Why does the Lone Star State allow TxDOT's bureaucratic arrogance?

Why does the Lone Star State
allow TxDOT's bureaucratic arrogance?

by Retired Col. Ken Allard, as published in the San Antonio Express-News

The headlines might have read, “No Hope, No More,” but we have been on a collision course over the future of TxDOT ever since Gov. Perry's dismissal last week of interim commissioner Hope Andrade.

She succeeded chairman Rick Williamson, whose last wish was that his embattled agency might engage in a creative dialogue with its critics. He even reached out to ask for my help in connecting the agency with “some of the best minds at UTSA,” but his untimely passing prevented those possibilities.

The widely respected Andrade tried to continue his initiative, but certain fundamentals have emerged. Among them: to the extent that it can be controlled at all, TxDOT answers only to its political masters — and then only to some of them. When hauled before the Texas Senate earlier this year, agency leaders had no good explanations for some outrageous failings, including a billion-dollar accounting error and millions more wasted on lobbying for dubious pet projects.

Had a similar situation occurred in Washington, indictments might well have followed. But not in Texas.

Sen. Glenn Hegar recently wrote that lawmakers' “concerns about the Trans-Texas Corridor, the agency's policies, funding schemes, budget and construction priorities have (often) been met with contempt and disdain by TxDOT officials.”

The mystery is why such bureaucratic arrogance is tolerated in the state that produced the legendary “Lonesome Dove” figures of Woodrow Call and Augustus McCrae.

But if you think the agency isn't listening to your concerns, don't feel too badly. They don't listen to the Texas Legislature, either. In an interesting twist, Sen. Hegar also sits on a sunset committee charged with identifying “waste, duplication and inefficiency” among state agencies.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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