In a not so veiled threat, the freshman commissioner on the Bexar County Commissioners Court, Kevin Wolff, whose father is pro-toll County Judge Nelson Wolff, is publicly attacking the senior Commissioner on the Court, Tommy Adkisson, for what Wolff calls “severely lacking” and “myopic” leadership of the MPO, and threatened to remove him as Chair if he doesn’t move on from the toll road issue.
“If he doesn’t start figuring out that this job is much larger than the narrow, myopic place he’s taken it to, I think you’ll find a board that says, ‘You know what, we’ve got to make a change,‘” Wolff said.
Apparently Wolff hasn’t read the MPO’s long-range plan that has no less than 22 toll projects. That sure seems to warrant some focus since the vast majority of those toll roads are in Wolff’s precinct and amount to a NEW TAX on his constituents without a vote of the people. Since the majority of the angry taxpayers who filled the Alzafar Shrine Temple at Monday’s MPO meeting to testify against toll roads are Wolff’s constituents, it also seems wise for Wolff to take heed. Those same attendees heaped praise on Adkisson and are now cursing Wolff, yet he boldly attacks Adkisson in this article.
To clarify, I told this reporter that TxDOT and the RMA are setting themselves up for a third round of litigation by refusing to put a non-toll option on the table, which is legally a different statement than what he placed in the article where he made it sound like it’s a “kill tolls or I’m suing” ultimatum.
Tolling IS THE ELEPHANT in the room and has been the MAJOR focus of the MPO since Rick Perry took office. To brush it aside and to brush aside the voices of hundreds of people opposed to tolling who took time out of their busy lives to attend and/or to testify at the MPO ought not be ignored and seems like denying the obvious. Adkisson’s point at the outset of Monday’s meeting is exactly right….we CAN’T move on as a community until we move past this constant impasse over tolling existing highways. As long as 22 projects are in the MPO’s plan, it WILL BE an issue.
By contrast, the other transportation issues at the MPO do NOT involve levying new taxes. The MPO’s own public involvement policy is that people should have a say over the transportation decisions that affect their lives. The people overwhelmingly opposed tolling these freeways. The MPO violated it’s own policy Monday night. Why doesn’t the Express-News print that in the paper?
Web Posted: 10/27/2009
Adkisson shifts focus after losing toll vote
By Josh Baugh
Terri Hall knows no defeat.
Monday night’s toll road vote by the Metropolitan Planning Organization, she said, wasn’t a loss in her crusade against toll plans in Bexar County.That the proposal to strip toll plans from segments of U.S. 281 and Loop 1604 was shot down by a 13-5 vote wasn’t a surprise to Hall. The MPO board held a “roll call” vote, Hall said, and now there’s an official record of how each MPO member — 11 of whom are elected officials — stands on toll roads.
Alongside Hall, MPO Chairman Tommy Adkisson, a Bexar County commissioner, had pushed the plan to strip tolls. But shortly after its resounding defeat — and for perhaps the first time since rolling out the proposal several weeks ago — he didn’t appear to be on the same page as the activist.
It’s time to “turn the page and get on with other governance items,” Adkisson said.
He pointed to Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Department of Transportation as major obstacles to removing toll plans. “I think that unless we get a new governor, the toll road issue is on hold.”
Read the rest of the story here.