6/02/2008

Upcoming Sunset report cites "distrust and frustration" with TxDOT

by Peggy Fikac, Houston Chronicle

Saying there's an atmosphere of "distrust and frustration" surrounding the Texas Department of Transportation, the Sunset Advisory Commission staff is poised to recommend big changes at the agency.

The report won't be released until tomorrow, but according to a bound copy shared by a source close to the process, among proposals are:

  • Replace the five-member commission with one appointed commissioner, who would get a two-year term instead of the current six-year term.
  • Establish a Transportation Legislative Oversight Committee including House members and senators.
  • Establish a "transparent, well-defined, and understandable system of project programming within TxDOT that integrates project milestones, forecasts and priorities."
  • Require TxDOT, with input from transportation partners and policymakers, to develop a system to measure and report on progress in meeting transportation goals and milestones.
  • Require TxDOT to develop and implement a public involvement policy that guides and encourages more meaningful public involvement efforts agency-wide.
  • Continue TxDOT for only another four years before the agency again undergoes comprehensive sunset review. The normal period between reviews is 12 years.

"The Sunset review of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) occurred against a backdrop of distrust and frustration with the Department and the demand for more transparency, accountability, and responsiveness. Many expressed concerns that TxDOT was 'out of control,' advancing its own agenda against objections of both the Legislature and the public," said the report.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Read my formal letter to the Sunset Review called, "WHY TXDOT, AN AGENCY GONE ROGUE, SHOULD BE ABOLISHED" (sent in months ago) HERE.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great-one APPOINTED commissioner instead of 5. What the hell is the difference? This just insures someone like Mr. 39% can find a water-boy (or girl) that walks the line he draws. Am I missing something? We need elected commissioners. Who cares if the term is 2 years or 4 if the voters don't have a say in the selection (other than the governor's race)?

Sal Costello Sal@TexasTollParty.com said...

Right on.

The elected want to try and control those who will Govern TxDOT. They don't want us to have the power.

THEY want to be able to make back door deals JUST LIKE SEN. WATSON DID...read the end of Paul Burka's (Texas Monthly) blog article today!

Peter Stern said...

Elected is better than appointed ONLY if the people DEMAND and get campaign finance reform so that wealthy special interests can't continue to buy positions and perks by spending huge campaign contributions.

And it better happen soon!

www.pstern.statesmanblogs.com

Anonymous said...

Guys! We're possibly at the beginning of a huge victory here. Let's wait for the report to be issued and see what it has to say before we come to conclusions.

A single conservator given strict marching orders and answering to the ledge may be the most efficient way to undo all the unholy alliances within TxDot. At least TxDot will be beyond the clutches of goodhair.

Whatever procedure the ledge puts in place, it's crucial TxDot does go through Sunset again after four years. After the second Sunset, that may be the time to implement multiple directly elected Regional Transportation Districts.

Anonymous said...

What's to stop Perry from deploying one of his cronies to PAY these people off so they'll just shutup and ride off into the "sunset" ..? I mean Texas has nothing short of a full on mafia holding government office right now. They just have different accents and are controlling our roads instead of the garbage like up north.

Anonymous said...

At least in this country we air our dirty laundry. Keep fighting and remain optimistic and take any victories we can get, and then come back to take more in round 2, 3 or 4.