8/06/2008

TxDOT gets 3 month "Stay"

Did you all see that the Sunset Review Commission has revised its schedule for acting on the TxDOT sunset review?

Apparently last month they pushed the decision date back for TxDOT 3 months! The meetings have been changed from September 23/24 to December 16/17. This also coincides with when the 2030 Committee reports back to the TxDOT commission in December on a re-estimation of transportation “needs”.

http://www.sunset.state.tx.us/meetingsch2008.pdf

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/2030_committee/default.htm

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

They could be waiting until November elections are over in hopes of getting a leg up with pro-toll politicians being elected to give TxDOT more leverage. TxDOT cannot take anymore negative press with a Sunset hearing before November if any pro-TxDOT candidate is to have a snowball chance in Hell to get elected.

Another example that TxDOT and the Legislature are really in bed together.

Anonymous said...

Sunset is giving TxDOT as much time as possible to roll out their September "transparency" public relations campaign before meeting again. TxDOT is putting out on their web site a “windshield” (along the lines of Virginia DOT’s “Dashboard”) which is suppose to give the public a warm and cozy feeling about TxDOT by making it easier for them to see how well TxDOT is spending taxpayer money and that projects are “on schedule”. Come December, TxDOT hopes to be able to "brag" to Sunset about how well they have listened to Sunset, the Legislature and the public in their attempt to be more transparent.

I predict the public will see right through this feeble attempt by TxDOT. I am now software programming wizard, but the citizens will get exactly what they paid for. A web based package of this magnitude with a 3 to 4 month delivery date will not be worthy of what the citizens of our great State deserve from an agency supported by their hard earned money. .

TxDOT – “Leaders in transportation.”

What a joke.

Citizens would be just as effectively served if TxDOT was run by someone’s village idiot. Wait, I take that back, I think I read someplace a backward, south Texas, dust infested, single-stop-sign town is missing theirs.

Anonymous said...

The regionalization effort currently being implemented by Mr. Saenz, which started two weeks ago, is a smoke screen for Saenz and the Commission to be allowed to keep their jobs. Remember, the original draft Sunset report did not stress a need to regionalize and create another bureaucratic layer in TxDOT; they did however put the heads of the Commission and Amadeo on the chopping block.

Anonymous said...

You mean, pushed the decision date back after the elections. Hmmm. Throw'em out!

Anonymous said...

Texas families- in need of another TXDOT heart attack.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Prick Perry is pulling strings to further push his agenda, line his pockets, and buy his yes men a little time to abuse....rather "restructure" the poor working stiffs at TxDOT who actually patch potholes in 105 degree weather for peanuts.

TxDOT's commission has to be elected by the public to prevent further goobernatorial malfeasance and its executive director, deputy executive directors and top financial officer need to be dismissed right now.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Chano took the other stop sign home.

A Very Concerned TXDOT Employee said...

I wonder how they think they can do this regionalization effort when the Texas Administrative Code states that the department shall be divided into DIVISIONS and DISTRICTS. It says NOTHING about REGIONS. This just goes to show that the big dogs at the top think they are above the law! Take a look at TAC Title 43 Part 1 Chapter 1 Subchapter A and B

c) Divisions. Consistent with commission direction provided under §1.1(b)(1)(T) and (U) of this subchapter, the executive director shall organize the department into headquarters operating divisions and offices reflecting the various functions and duties assigned to the department, and shall designate a division or office director who shall administer each division or office.

(d) Districts.

(1) District office. The department is divided into geographical districts, each containing one district office. Each district is administered by a district engineer who is a registered professional engineer and is appointed by the executive director.

I see nothing that says there will be REGIONS in between the DIVISIONS and DISTRICTS. Have they put this out on the Texas Register for comments? Is this new plan going to be part of the TAC or are they just doing whatever they want?

Anonymous said...

I guess writing our politicians about getting the TxDOT commission out as soon as possible really did no good. Why extend the time for the next review? Why give the administration more time to try and cover their butts on their wrongdoings? Everyone knows that getting rid of the commission and the high paying salaries of the twelve would save more money than "restructing" the people that actually do the work.

Anonymous said...

The politicians want toll roads and the consolidation of TxDOT's workforce to succeed, so the State's economy will grow by outsourcing government work. TxDOT is happy to consolidate so their engineers will all have very well paying jobs to support the life styles that they think they are entitled to. The taxpayer's biggest problem is the Association of General Contractors, a very strong lobbyist working the private and public sectors of our State.

Anonymous said...

Sal, all of the comments posted are very true. politicians do want to consolidate TxDOT's work force. The hand picked interim regional managers also hand picked personnel to come with a plan to do away with their own jobs. this is how they are going to be more transparent and be good stewards of the tax payers money according to recent comments made buy Amadeo. all picked personnel were told that they did not want to hear any negative comments that regionalization would not work. before and during the meetings some of the picked personnel asked questions or as they say challenged the "status quo" they were removed or told to go home during the time of meetings. This is how Amadeo is going to take care of TxDOT's working work force. This will turn out to be another ENRON when affected personnel get there newly assigned position's many will lose pay that they have worked hard over the years which takes affected work force a long time to make decent money not like the engineers do! They start at a higher scale than the affected force. the plan does not save any money because the are going to contract the work out regardless of cost. they are ignoring the recommendation by Sunset to do more with in house forces to save the tax payers money. This plan does not do that because as Amadeo says we are going to be more efficient, transparent, and reduce the redundancies the working people are doing. This is far from what really goes on in the department. As every one knows the engineers do not do any thing they just get paid very well for doing nothing. Their work is done by consultants why do we need engineers in the department if consultants can do all their work. Again it is the big money contractors and consultants that control things and back Tricky Ricky to get his TTC going . every one just needs remember who is backing or supporting all of this when the elections come. the working people who's benefits and retirement will be affected by this plan need the support of all voters to see this regime come to an end.

Anonymous said...

Alright all you hard working honest TxDOT folks, don't be lulled into a false sense of security with Amadeo's most recent lies. Unite and keep up the heat...call, write, e-mail or personally vist your reps and senators. Let them know that the public, legislature and TxDOT employs have been lied to, that your mad as hell, and that you want the current TxDOT commission gone, TxDOT's executive director, all deputy executive directors and James Bass gone...now!!! Request that the TxDOT commission be elected by the public. Remind your reps and senators that you'll vote their sorry tails out of office if they don't tow the line. Keep up the fight.

Anonymous said...

The new layer of bureaucracy TxDOT is creating under the guise of "Regionalization" canNOT succeed, and will in fact, end up costing Texas taxpayers millions, instead of saving $35 million per year, as TxDOT Admin has stated. They throw out that number which to the general public sounds like a huge amount, when in reality, it is a mere drop-in-the-bucket in the enormous amounts of money TxDOT deals with. What the public does NOT realize is that this reorg is NOT taking care of the problems cited by Sunset because it is NOT targeting the areas (the top) Sunset recommended...it is in fact, targeting the front-line employees, those doing the actual WORK. Also, TxDOT tried to cover up the 1.1 BILLION (not million, BILLION) dollar accounting error last year; the person ultimately responsible for the error was transferred to a different division, and given a PROMOTION! NO ONE GOT FIRED OVER THIS! This is unacceptable. It will take over 30 YEARS to make up that amount at the piddly rate of $35 mil per year the reorg is touted to generate. The organizational structure IS antiquated, and is EXACTLY as the Sunset Commission stated. They recommended change AT THE TOP, and Admin is scrambling around trying to keep their jobs by eliminating jobs AT THE BOTTOM. I have been a state employee for over 30 years at several different state agencies. NEVER in my career have I seen anything so mismanaged. It is true that under the current organizational structure, many processes are inefficient and need to be corrected; but the way they are going about this is all wrong and destined for failure...after MILLIONS and no telling how many years wind up being spent trying to make the impossible work. One major culprit is TxDOT Info Tech AT THE TOP is still operating under 1970's and 80's mainframe systems and will NOT adopt new technology...they keep patching, and band-aiding the old systems to the point these systems are worthless and nearly nonfunctional. TxDOT is stuck in the past with a legacy mainframe system which is inefficient and creates massive duplication and errors across the board. The data in these systems is mostly worthless at this point, yet TxDOT employees, down to the maintenance tech level, are required to spend thousands of hours per year inputting data, and in some cases, just making up numbers to enter into these systems...there are no checks on the data; Yet, instead of correcting this issue, the reorg will eliminate many of the positions and duties and PEOPLE at the bottom who know how to correct these problems; they are prevented from doing so by antiquated policies, rules, and bureaucracy at the upper echelon of management. And the Chief Information Officer at TxDOT? A civil engineer! What private company would even CONSIDER hiring an engineer whose training is in designing roads to lead a large IT department? Typical TxDOT. TxDOT Admin is attempting to subvert the Sunset Commission's recommendations. They act like they think the public and the Legislature are STUPID. TxDOT leadership IS out-of-control and the traveling publc, taxpayers, and hard-working front-line employees will end up paying the price if this so-called "leadership" is allowed to run rampant with this reorg that is destined to fail. Incidentally, is it coincidental that NOT ONE engineer position is on the line, while 600 OTHER positions are? I am not badmouthing engineers, truly; however, it is ludicrous to keep putting engineers in high-level NON-ENGINEERING related positions just because they are licensed engineers. I don't get that at all. Eliminating 40% of the support workforce is NOT going to fix the enormous problems at TxDOT, especially those at the TOP.

Prick Perry said...

Oh come now! Contracting out work that can be done in house always is a good bet. How the hell else am I gonna pay all my big time lobbyist folk. TTC Rules!!! Ya know what TTC stands for don't ya? "Triple Tax Corridor" Music to my ears!

IBM+StateofTexas=$$$$$$$ said...

We as TxDOT employees need to come together and put our numbers to work. We can't count on anyone but ourselves to protect our jobs. We need to vote people into office who are going to stop the insane, tax dollar wasting, contracts. The IBM contract is a complete tax dollar trough for a corporate giant. These guys do not care about customer service like the state IT people do. Here is just a SMALL example of mine and yours tax dollars at work using the IBM contract. TxDOT sight has a data backup device that is not working. IBM sends out a subcontractor who travels over 100 miles roundtrip @ .57 cents a mile plus salary to work on this tape drive. After making several trips to the TxDOT facility over a months time @ .57 cents per mile plus salary he still is unable to fix the device even after replacing several parts at god knows what cost. Then on his next trip he brings a co-worker with him @ .57 cents per mile plus two(2) salaries. After working on it all day he is still unable to repair the device because he is unfamiliar with the type of back-up unit that TxDOT uses throughout the entire state. To make it short this example of wasted taxpayer money ended when the TxDOT employee who did the backups before the wasteful IBM contract, explained to the IBM subcontractor how the unit worked and basically got him pointed in the direction he needed to be to resolve the simple stuck tape issue. This is just one(1) example of how the state of Texas and IBM are funneling money from taxpayers to the corporations. The way we are having to work with and around the IBM contract is absolutely idoiotic and is wasting time and money. Ask any IRA from any district and they will tell you the same and probably more stories like the one above of how IBM is sucking money from TxDOT and the state unnecessarily.

Anonymous said...

It seems that TXDOT Is imploding within itself. Just read as to how TXDOT is to operate under the new system that is to be implemented. Just step back and look at the wording. It is like trying to make a fantasy come true but you know that it will not. We are getting away from the basics that started TXDOT altogether. It has turned into a wasteful uncontrolled creature that no one seems to be able to stop.

Anonymous said...

On January employees are to make an application requesting to keep their current position. Now, if someone within the state is better qualified based on their application, well, you are out of a job. Then you need to apply for other positons. They are not running you out, but,in reality, they are,heartless bastards.