesser jobs. I now have my house for sale and I plan to relocate outside of Texas in order to maintain a living in the manner in which I have become accustomed. Perhaps for a good cause I could accept the increase in taxes, but all I can see is corruption, mismanagement, misappropriation, misuse and asinine projects like the toll roads, so I can no longer stomach giving away my hard earned money to a bunch of idiots and/or thieves. It’s too late for me, but I ask you for those who may remain a while longer. Please use some foresight and join the fight against the toll roads before you single handedly crater this economy and get run out of town on a rail.”
—“I am outraged that Judge Wolff dictated “Tolls are coming so get used to them.” Judge Wolff and the business community plan to profit from this toll road scheme and will push their agenda without a vote from the people of SA. Why should we the people of this city carry the load on our backs to finance Bexar County when the roads have already been paid for? Judge Wolff and the business community want to give private companies monopolies over our public infrastructure through secret agreements. This violates the public trust and our principles of open government. Toll roads amount to highway robbery of the citizens. Let the higher public officials take a cut in their salaries and benefits! We the common, hard-working people of SA refuse to carry the weight! We will not support public officials who refuse to listen to our voices. You can bet the voters will find viable candidates to run against tollers. We will take action to vote out those politicians trying to steam-roll their deals over the already over-taxed people of Bexar County!”
—“Dear Judge Wolff,
I respectfully oppose your position on toll roads… I don’t believe you should shove anything down the public’s throat and I think you would find this to be true if you put toll roads up for a vote…This toll road plan is a very bad one, especially when you are using roads which have already been built with taxpayers money… In my book, that’s double taxation…I also can’t believe once the so called improvements would be paid for, that this defective plan never relinquishes the toll from the road… REALLY BAD PLAN…So, if you really did say: ‘Tolls are coming so get used to them’ I resent the implication that it is a done deal and we, the public, can’t do anything about it…I would love to see a signed contract, from TxDOT, showing where all this work has been approved and who will be building these so called toll roads… Maybe you can produce one for the public’s perusal…”
—“Judge Wolff, I respectfully say you are wrong in dictating toll roads for our city and boasting they are coming to SA whether or not the public wants them. You as our public official should represent the wishes of the people of SA. If you cannot listen to our voice, then we will vote in someone who will respect the opinion of the people. You have enjoyed a grand style life and are out of touch with the common people. You have lost sight of the truth and are using your position to deceive and force toll roads onto the people of SA. I oppose your governing methods and stand on this issue.”
—“But the tides of history are turning. Wolff and all the rest of those professional elites will be the last ones to figure out how disconnected from the people they have come. But just you watch – incumbents are going to go down in flames all over the place in the 2006 elections, and they won’t even see it coming because they’re so out of touch.”
—“keep up the fight-judge wolff is rich-he can afford toll
roads-they could get to like 5.00 to go on them i have
heard others say-with gas as high as it is-and if
registration fees go up and they get those 35.00 car
inspections-pretty soon us poor people will not get to
drive our cars-and they are a necessity in the modren
world-you have to be able to get to work”
Sent to candidate for Governor Carole Strayhorn’s campaign and forwarded on to us…
—“i rang up nelson wolfes office and they confirmed it- the toll road is to go in on a 6-8 mile stretch of highway 281 north, just outside of loop 1604. its going to be operational in late january. i asked why we weren’t allowed to vote on the matter and i was told that local governments aren’t allowed to hold referenda on state mandated projects, and that i had to contact my local reps, who are the ones who voted for it on my behalf. lunacy. balderdash.
the argument was that the gas tax wasn’t high enough and also that revenue was being lost due to more fuel efficient vehicles. i countered that there a lot of other ways to generate revenue for roads rather than the gas tax, and rattled off about 20 ways to generate cash and just got a blank stare over the phone.
anyway, its official, and i think its illegal.
if i could make any suggestion to the campaign it would be to alert the public to the trans texas corridor and what a cultural disaster it would be, not to mention being totally unecessary. nobody but insiders and concerned experts like you & me know about this thing right now, and word needs to get out. as you know, the only way the bad guys ever win is when we don’t network.
holler back if you get a second, and please give my best to your Mother.
tell her she has my vote, along with the votes of my circle.”
WORD OF CLARIFICATION: The toll road will not be operational in January, construction of the road begins in January. There is no toll agreement for US 281 at this time and the earliest a toll would be charged is after construction is finished in 2009.