Link to story here. The pro-tollers have come unhinged! Look who can’t win on the arguments and feels the need to drag a political debate into the mud and muck with name calling…Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. First, we’re called PIGS now “crazy” and “dangerous.”
Here’s what’s crazy:
-Charging us over and over again for what’s already built and paid for.
-Taking our gas tax plan for overpasses on 281 that’s been funded since 2003 and turning it into a cash cow, targeted, DOUBLE tax toll scheme.
-The Legislature stealing $10 billion from our gas taxes and later saying there’s no money for roads.
-Twice passing a Bexar County Commissioners Court Resolution AGAINST TOLLING EXISTING ROADS and then allowing them to toll existing corridors all over Bexar County.
-Exploding the cost of transportation at a time with record high gas prices which will further hurt the economy and the County’s sales tax and property tax base.
Here’s what’s dangerous:
-Throwing up stop lights, orange cones, and cement barriers all over the county causing hazardous road conditions, delays, and accidents.
-Allowing continued development in Northern Bexar County without keeping up with road capacity which ensured the intersection of 281 and 1604 would sit atop the city’s “Top 10 Crash Locations” list, where it has stayed since 2004.
-Refusing to install the overpass at a DANGEROUS intersection, 281/Borgfeld, where people have DIED when they’ve had the money to do it since 2003!
Apparently our elected officials are finally taking notice of the public outcry, but it’s clear they haven’t gotten the message. We don’t want or need toll roads…stop raiding our gas taxes, stop spending our money on illegal ad campaigns and hidden cameras in orange barrels, install the overpasses that are already paid for, index the gas tax, and be done with it.
Wolff: Toll Opponents “Crazy,” “Dangerous”
Judge rips into toll critics in ‘State of the County’ speech
By Jim Forsyth, WOAI
October 25, 2007
Bexar County Judge Nelson W. Wolff used his State of the County address today to tear into opponents of toll roads in Bexar County, saying they are ‘crazy’ and ‘dangerous’ and suggesting once that if he ‘named the other members of Commissioner’s Court who support toll roads it might endanger their lives.’
Wolff said toll roads are ‘the right way,’ and he urged the Chamber of Commerce audience to cheer Metropolitan Planning Organization Chair Sheila McNeil, who was sued along with the MPO this week by toll road opponents who claim that the organization is illegally pushing for toll roads.
“We have some people who have had to take a lot of heat,” Wolff said. “One of them is Sheila McNeil who is the head of the MPO. Sheila, stand up. We owe you a round of applause for taking the heat from these crazy people who are jamming it down your throat every day!”
Wolff has been a long time supporter of toll roads, and he has mentioned the importance of building toll roads in his previous two State of the County speeches. But the vehemence of his denunciation of toll road opponents surprised some in his generally pro toll audience. Wolff didn’t mention by name which toll road opponents he thinks are ‘crazy’ or ‘dangerous’ but he did cite an incident following a meeting to discuss toll roads.
“We had an incident not too long ago, where the anti toll road people were here and sort of jumped (Regional Mobility Authority Chairman) Bill Thornton and I in the parking lot. I tried to get away from him and he kept following me. I finally turned around and asked him to get away from me, and he said ‘give me your best shot.’ I called the deputy across the street, and he came over and kept him away from me. Let me tell you, they are dangerous people.”
“We’re barely holding on with a three two vote on Commissioners Court supporting this project,” Wolff said. “I won’t tell you who the other two commissioners are, I don’t want to endanger their lives.”
Lyle Larson and Tommy Adkisson are toll road opponents on Commissioner’s Court.
Then, Wolff suggested that residents should be grateful that toll roads are being built.
“The roads on the side will be free, the toll lanes will be in the middle, you don’t have to get onto the toll lane, you should be happy we’re building it, because there will be less traffic on the free lanes.”
Wolff said he opposes any concessions agreement which would allow “a company from ” to build the toll roads, a reference to the Cintra-Zachry partnership which has the contract to build 40 miles of the State Highway 130 toll road.
“TexDOT wants to give it (the US 281 toll lane construction contract) to a company from Spain,” Wolff said. “We prefer that the public be involved. We need to stick with the public sector, we need to keep the tolls as low as possible, and allow that money to stay right here and not go someplace else, whether it be or someplace else in
Elsewhere in his State of the County speech, Wolff said he anticipates suggestions on an estimated $300 million dollar venue tax renewal proposal to be submitted to Commissioners Court by December, and a vote could be called on the issue next spring. He says officials are considering four potential uses for the venue tax money. Sports complexes, including facilities at UTSA, which could be built inside the existing Municipal Auditorium, expansion of the Riverwalk south and north, and improvements to the AT&T Center.