The founder of TexasTollParty.com shines a light on the dark corners of special interest boondoggles: Double tax tolls and Trans Texas Corridor tax, toll & debt schemes.
After 40 comments in July, and a request to repost for more comments here in August, I give you this repost. Join in on the comments!
So we get an email with another wonderful message from our fearless leader Mr. Saenz that says EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what all TXDOT employees have been told about the regionalization. It says it is not being implemented yet. Bullshit. It says no one will have to reapply for their jobs. Bullshit. It says that he is concerned for the sake of all TXDOT employees. Bullshit. It says the employees will have a say. Bullshit again. Is he feeling the pressure of 90% of the TXDOT workforce who are not his or Casteel or Barton's kiss asses and are tired of the crap? Is he starting to think that maybe they are overstepping their bondaries? Seriously doubt it. Ruth Jones McClendon was exactly right when she said she doesn't believe him. None of us at TXDOT believe him. My guess is they have more "wonderful" plans in store that they are hiding behind their closed doors. Beware everybody. You never know what will happen next...
TxDOT Employees need to step and really start to put the heat on our wonderful fearless leader. His restructuring plan is a lot of Bullshit to get himself out of the cross hairs. How stupid does he think we are to believe the crap he sent out on Friday to All TxDOT Employees. one thing I have never tolerated is a lier, there is no misunderstanding of what this asshole is trying to do to the honest hard working people with his unknown and unproven plan of regoinalization. how can he say that he wants to get everyone to review and comment on this brilliant plan that he pulled out of his ass! my advise to Amadeo is to step down while you can. Don't wait until your buddy Chano rolls over on you, then you may think about buying soap on a rope for Chano and yourself.
As a matter of fact: Amadeo Saenz will do what he wants to. He utilizes stealth methods to get what best interest's his close friends. In turn, he expects complete loyalty and obidience. (Just like Chano). An individual's loyalty is paid back by privileges, rewards, and money. Let's not forget that Amadeo approved and recommended Chano Falcon to receive a TxDOT agency award and money fully knowledgeable of the conflict of interests involved. As a fourth person has plead guilty, this fourth person was a bagman himself and fully knowledgeable on how Amadeo works the system.Look at where all his friends end up working--at a preferred consultant company the gang founded and have directed as much taxpayers' money as possible.PL
Now we are hearing rumblings that they are probably going to slowly regionalize people as they quit or retire. Could be premature on this! Sounds logical. Da!
Another Pissed-off TxDOT Employee: Amadeo is doing damage control at the expense of his own employees. He told a group of TxDOT employees at a March 13, 2008 luncheon that he was going to reorganize TxDOT before Sunset had a chance to make their suggestions to the Legislature. He arrogantly stated that "We know our business better than an elected official and it is much better for TxDOT to restructure itself rather than waiting for Sunset". He also gave a bullshit answer to a question about the $1 Billion "Error" by stating the media has it all wrong in how they were reporting it because it is not actually an error. It was just a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. He went on to further espouse this bullshit statement by informing his lowly subjects that all had been fixed when he put all the sections involved with the “error” under his yes-man-crony James Bass who everyone inside and outside of TxDOT are asking how to get a gig like that were you can screw up so bad and get a promotion when he should actually be fired and run out of town. The reason Bass still has a job is because Amadeo cannot trust anyone else to keep covering up the financial mess TxDOT is in. When in the hell is the State audit going to be made public? From what I have read about the Sunset report, they are after Amadeo's ass and Perry's cronies on the Commission. I find it odd that you don't find anything in the report about screwing the hard working employees who support arrogant Engineers like Amadeo. Without those employees who support TxDOT by performing the thankless jobs Engineers are too good to even try to understand themselves, the average TxDOT Engineer's literally could not wipe their ass because they have no clue on how to fill out a purchase order to get resupplied from a "regional" warehouse center. The internal management decision by Amadeo to carryout this smoke and mirror routine for the legislature and public in hopes of keeping his job and the legislature out of the Commission, has ruined any chance he has for the TxDOT employees not kissing his as to ever respect him as our supposed leader. In less than 3 months into the job, he lost my respect. Everything since has been fuel on the bonfire.TPEA is not doing anything for us, the legislature will not do anything for us, if we try to do anything and stand up to keep us from being jerked around, the TxDOT HR Manual makes reference that this act is grounds for dismissal. Is there enough of us with a backbone across this State to file a class action suite? That is the only way to change TxDOT; SUE OUR ASS INTO REFORM. Even then, our leaders will hide documents, lie under oath, and continue business as usual behind closed doors.Amedeo and his band of leaches sucking the blood out of his ass can all go to Hell. I would love to do an open records request to find out how many meetings between TxDOT and Sunset actually dealt with Regionalization and what legislatures Amadeo keeps taking about he also discussed Regionalization with.
Well, if we are going to pass along rumbling rumors, Casteel is already directing certain Districts to "combine" (catch phrase for reducing FTE's) certain Area Offices in metro areas.Here is the logic I am seeing without ANY legislative mandate:1. Create another bureaucratic layer in TxDOT to make us more efficient by creating four Regional Support Centers in Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth and Lubbock.2. Reduce FTE's at the District level to make us leaner and meaner (I agree with the meaner aspect) and do more with less. Then Casteel will jump the Regions & Districts when Amadeo gets a call from a politician complaining about how unresponsive the overloaded TxDOT employees are to the very public who pays our meager salaries and Amadeos bloated compensation package. 3. If the financial situation ever improves at TxDOT so we are letting $4-6 billion again in contracts, there will not be enough TxDOT employees to handle the work load. They will have either retired or left to get away from Amadeo's insane agency. What happens then? There will be more privatization of TxDOT. The Legislature will cut our allocated FTE's this next session because Amadeo will have successfully run off enough FTE's to make it look like they are not needed. When the fact is TxDOT’s work load is the lowest we have had for many years. You don't need as many people when you don't have work. When the work comes back, consultants will be the only way Amadeo can fill the "gap" in design and inspection demand. Taxpayers will again be paying premium dollar for crappy design which won't be able to undergo adequate review at TxDOT (due to there not being enough people reviewing plans) which will result in more costly construction field change orders. Before the $1 billion SNAFU by Amadeo, TxDOT was already hiring consultants to inspect the same work their cohorts designed. Everyone in TxDOT knows these “consultant inspectors” are nothing more than warm bodies’ taxpayers are paying inflated wages. Do you really think consultants care about the taxpayer’s best interest? Hell no!! They only care about getting as much money out of the public feeding trough as Perry’s TxDOT will give them. Will consultants ever be held responsible? Hell no!! Consultants provide all of TxDOT's idiot leaders a golden parachute when they leave. The more work they can through to the consultants while they are in positions of power, the larger they hope their parachute will be.4. End result: Amadeo will keep his job (unless the Feds actually investigate TxDOT); Perry’s hand picked Commission will keep their cronyism appointments; TxDOT as we know it will become even more inefficient because we still not be adequately staffed or compensated; more of TxDOT will be privatized to meet the new workload; and last but not least, the taxpayers are getting totally FUBR’d.Conspiracy? Unless something happens soon, I guess we will just have to sit back and see how it plays out.
I hate to admit it but it looks like the top TxDOT people are corrupt. We can't believe a word coming out from the administration anymore. Everyone in my department is fed up with the lies and coverups. We are not stupid and are tired of being treated like we are. Morale is the lowest I have ever seen at my district. The now famous Friday Memo contradicts the news flash from the top dog on Aug.the 13th. Who is he trying to kid, we are being regionalized. Equipment has already been moved to the regional headquarters, budgets have been altered overnite, maintenance sections are being downsized, etc. We were told in the restructering meetings that we were going to have to apply for our jobs and if we didn't get one that another job would be available, what other jobs? We are told we can do our work with half the people we have now, we have been on a self imposed hiring freeze, but guess what, they never have slowed down hiring engineers and engineering assistants. We are not doing any major road jobs, why then does TxDOT management keep hiring engineers and engineer assistants and not any support personnel. The administration thinks that everything can be hired out and or leased. That simply is not true. If certain equipment is not available you can't lease it. TxDOT will be caught with their pants down if we have a good size ice storm. Our region is getting rid of dump trucks and equipment needed to handle emergencies, not to mention the personnel needed to operate the equipment. Purchasing, Accounting, and Shop personnel are being told to do more with less. Purchasing is one of the few departments that can actually pay for itself by diligently taking bids and saving taxpayers money. The administration thinks they know all there is to know about ordering and maintaining equipment, accounting for all the engineers spending and purchasing all the frills for the engineers, administration doesn't have a clue what the support services do for them. Somebody please put the brakes on this train wreck waiting to happen! Please help the loyal workers of TxDOT who faithfully work for the citizens of the great State of Texas. Don't let a few hatchet men ruin TxDOT and TxDOT's reputation as a great organization up until the last few years. Oh yea, one other thing, everyone in TxDOT knows that we don't need tollroads, that is a lie. It is a gratuity for the engineers when they retire to be a so called "consultant" for the companies that build the tollroads so they can pad their retirement!
There is not only corruption at the top but also at the District and section levels also,especially in the Corpus District. I guess thats why the District Engineer is retiring or maybe he was told to retire.The Persons that do the Human Resource and the drug program are very biased people.They have gotten away with alot of things that shouldn't have happened. When people from the Corpus District go to meetings in another district they kind of of make smart remarks. Somebody needs to do an open records on these people.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to bid farewell to good stewards of the public trust, honest steadfast individuals who stood their ground and fought for the integrigty of TxDOT by speaking up for and demanding the TRUTH! Sadly, Texans have only been bequeathed the swill, platitudes, stench and chicanery of Governor Rick Perry, TxDOT Commission Chair Deirdre Delisi, TxDOT Commissioner Ned Holmes, TxDOT Commissioner Ted Houghton, TxDOT Commissioner William Meadows, TxDOT Commissioner Fred Underwood, TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz, TxDOT Deputy Executive Director Steve Simmons, TxDOT Assistant Executive Director for District Operations (& current TxDOT SS, Gestapo & Hitler youth director) David Casteel, Assistant Executive Director for Engineering Operations John Barton, Assistant Executive Director for Innovative Project Development Phillip Russell, Chief Financial Officer James "Lost My 10 Key and 1.1 Billion $ & got a big freaking raise!" Bass, Government and Public Affairs Director Coby "Spin Doctor" Chase.Demand that your Texas legislators can all of these folks and show them the genuine meaning of efficiency, transparency and accountability.
Dismissing Amadeo Saenz alone will not remedy that which plagues TxDOT. If Amadeo is shown the door, a more insidious, evil and immoral leader will be brought up, Current Assistant Executive Director for District Operations, David Casteel. Casteel, as district engineer for the Childress, Corpus Christi and San Antonio districts, was soley responsible for cutting various budgets and support staff to the point that these districts had to subside on surplus equipment from other districts to operate. It took Childress at least 5 years to recuperate and rebuild after Casteel's departure. San Antonio is still anemic and suffering from the mess and idiots placed in command by Casteel. It's Casteel in conjunction with the late Ric Willamson that designed the grand restructuring plan.Casteel is attributed with saying "employees that aren't engineers are trained monkeys that can work for bananas". Sounds like a winner!If you want things to turn around for TxDOT and the State of Texas, insist that your representatives and senators totally clean house. The executive director, assistant executive director, all assistant executive directors and chief financial officer must go.Further still, the governor's ability to appoint TxDOT commission members must stop. The Texas House of Representatives should appoint 1, the Texas Senate should appoint 1, and the public should elect 1. There is no need for 5 members.Remember Amadeao bad....Casteel worse....both must go
After going through all this, anyone who believes that there is some conspiracy from administration to actively deceive, confuse and/or misinform its own employees is giving them way (way) too much credit. I doubt they could jointly coordinate a trip to the grocery store much less the reorganization of one of the largest state departments in the country in less than a month.
If in fact David Casteel called us MONKEYS than he needs to get his ASS out in a Maint. SEc and see if he can operate a Maintainer,Loader,Backhoe,Milling Machine, SNOW PLOW With SAND SPREADER, etc. I have been in Maint. for over 30 years and yet to see a ENGINEER that could operate any equ. All we in Maint. get from them is IF IT WORKS ON PAPER IT WILL WORK IN THE REAL WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You all can kiss my ROYAL ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please David Casteel bring your Engineering ASS to the AMARILLO DIST. when we have a Bad Snow or Ice Storm. I will be more than happy to give you a Banana!!!! It won't be the kind that grows on TREES!!!
This bickering and anomosity towards the engineers at TxDOT is starting to become nausating. It is amazing how many of the people on this blog enjoy bashing the engineers and blamming us for all of TxDOT's problems. In case you have forgotten, TxDOT primary function is to plan, design, construct,and maintain the transportation system in the state. None of these functions can be accomplished without engineers and without us, many of you would not have a job.You may not know it, but many of the midlevel engineers at TxDOT can't stand Amadeo and his "junta". It amazes me the people he has selected to be his Deputy Executive Directors such as David Casteel. This man has an inferiority complex similiar to Napolean or Hitler. If he expects me to be married to TxDOT and treat the Department as a spouse, then he can shove it up his dumbass Aggie asshole. Amadeo is no better, He has proven to be nothing short of a liar and poor example of a leader. My hope is the Legislature will pressure him to resign quickly along with all his Deputy Executive Directors, Division Directors and Office Heads and continue down the line to the DE's. There are current DE's who got their positions based on gender and who they knew rather than what they actually know. This is the gift Queen Ann and Bill "Yes Man" Burnett have left the Department.And for the blogger who said "the average TxDOT Engineer's literally could not wipe their ass because they have no clue on how to fill out a purchase order to get resupplied from a "regional" warehouse center" I know I could figure out how to do your job long before you could obtain the required education and licensure to do mine.
Listen, there are incompetent people in every job category working @ TxDOT. And yes there are engineers that could not design a shit sandwich if they were given a turd, loaf of bread, and a pencil. At the same time there are some pretty stupid, backwoods, maintenance workers that still do not know how to even log on to a friggin computer. We all realize not everbody is like that and hopefully there are not that many of you!!:) The point is regardless of what our job is @ TxDOT we should not have to deal with what our current leadership is doing to all of us, whether your an overpaid engineer or a smelly, overworked, underpaid asphalt slinger. The people making the decisions need to be changed and someone needs to listen to the entire TxDOT workforce as a whole on how to best fix TxDOT, since we are the ones keeping it afloat despite our managements poor decision making abilities. Most of us know our jobs very well and work circles around the higher paid contracted help. Lets make a change @ the top tier and get an honest hard working guy or gal in there that will listen to the people who are currently keeping TxDOT going. :) We need to all step up in support of each other. I ment no offense to you stupid engineers and smelly maintenance workers!! :}
It is almost cruel to see the effect that the recent memo that Amadeo sent out has had on my fellow employees. In mid-July, there was so much discussion lead, not by rumors or hear-say, but by district engineers and interim regional business managers face to face with employees at meetings where many of them were told that they were going to have to reapply for their jobs. Employees were also told that if they didn't reapply and did not accept a position doing something else - be it in maintenance, construction, or planning - that was their choice to effectively fire themselves.What makes this worse, is during this time when regionalization intensified - yes, it was already being implemented prior to July - administration was presenting a preliminary set of numbers not business processes that were being used to define the new regions. Since they only took FTE counts into consideration, many business processes that were being used, effectively, to serve district employees and most importantly, transportation entities and citizens throughout the state were not being accounted for. Any attempt to question the source of the numbers was, at the meetings, ignored and not given a concrete answer.Without these business processes many job functions were being swept under the rug. Many attempts were made by several employees to question district engineers and interim business managers and to provide them with different options for their efforts, but to no avail. If suggestions ultimately deviated from their unsubstantiated numbers, employees were ignored, belittled and patronized.The problem is further compacted by the fact that the job functions and business processes that were being ignored belonged to employees that have professional backgrounds - college degrees, professional certifications and professional experience. They were being told that they would have to move to positions that do not take advantage of their skills or capabilities. This, to me, is far more inefficient than any benefits regionalization could provide.So - no specific business justification from administration for the new regions. No plans going in for how they were going to make true improvements and efficiencies in the business processes. No openness, transparency or accountability from district engineers and interim regional managers. Most importantly - absolutely nothing to do with the Sunset Commission's recommendations. The proposed regions do not deal with complaint management, streamlined planning, outreach and involvement with regional entities, or financial transparency and accountability. District support functions - that is, accounting, human resources, information technology, warehousing, and right of way - are being forced to answer to a new organization that separates them from direct coordination with divisions in Austin. This new organization is unnecessarily complicated, inefficient, and as seen in committee proposals, will actually cost more money now and in the future. Besides, support operations only account for less than 2% of total expenditures.Amadeo claims that he is saving $30 million by reducing the workforce - a workforce that is already about 600 employees below the FTE allotment. If administration wanted to save money they could find a way to sign back those FTE allotments to the State and work intensely to reorganize divisions in Austin. The only kind of reorganization that will address the Sunset Commission's suggestions is to turn the divisions and business processes at headquarters on their heads. Amadeo knows this; he demonstrated this knowledge in his explanation of how the “$1.1 billion accounting error” occurred before the Sunset Commission. The reorganization of districts should have followed after that and last should have been support functions for the entire department. They are currently doing it backwards because like many have said, they are putting up "smoke and mirrors" in an attempt to actively deceive the legislature and the Sunset Commission.We were all saddened, feeling powerless, demoralized, confused, and getting nothing of substantive reassurance from administration except that it will all work out. The reality is, it will not work. And now Amadeo's memo, which completely goes against everything employees were being told for the past months, is giving many false hopes or, worse, the idea that the plans will fall through. Look at the statement made by the department on August 13 - http://www.dot.state.tx.us/news/030-2008.htm. It is going to happen and they will not back down soon without looking even more foolish. Don’t be fooled by the memo.Continuing these efforts this way is inhumane for the employees and will provide no substantial benefit for the citizens of Texas. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, the road to ruin and inefficiency (which has probably already been contracted out and tolled) is being paved by the spiked words of Mario Medina, the actions of David Casteel and the short sightedness of Amadeo Saenz. Intent, the kind Amadeo reiterates over and over in his memo, has no legitimacy in the face of bad choices. In their lack of planning and business analysis, they chose to demoralize, confuse, and undermine the motivation of their hard working employees. Many employees want to see the department be more efficient and modern, but the current situation in no way resembles how it could and should have happened. Shame on Amadeo for not displaying full control over the situation and damn David Casteel for running this circus the way he is. They both need to be held accountable for their actions. Sal, sorry for the long message, but I felt like getting this off my chest.
There are some good Engineers that are respected and they have not forgot where they came from. But there are some that are arrogant and throw there education around like they are better than everyone in a lower position. Let me remind everyone the working hands for TxDOT are there to fix what an engineer f--k's up!!! enough of your whining put your big girl panties on. Back to the real issues the issue of how things got screwed up in Childress the wrong person is being blamed the dumb ass that did this was Craig Clark this asshole is as worthless as tits on a boar hog. I assume that this comment is coming from a DOA that was put in their place! I have been informed from my fellow workers in the Corpus Christi District that Craig Clark screwed that district up and will take them a long time to recover from the actions of this idiot and his DOA's that think they can run the district along with the maintenance sections. these are the jobs that are redundant, not transparent and are the most unethical and biggest liars in the department along with their ass kissing workers they supervise. I can honestly say that I have seen David Casteel use a shovel with out hesitation along with the little people. He helped the maintenance people get merit money that was going to those lazy ass engineers and administration personnel that assume they don't have to work for their pay check. some have made comments that they only work for TxDOT because in the real world they wold have to work. Casteel is not liked by these people because he expects engineers to do their job design roads and administration to support workers not make policy to keep them from dong their jobs. Unlike Craig Clark that never drove his roads and was to good to meet and speak to the working maintenance worker. rumor has it the he unexpectedly announced his retirement late one night makes you wonder why?
I wish there was something the Sunset Commission can do to stop the 5 new toll roads over our existing highways that Kirk WitsNONE is about to force upon us!!!
Ok folks. Let us all remember it is the idiots at the top that are making the rest of us both engineer and non the fools. Hey Casteel quit trying 2 blame Craig Clark. He got stuck cleaning up the mess left behind. And as far as picking up a shovel-the only reason he would is to dig his way out of all the bullshit that comes out of his mouth. Txdot may need engineers but most of the engineers have their lips attached 2 someones ass.
We do need Engineers. In my coments I did not mean to say all ENGINEERS have no comon since! I only know of a few that do. We do need Engineers but not the # we have now. Most of the engineers we have do not know how to run TxDot like a buisness. As for Amadeo and David they can't wipe the S!!! off my ASS. Amadeo needs to watch his back because I think Chano will Turn on him and Teribo. Zane watch your ASS!!!!
Very one is correct the problem starts at the top and it makes it's way down. so the one to blame is the person at the top he makes all the decisions. as for the comment that David Casteel is as you put tring 2 blame Craig Clark you are wrong I am a hard working maintenance hand. I assume your are a DOA the had their nose up Craig Clarks Ass. The numbers don't lie when Casteel has left any place the road scores were up and when Craig Clark leaves the scores are at the bottom. It is about time this asshole is completely out of TxDOT the bastard is not even a Civil Engineer! so get your head out of his ass and look at the real facts.
Now aren't y'all a bunch of daisies. Bickering over degrees of intelligence, degrees and lack of degrees, P.E.s and MBAs, school of hard knocks. Dissension makes us weak. Band together. Take your quarrel and concerns to the house and senate members on the sunset advisory committee:House Members Carl Isett, Chair Dan Flynn Linda Harper-Brown Lois Kolkhorst Ruth Jones McClendon Senate Members Glenn Hegar, Jr., Vice Chair Kim Brimer Robert F. Deuell, M.D. Craig Estes Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa Be relentless with your mail, e-mail, phone calls and visits. Write your local reps and senate members also. Don't stop.
I agree totally with 10:53!!If you don't feel safe doing it publicly, continue to move your anger forward in a positive manner anonymously to your news outlets, or blogs such as Sal’s where we can begin to consolidate as employees of TxDOT.The division in our agency, which is apparent in the responses to this item, is an example of how those in power have been successful in staying in power. This is not the time to pit ourselves against one another. As an engineer, I would proudly stand with ANY TxDOT employee from anywhere in the state who has the fortitude to callout those currently in power positions who are carrying out their duties for the public and the dedicated employees as atrociously proven by the video from the Senate hearing shown here. We must channel this common anger we have towards Amadeo, the Commission and Perry so the public can see we are working for them. We do not like working for an agency which has a political agenda against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the citizens we serve. Aren’t you tired of being embarrassed to tell others you work for TxDOT because of the bad apples?Let's blow the lid off this place TOGETHER!!! Standing united, the few in power cannot hold us down forever. If you know about an unethical activity between TxDOT and your Representative, send the information to the House Committee on General Investigating & Ethics.http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Committees/MembershipCmte.aspx?LegSess=80R&CmteCode=C280OR to the Texas Ethics Commission:http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/index.htmlSal - Do you have any advice to help us bring down the Commission and Amadeo? Who to work through? Ideas to build an underground, internal TxDOT grass roots effort? Thanks!
Yes, TxDOT employees below the Assistant Executive Director level ARE angry and fearful: Saenz and the Administration DO lie and have been doing so, both to the public and Legislature, and the employees, for at least 14 months. Yes, restructuring IS progressing, despite Ms. Harper-Brown's direct statement during the Sunset Commission hearing that TxDOT shouldn't be making any changes until the Legislature convenes in January and they have a chance to look at the current structure. "Regional Managers" are being hired as I type.The "$36 million" savings from cutting 600 jobs: LIE. Let's do real math on a calculator, not in Saenz's back-door figures. Divide 35,000,000.00 by 600. You get an average salary of a little over $58,333.00/yearly. Basic health/medical benefits for the employee--NOT spouses/children--are paid by TxDOT, so that doesn't affect that, and other benefits are paid by the employee. There are VERY few support personnel, if any, who are not engineers making $58,000 a year!!! That is a fact. And the Administration is NOT looking to cut ANY engineering or engineering direct-support positions.TxDOT Admin made a bigger number error last year than the now infamous "1.1 billion dollar" one: It was 30 billion!!! While the funds from the gasoline tax are indeed dwindling--for the most part because Congress can't keep their fingers out of the pot (8 cents of every dollar is spent on interstate highway maintenance; 92 cents is porkbarelled or earmarked or "borrowed for other purposes")--but the "86 billion dollar shortfall" for FY 08-10 was contested by two state audit agencies. They used standard accounting models, and told both TxDOT and the Legislature the figure was 56 billion, not 86. TxDOT Admin was told to quit using the inflated figure--arrived at by still-unknown models--FOUR times before they slacked off. They were pushing (i.e., spin doctoring) for toll roads and the massive TTC-35. Unfortunately, without any external oversight, they're using it again...The Admin and Legal Affaris office also filed a lawsuit to prevent releasing the full plan for the TTC-35 to Texas landowners and taxpayers. When they finally were forced to reveal ALL that it involved, that is when the landowners and the taxpayers beat them up so bad!The restructuring has nothing to do with the Sunset Commission's report: it is entirely an attempt to subvert the Legislature's input into how Saenz, Casteel, Barton, Bass, Chase, and the rest simply want to do whatever they want to do, with no concern for either employees or the public. Not all of the Administration are engineers; Bass isn't, nor is Coby Chase. We have good engineers in the rank and file at the agency. Yes, we have a very few poor employees; but not many. Most of us truly care about the public and the taxpayer. I do. So do all those in my work group.But we ARE the targets of the back-room, closed-door meetings... and as a final figure sign-off, Saenz, when he created four of the Assistant Executive Director positions out of thin air near the end of last year or the first of this year, created a total annual salary expenditure of approximately $675,000.00. THOSE jobs... SO FAR... are not being cut. YES: both TxDOT employees and the taxpayers need to keep the HEAT on their legislators and the members of the Sunset Review Commission who reviewed TxDOT. The biggest part of the problem is at the top, not in the District offices and on the roads in the maintenance sections and those who support those operations. I've been there for many years, and USED to be proud of my agency. No longer. I still care. But my head and those of 600-1000 GOOD employees (yes, the 600 is bogus, too, thanks to Casteel and Saenz) are on the block... STILL. The "Friday Memorandum" is bs and subterfuge to shut us up, like sheep led to the slaugher.Ed
I agree we do need to stand as one. In 1991 & 1992 TxDot tryed this same thing with the move from 24 Dist. to 18 Dist. We as employees and elected officles came together and put a stop to the madness. The same can happen now. For over 30 years I have worked @ TxDot and if it can happen once it can happen twice.Our elected officles are on the same page as we are ( I have had several talks with them). Let's be a force that our adm. can't handle. God Bless the hard working TxDot employees!!!!
"construct,and maintain the transportation system in the state. None of these functions can be accomplished without engineers and without us, many of you would not have a job."8:11...If not for the maintenance workers you would not have a job either. Thats most of the problem at TxDOT. Useless bickering. I'm not sure about your district you work in, but in ours we do not build roads. That is usually contracted out. For the most part we maintain our roads. We can build them but most D.E.'s love to contract work out. With that mentality TxDOT Throws away a lot of money. Craig Clark failed as a D.E. In the five years at the Corpus District, not once did he meet with any maintenance workers. Do not tell me that he was busy either. Casteel at least made his rounds and shook many of the maint. workers hands. Craig did not. Maybe he was afraid to get dirty. Clark did on a regular basis meet with administration personnel. He had his monthly safety meetings with the DOA, purchasing and accounting. People of his choice that could do no wrong. And for that The corpus district failed financially, and has some of the lowest road ratings. He did e-mail Corpus from Austin at 11:00 Thursday night to tell them that he would be retiring in Sept. before it was to be announced in the Friday meeting the next morning. So yes most likely he was pressured to retire. Thank Goodness.Law makers need to step in.Amadao needs to step down. D.E.'s need to have lees power over his or her kingdom.
With all due respect to the Rolling Stones... a re-write of "Sympathy for the Devil":Sympathy For The Assistant Executive Director (of District Operations)(With apologies to the Rolling Stones… )Please allow me to introduce myselfI’m a man of stealth and hasteI’ve been around for a long, long yearsRuined many a man’s employment fateI was around when Jesus ChristTried to get me to change my waysMade damn sure I refused to heedAnd carried on as in previous daysCHORUS:Pleased to meet youHope you guessed my nameBullshit, lies, and hypocrisyAre the nature of my gameStuck around St. AustinburgWhen I thought it was the time for a changeI killed staff jobs with impunityEmployees screamed in vainI rode a snake in a Director’s rankWhen the restructuring raged and the Admin stankCHORUSI watched with glee While the employees fought To preserve the jobs they didI shouted out“Who killed the agency?”When after all, it was Omi and meLet me please introduce myselfI’m a man of stealth and hasteAnd I lay traps for good employeesWho get laid off in mysterious waysCHORUSCHORUS REPEATSJust as every cop is a criminal And all the sinners saintsSome good folks call me a lucifer‘Cause I’m in need of some restraintSo if you meet me, have some courtesyHave some sympathy and some tastePractice all your well-learned politicsOr I’ll lay your job to wasteCHORUSBest to listen to the Beggar's Banquet version of "Sympathy for the Devil" as you read along... Again, my apologies to the Stones. Some of us still have a sense of humor... barley.Ed
Odin says... As noted by Mr. Ed above, we even have comedians that work here at the state.Hopefully the Legislature will look into the latest attempt to fool the taxpayers with this regionalization Boondoogle. As for you Mr 8:11"I know I could figure out how to do your job long before you could obtain the required education and licensure to do mine." Sally Struthers at ICS online can supply anybody with your licensure with no more than a few hours a day in front of your computer. The general consensus here is that THE D.E's are the problem, not mid level engineers. But when you pull that inked toilet paper off your wall and wave it around as a sign of your superiority then you appear to be no better than the upper brass you so despise. The bottom line here is that as pointed above, we need to stick together to prove that some of the jobs that are proposed to be cut would not address what Sunset has found wrong. As part of a maintenance office we provide TxDOT with cost savings labor for the same, if not better product than any contracted or out sourced service provided.
I particularly like 2:27 PM, August 23, 2008's comment about ALL TxDOT good employees standing together! We MUST. We have GOOD engineers, maintenance personnel, accountants, purchasers, warehouse folks, human resources personnel, adminstrators on the district level, equipment mechanics, buildings and grounds people, sign shop employees, traffic folks, designers, Right Of Way agents, VTR folks, many others working for the department and the taxpayers and the citizens of this great state.We've GOT to stand together against the "snake riders in a Director's rank" as in my re-write of "Sympathy for the Devil". The "Friday Memo" is actually convincing some naive employees that the Admin CARES about employees... shame, really. Terrible shame: they DO NOT. They care only about their own personal backroom agenda, and their own positions; they have no respect for the Legislature, the members of the Sunset Commission, the public, employees, or Texas. There you go. Folks with TxDOT: STAND UNITED. We've got to keep the pressure and contact with Legislators UP, UP, UP!Yes, in 91-92, the Admin wanted to go to 9 districts, not 18, from 24... and ended up with 25 (Laredo was added to the then-current 24), because the LEGISLATURE decided that was best, NOT TxDOT Admin or the pirates on the Transportation Commission.Sunset NEVER said rank and file employees should be reduced: their anger was directed solely at the subterfuge of the Commission and the Administration. They actually said we needed MORE employees in the rank and file: contract managers/administrators and enforcement personnel for car dealers and billboards, and said NOTHING about cutting jobs or restructuring the agency.Saenz's and Casteel's "vision" is entirely THEIR OWN, and Bass got promoted for allowing the 1.1 bil screwup. There you go. STAND and SPEAK OUT.Ed
ok...here is what I think, Amadeo,Casteel,and Bass and anyone else that has ties to these people needs to step down NOW. I have been with TXDOT for 23 yrs, never have I been treated this way. I DO NOT believe anything that comes out of Austin TX HQ. For the last few months I have been treated like 2nd class person. I have been in the same job as dist. welder for 15yrs. I AM NOT STUPID. I was in the Army for over 20yrs, and when sonething like this happens they don't mess with the troops they get the Gen. and his staff and send them to BFE. Knotheads, it is time to step down, do us all that favor, because I will never trust any of ya'll again. One last comment, please put someone in the top positions that has a lot of business common sense & a little bit of engineering experience.
I agree with both of the above posts. While my tenure is not as lengthy as the two above, these last few months have reduced my faith in the leadership within TxDOT to dwindle. What once felt like pride to come to work has turned into disgusted mornings and days full of frustration. The admins have way to much power to do as they wish. Austin HQ allowed this problem to grow by ignoring it and now most districts have spun out of control. You do not move forward by cutting your workers. You do so by changing the acting regime. I work in Fleet operations. We are classified as a maintenance office. Our pay classification is maintenance. Yet they have thrown the Districts shops into the support pool. This move illustrates that this so called regionalization is not addressing what sunset has found. It was merely a numbers game aimed to add more dollars to the so called savings they claim they will achieve. When we can install a clutch in a haul truck for $700.00 in parts and the small in house labor for our under paid technicians in one day, versus the $1400.00 to $1600.00 price with a four day turnaround time from a vendor, then I think any one can find the savings if I highlighted it for them. And trust me I have had to do that for over paid DOA's and district auditors. When a unit is returned to service quicker with in house repairs, than the delay to road repairs is reduced. This also equates to a savings to the taxpayer. We are Stuarts to the state and taxpayers. We consistently strive to maintain our equipment that taxpayers have purchased in a respectable state. We also diligently monitor vendors repairs to our equipment in attempt to save the taxpayer money. And for this we are expendable. Not the individuals like Bass. That Texas is how your money is wasted.
Werewolves Of TxDOT(My apologies to the late Warren Zevon’s spirit)I saw a werewolf with an unemployment plan in his handWalkin’ along East Eleventh Street in the rainHe was lookin’ for the place called Staff SupportGonna a big dish of reduction-in-force chow meinCHORUS:AhoooooWerewolves of TxDOTAhooooooooooooAhoooooWerewolves of TxDOTAhooooooooooooYou hear him howlin’ around your District’s doorYou better not let him inLittle ol’ employees got mutiliated late last weekWerewolves of TxDOT againCHORUSHe’s a hairy-handed gentWho ran ‘em up without relentLately he’s been overheard in AdminYou better stay away from himHe’ll rip your lungs out, TimHut! I’d like to meet his creatorCHORUSWell, I saw David C. walkin’ with the OmikingDoin’ the werewolves of TxDOTI saw James and John B. walkin’ with the OmikingDoin’ the werewolves of TxDOTI saw a werewolf drinkin’ a pina colada at Deidre D.’sAnd his hair was Perry perfectCHORUSThe album is “Excitable Boy”, should like to have the music to go with these. There you go.Ed
TxDOT Folks, BEWARE!Some districts are currently on Hurricane Gustav alert... With proposed personnel cuts in my area of 52% in near future (David Casteel blessed by Omi, A.K.A. Amadeo Saenz), you can rest assured that ALL the current FTEs are expected to SACRIFICE the weekend, and the Labor Day Holiday, in response to WHEREVER Gustav goes...MUCH anger and resentment among those of us in support who are expected to do so, and for the remaining 2008 Hurricane Season, while this bunch wants us GONE... I'll do it. Likely so will most. Despite the insecurity and lack of appreciation because we care about the CITIZENS of this state! But, BEWARE when hurricane season is over: the axes are still sharpened and in the woodshed at the Greer Building for the slaughter of the lambs who sacrifice so much when a damned hurricane or flood hits our geographical region! Modest Proposal (apologies to Jonathan Swift): hand Saenz, Casteel, Barton, Bass, Simmons, the other few, and the Transportation Commission a hard hat, safety vest, and a gas can and let them work a contraflow!!! Been there, done that, was called Hurricane Rita. Didn't see the nabobs out on 45 or 290 or 6. Did YOU?But, we're trained monkeys... uh friggin' huh. Just a thought. Y'all keep up the contact with the Sunset Commission and your legislators, and the Attorney General. Maybe we should throw the State Audit Office in there... Keep pushing. Ol' Ed won't have time for a bit; I'm on notice for the weekend! Trained f***king monkey that I am... because they NOW need my 52% friggin' percent! Until they don't... Fight, Folks. FIGHT. I remain,Ed Poe
Yeah Right Amadeo, According to your Friday August 29th, "all employees should fill their gas tanks" in anticipation of the coming gulf storm. I know you 6 figure salary types can't understand it, but us "regular" folks only get paid once a month, and that is on Tuesday, 9/2/08. A little late by then. Then again, we don't have the priviledge of a state provided vehicle and/or reimbursement either......
Employees better pay close attention to all the "quiet before the storm". I watched the commission meeting last week and John Barton spoke very clearly when he said we plan to regionalize and have it implemented by July 2009 when he was briefing the commssion on what efforts TXDOT was making to address sunset's recommendations. AGAIN-where does it say they need to fix us at the bottom? I think that the auditor report CONFIRMS that the top of this organization needs to go. Be on the lookout in the upcoming months on the Texas Register. TXDOT has a plan to address the "organization structure" and quietly put it out there so no one will comment. Look at the September Commission meeting agenda. They have plans and they aren't telling us what those plans are! If you see something out there, comment because if you don't they'll let it slide under the rug like everything else!
According to our regionalization meeting in July, Mr. Mario Medina told us that on September 1st we would know for sure what the plan was and what options we would have as affected employees. We'll, September 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th came around and I'm still waiting for the "email".They are banking on the damn and infamous "Memo" released by Amadeo a month ago which was carefully crafted at "shutting us up!" and "stop the barking".There is no stopping them. They are still moving full-steam-ahead with this non-sense plan. Meanwhile, our districts are suffering and loosing valuable talent. My district is seeing the results of this first hand.Amadeo and Crew. If you're reading this, I want you to know how your stupid pet tricks are affecting not only employees careers, but how many families you are hurting in the process.You have no reason to worry because your family is taken care of. Your son is comfortably seating at a consultant's desk, benefiting from TxDOT contracts. Is that even legal? Has anybody looked into this?Now you have rewarded Mr. Mario Medina, one of your henchmen, with a comfortable position as a DE for one of the largests districts in TxDOT. Nice treat for your pitbull.You keep on playing your secrecy games as we poor little support personel wait for word from the all-mighty (Amadeo) on how our Family's standard of living will be affected.I feel much better now. I don't think GroupWise could stand the passion of my words!
To the TxDOT employee on the Sept. 4, 2008 comments.I can totally relate to your fustration. You see, that is how Amadeo works. Step back and look at all of the actions that have transpired since the engineering consultant you elude to where you find Amadeo's son, fomer Deputy Dist. Engineer (Badiozzamani), his son, all countless former TxDOT employees. Let's just call it what it is "TxDOT Pharr District Consultng". The key crew member who has been very silent and dicusses what is occuring on a daily baisis with Amadeo is Mario Jorge, your District Engineer. The taxpayers monies must continue to be awarded to the engineering company to keep the salary levels of the interested parties there, otherwise they too would have to apply for jobs else where. It's funny that no one has caught the fact that "it is conflict of interest" and Amadeo, Mario, Beh know it works and how it was set up years back but they rest assured you won't rock the boat as other consulting have expressed this but they too do not want to upust Amaedo's crew because the will not see the $$$$ their way.Understand,consultants don't bid for work. They simply make a presentation and then get voted on by the District crew who know what must be done.PL
Once a crook always a crook. Amadao needs the Boot. One thing I cant stand is when we have to be led by a bold face worthless liar. TxDot turned into TxCrap. Mario doesnt know his A** from A......Np wait he does....It's his job to keep his nose up the brass's A**. Wayyy up there. The man is a joke. In our meeting with Mario one employee made the comment "What would happen to my job?" and retarded Dumb A** reply's, "it's not Your job". Well I hate to tell you Gomer pile reject, that fat cushy D.E. job in S.A. is probably not yours by your statement. Go back to grade school and at least graduate from there. You work like other D.E.'s You have your favorites and you reward them based on how far uo your butt their nose goes. Hell it's obvious you dont know what your doing....Chano pulled that crap right under your nose. And you still has the stupidity to tell us that "it doesn't happen in my district". Well you retard it did.....
Well The Houston Employees got a message from the esteemed interim DE today (late) "STRONGLY encourage 'non-essential' employees not to show up to work Friday. Of course they need to use comp time, vacation, or go into neg comp time". At a time of maximum stress for ALL afeected employees and thier families, now those deemed "non-essential" are told not to show up and to "make it up later". Thanks for the care of the "Hard-working and loyal" employees.
What ever happened to "the three amigos" management employees who were indicted by the FBI Houston office on April 2008 on birbery charge on a federally funded hwy?It just seems to disappear into thin air. It seems that deplomatic immunity rules when it comes to punishing manangement at any government level. "where is the truth'?
UPDATE: Maintenance administrator Chano Falcon was sentenced to 5 years in fedeal prison for taking bribes from an FBI sting operation on federal projects. As for the other two managers: Ray Llanes got a six months probation and Noe Beltran got a 6 month federal prison sentence and a six month probation. Way to go district 21.
It sure seems that TXDOT will begin the new year with a black cloud over their head, and that black cloud may linger for some time to come. The way they see it is; time will make things go away because people have a short, short, memory. And that may be their only ace up their sleeve.
IF AMADEO SAENZ HAS NOT BEEN FIRED BY NOW THAT MEANS HE IS BEING PROTECTED AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL. AND HE IS MOST LIKELY TO CONTINUE HIS CORRUPTION OPERATION AS USUAL WITH THE BLESSING FROM THE VERY TOP. THE MORE TXDOT CLAIMS TO BE TRASPARENT THE MORE IT IS OBSCURE. SO WHAT'S NEW ABOUT TXDOT? NOTHING. THE MORE THEY CLAIM TO CHANGE TO SAVE TAX PAYER MONIES, THE MORE THEY SPEND AND SCREW THE TAX PAYER.
Regionalization, compressed work week: in what direction is TXDOT heading? TXDOT is in place just spinning its wheels, making a lot of noise but, not going anywhere. It just makes it appear that changes are taking place for a more efficient TXDOT but, that may be farther from the truth. Regionalization will make it less efficient because now there are no people on the ground to keep track of the work and make decisions in need. The tricky part will be to reverse regionalization; once it’s done is no going back. As for the compressed work week, the tax payer will get the short end of the stick. We had a compressed work week in the past and it did not work. Why? Employees would come in at 7:00 A.M. or later, shoot the breeze for an hour and would not start working until an hour later, take a half and hour lunch per say, and shut down at 4:00 P.M. and leave at 4:30P.M. So where was the savings? Less work / more pay. For those that usually would take off every Friday it was great. A three day weekend was a blessing. As for the work load, it just kept building up.
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