We knew we were in for a bumpy ride when we discovered at the 11th hour last Thursday that a vote on an independent review wasn’t on the posted agenda. The MPO is subject to open meetings requirements and must have their agenda posted 72 hours before the meetings; they cannot vote on unlisted items. Commissioner Tommy Adkisson tried to single-handedly take on TxDOT and highway interest money that flows all around the courthouse and city hall by simply asking to have the item on the agenda. Adkisson can’t remember a time when a Board Member’s request for an agenda item was EVER turned down, much less one this crucial after loads of calls and emails asking him to include it. Wow, losing our one BIG ally as the Chair of the MPO is already proving devastating to our cause. We miss you as Chair Lyle!
It’s clear someone is wining and dining Richard Perez! One guess as to who? Our friendly neighborhood highway interests in town, perhaps, Zachry? Word on the street is that he has higher aspirations and is eyeing a State Rep job, instead of serving his current district 4 in San Antonio! Perez was the ONLY vote with TxDOT on the MPO Board today against having a meeting to discuss an independent review. He essentially wouldn’t even vote for a discussion of it when we have a boatload of evidence that TxDOT has disappearing cash for funded highway improvements on 281, constantly shifting cost estimates, they’re violating the existing highway conversion statute and that’s just for starters! That’s more than enough fodder for an independent review. Plus, it’s the only way to get a true comparison of the costs for our highway improvements in a side by side toll vs. no toll format.
Commissioner Adkisson was at least able to get a special meeting scheduled to discuss the parameters of the review and to rescind a key item from last month’s agenda. The special meeting where they WILL FINALLY VOTE for an INDEPENDENT REVIEW is set for Wed., Aug 31 at 3 PM at the Via Metro Center at 1021 San Pedro. Councilmembers Chip Haass whose district is going to be tolled, didn’t even SHOW UP at today’s MPO meeting and Senator Leticia Van De Putte conveniently left before a vote took place. Art Hall wasn’t present because his wife was delivering their new baby girl!
Here’s how the vote for a special meeting to discuss a review came down:
Casteel – TxDOT
Smith – TxDOT
Amy Madison thinks TxDOT’s fast track plan was “already” reviewed sufficiently when they considered the issue in July 2004 (Was that before or after TxDOT “misplaced” $48 million, Amy? Also over half the board members from July ’04 aren’t even on the board today), Perez claims he can’t “understand” what we’re reviewing (even though we made the parameters clear), Rodriguez said he wasn’t inclined to vote for a review though he voted for the meeting. The other appointees came through so now you know who needs some “encouragement” to vote for an independent review. See above for reasons it’s justified and important to do one before opening the floodgates to tolls forever!
We need a full court press in preparation for the Aug. 31 meeting, with constituents in elected MPO Board members districts rallying votes for an independent review as well as emails or calls to appointees. Be sure to profusely thank Commissioners Tommy Adkisson and Lyle Larson for sticking their necks out there FOR the people!
Chairman Richard Perez – Councilman-District 4 City of San Antonio 210-207-7281 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Chair Amy Madison – Director of Community Development Randolph Region 210-658-7477 or email@example.com
Hon. Leticia Van de Putte – State Senator District 26 210-733-6604 or dist26 Mail Form
Al Notzon – Executive Director AACOG 210-362-5281 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tommy Adkisson – Commissioner Bexar County 210-335-2614 or email@example.com
Lyle Larson – Commissioner Bexar County 210-335-2613 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sergio “Chico” Rodriguez – Commissioner Bexar County 210-335-2611 or email@example.com
Les Locke, P.E. – Bexar County 210-335-6700 or try firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher “Chip” Haass – Councilman-District 10 City of San Antonio 210-207-7276 or email@example.com
Art Hall – Councilman District 8 City of San Antonio 210-207-7086 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Emil R. Moncivais, AICP – Director of Planning City of San Antonio 210-207-7952 or email@example.com
Thomas G. Wendorf, P.E. – Director of Public Works City of San Antonio 210-207-8022 or try firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Leonhardt – Mayor GBCCC 210-655-0022 or email@example.com
David Casteel, P.E. – District Engineer TxDOT 210-615-5801
Clay R. Smith, P.E. – Planning Engineer TxDOT 210-615-5920
Oliver Hill – VIA Board Member VIA 210-648-3398
Hank Brummett – VIA Board Member VIA 210-648-3398
“Hit the Toll Road, Perry” Rally
Wed., Sept 7 @ 5 PM
This event is scheduled on the first day of the annual Transportation Leadership Forum sponsored by the San Antonio Mobility Coalition where all of the highway interests who stand to profit off of the freeways we’ve already paid for will be under one roof in downtown San Antonio at the Henry B Gonzales Convention Center. Gov. Perry WAS the key note speaker on Wednesday evening, but he caught wind of our rally and apparently has ducked out. He’s really the master behind the tolling of Texans, but he’ll be sending his buddy, Transportation Commission Chair Ric Williamson and his Transportation Policy guy Kris Heckman.
Save the date and please contact our event planners to RSVP and see how you can help at: firstname.lastname@example.org