Give them an inch and they will take a foot - and the food off your famlies table.

Construction of three stretches of major east-west roads approved by Travis County voters in a 2005 bond election have stalled because developers have not put up their share of the money.

Voters said yes to a bond election that stated the costs were to be shared with developers that benefit from the roads. The developers didn't pony up the money and now
most of the $7.4 million approved for the roads have been diverted.

Now Travis County Commissioners want the tax payers to pay ALL of the costs, even though we voted to only pay 50% of the costs for Wells Branch Parkway, Howard Lane and Slaughter.

I think it's wrong for County Commissioners to have us pay all of the costs without holding another election. Why do we always pay more and have our taxes raised again in the future? They must ask voters to pay for the whole cost.

This from a Statesman article today:

"If private interests do not agree to pitch in, the county could pay their share as well — a step that could triple the price tag because of rising construction costs, but one that some county officials say they must consider.

"While it's never pretty to ask voters for more money to finish a project," said County Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt, whose precinct includes Wells Branch Parkway, "I think the reasons for the change in numbers are exceedingly reasonable."

Sal Costello, a critic of Central Texas road planning, disagreed. He said that the 2005 ballot language led voters to believe that those roads were going to be built with developer help and that voters will be less likely to support future bond projects "because of this kind of bait and switch."

The Wells Branch Parkway and Howard Lane extensions were among the bond package's seven "public-private partnerships," in which the cost would be split about 50-50 between the county and private interests who stood to benefit from the roads being built.

The partnerships, which are done around the country, are a mechanism intended to save taxpayer money..."
The article says the county will now ask CAMPO for the additional tax dollars.

I believe Sen Kirk Watson, Chair of CAMPO is also a Lobbyist (on the payroll) for one of the developers (Goodnight Ranch - Goodnight Tract) that didn't pay up. Can you say conflict of interest?

Watson is very familiar with diversions of our tax and bond dollars. Not only did he just vote to spend nearly 1 Billion tax dollars to shift our Austin freeways to toll ways on CAMPO, but his City of Austin Prop 1, of the year 2000, diverted a whopping $67.2 million of our bond dollars, intended for free roads, into the 45N and 130 toll roads Central Texans drive today!

The diversion of our tax dollars and bond dollars is a major problem with our government and the reason we keep paying more every year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, diversion of our tax dollars and bond dollars is a major problem. Problem is, only in the last two or three years have a few of us become aware of this problem. We also have learned that in many instances we have absolutely no way of getting the information and government records to specifically track the manner in which the funds were diverted. It is perfectly legal for the governor and TxDot to work together to move our taxpayer road dollars around to other funds, usually slush-type funds, whereby the end use of those hidden fund transfers become fair game for all manner of misuse, graft and corruption, most usually used to line the pockets of moneyed special interests that have come to own our governor and lawmakers.

Also, public private partnerships suck. They got going under the governorship of The Decider and Chief, G. W. Bush. Bush and Perry are puppets of the federal shadow government to push corridors and toll roads no matter what. There should never have been anything known as public private partnerships in the building of Texas roads. It is fascism and is in complete opposition to the principles of the U.S. and Texas constitutions.