TxDOT's Casteel gets down and dirty swiping at concerned citizens

Last I checked it’s our right, no, our duty as citizens to be involved and have a say in our self-determination. Our movement is about redressing our government for grievances and taxation without representation. Here’s what our District Engineer for TxDOT, David Casteel, had to say about concerned citizens’ input on their money grabbing secret contracts, and their monopolistic land heist fraught with eminent domain abuse….sorry if he tires of our input…we pay his salary. Guess what, Mr. Casteel, our facts aren’t factoids…they’re the TRUTH! Perhaps if TxDOT was more truthful and not caught in lies and contradictions found in their own documents, in news reports, and in public meetings, your job would get easier.

Link to Driscoll’s blog here to make a comment.

Fightin’ words … and more
By Pat Driscoll
Express-News
May 03, 2006

David Casteel of the Texas Department of Transportation let it be known Tuesday that he’s tired of insults from toll-road critics — and he delivered some tough words of his own.

“We come to face many cynics in our dealings,” Casteel told a friendly crowd of about 400 road industry and government officials at his state of transportation speech at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, sponsored by the San Antonio Mobility Coalition.

“There are those who misquote, misapply and string together meaningless factoids and conjure up rumors about things like traffic signals and overpass plans and try to damage the reputations of people at the city and the department,” he said, referring to a U.S. 281 toll-plan controversy.

“We have met people who have used mean words to describe us and those who came before us,” he said, adding references to past controversies, such as the failed 14-year effort to stop U.S. 281 from going through parklands. “They have called those who laid out this city incompetent and worse.”

And then this …

“To those who fight us, let there be no mistake, we will fight back with facts to meaningless factoids, with a comprehensive regional plan to the one-road concern,” he said. “We will fight — we are not fighting for any personal, political or selfish reason — we are fighting for the right reasons, for Texans, for the future.”

Casteel, TxDOT’s lead engineer in San Antonio, also talked about how the state’s population grew 57 percent over the past 25 years but the amount of driving went up 95 percent while highway lane miles increased just 8 percent. He said driving in Bexar County is projected to go from 35 million miles in 2000 to 56 million by 2030.

Those are reasons why local officials should use all tools authorized by the Texas Legislature and voters in recent years, including bonding and tolls, he argued.

But enough of that warmed-over fare … check out David the bulldog wearing a few other hats:

David strokes his chin …

“Oscar Wilde — who even though he was a strange guy did have a lucid thought or two — he once defined a cynic as a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

David rolls up his sleeves …

“What we do is build — we build every day, all day and all night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — we are building — you cannot drive through this region and this state and not see us build. You send money our way and we will build, send more money and we will build more — we build — while others complain, we build — while others blame, we build — while others call names, we build.”

David waxes poetic …

“We are the giant martini glass into which the various legislation and empowerment tools have been poured — and not stirred gently but shaken vigorously, sloshed around and spilled and put back in the glass. It has been a rough and vibrant mixing — but my friends, in our region the taste is sublime.”

0 Replies to “TxDOT's Casteel gets down and dirty swiping at concerned citizens”

  1. Scott R. Davis

    Toll Roads on 1604 is a bad idea. This should be left to the voters to decide, though. Anyway, Mr. Casteel, are you the second coming of King George?

  2. James Westover

    Mr. Casteel- You are a real piece of work, an individual on a dime job with a nickel worth of authority.
    The article bears truth, the city government and state government IS incompetent.

  3. Jef Gearhart

    Ok, Mr. Casteel.

    Ask WOAI Clear Channel to broadcast the debate on Wed., MAY 17 @ 7 PM
    Leon Valley Community Center.. Show up, and spend 30 minutes debating directly with our Terri Hall. Make sure to bring your facts with you, because I am sure Terri will bring ours. Let’s talk about the ‘future’ of Texas, and what it will look like when only the elite and wealthy can travel in uncongested conditions. And let’s talk about the fact that these ‘plans’ of yours will affect all Texans, long after you and your collegues have bailed out of public service.

    Let’s not let a moderator dictate the course of the discussion, and we’ll just exchange fact-for-fact, LIVE on the air. Let’s also ask the station to rebroadcast it at 7:30 AM the next morning, and 5:00 PM the next evening, so drivers in the working class can hear the ‘facts’ about your plans for the future.

    Since your convictions, and your faith…

    in the plan to steal taxpayers’ roads and give them to private companies..

    ahem, excuse me, let me be factual.

    the plan to rebuild roads with taxpayers’ money, which were previously built with taxpayers’ money, and then simply hand them over to private companies which will profit greatly from them (note, the cold hard fact), as well as hoodwinking the public into believing that free routes equivelent to existing routes will be available (a factoid which amounts to a bold lie),

    .. are so strong, you should want this publicity as badly as we do.

    If you and the rest of our toll-happy leaders simply ignore this opportunity.. then, oh, yes sir, I’ve got quite a few names for you all.

    Here’s another fact… This coalition of the people is not just a bunch of whiners who don’t want to pay for roads. There are many legitimate solutions that are being ignored, because of these political public/private quasi-PAC facades that have been created to ‘look’ like public commitees looking out for our best interests, when they are ‘in fact’ business people just doing business. Good for them, but you have no excuse for not recognizing the conflict of interests.

    Until this legislature, and TxDOT request that the major media present the pure unimpeded, unspun, ‘facts’ of these plans, your words of war are meaningless and whimpy.

  4. GEORGE BRAUN

    People familiar with construction see the poor designs in overpasses a few years after they’re built, TxDOT decided that they should have put a turn around lane and have a great added expense changing the base of the overpass, demolition of concrete and moving base and then new concrete. All of this costs a great amount of money and could have been done when originally built at little or no additional cost. Even if they added the turn lane later, the greatest cost is in changing the embankment. Perhaps this is part of their engineer’s job security for additional work. There are more examples of poor planning and incompetence – just look around, and we pay for it.

  5. Nancy Strack

    Mr Casteel, how do you sleep at night knowing that so many people in San Antonio live on fixed incomes or work for minimum wage and you continue to push for toll roads that will only make their lives more miserable? Rather than fix the roads we have with the money that you already have, you tell us poor folk that we can take the “free” lanes that will only be made more congested with the traffic exiting your fancy smancy toll lanes and merging with us at our existing traffic lights, etc. That’s assuming anyone will use your toll lanes.

    How do you sleep when, rather than hire competent engineers you obviously hire those in the bottom 50% of their class who couldn’t design a good highway in their dreams. Dare I mention the I-35/410 south interchange, the 1604/281 interchange, etc? Who at TxDOt allowed traffic lights on 281 north of 1604 when it was obvious to everyone else that the city was building up that way? Was that idiot fired? If not, why not?

    I think it’s past time to fire every living breathing person at TxDOt and start over. We can start by setting an example and getting rid of another self-centered pompous “public servant” named Nelson Wolff and his good ole buddy Mayor Hardberger. We simply can’t afford them. They only get excited over their own stupid little pet projects that don’t do a damned thing to improve the living standards of the citizens who put their faith in them. They seem to have forgotten what “public servant” means.

    Perhaps they should walk the streets in the poorer parts of town (there are many) and talk to the people. Ask if they want to pay tolls to travel on good roads. Ask them if they’d rather have more cops on the streets or a fancy plaza for the tourist. Ask them what we really need to make life comfortable here. We chose to live in San Antonio because it’s NOT Dallas or Houston yet too many of the people at TxDOT and many of those on city council and the County Commissioners Court won’t be happy until we’ve turned our wonderful city into another armpit of Texas.

    But like the Enron big shots, we can only hope that the truth will come out and these men who are committing fraud will will someday have to stand up before the people and account for their actions.

    Mr Castell, if you can sleep, I wish you sweet dreams because if we have our way, your days of power are short lived. And you can only hope the God forgives you for your selfish and dishonest ways because we won’t.

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