11/09/2008

I Say Good-bye.

To all my friends, I say good-bye in this final post to my muckraker blog.

In 2004 I wondered if I could stop a toll tax on a 100% tax paid bridge near my home. Within a year, I found out that with a lot of hard work and a community of friends, together we could.

As is human nature, to always want more, I wanted to ax more freeway tolls from the Gov. Rick Perry/Sen. Kirk Watson double tax plans for Austin and Texas.

Success can take a toll on other areas of one’s life.

I would eat and sleep the fight for about four years, doing just enough to hold on to everything else as the months slipped away. A number of times that obsession came too close to taking my family and my home from me.

I decided to move on.

In early July we put our home up for sale and received a cash offer in 10 days. Part of the deal was a super fast closing. So within three weeks we went from a sign in the front yard to driving away in a U-Haul filled with everything we own towards Southern Illinois.

My new priorities are my health, my family and maximizing the efficiency of our 5 year old solar passive home.

I realized the other day that I moved from a city with 1,000,000 people to a town of 400.

There are moments that I feel some culture shock, but other than that, just about everything else is falling into place. Just day’s after moving here I created a rewarding working relationship with an organization in a nearby town that does great things for individuals and families in need.

I get to help my new community and I get paid for it.

To my past enemies: Those politicians who ignore the public will and have yet to be fired. I don’t wish evil on you. I don’t have to. I believe that the natural order of the world will take care of you just fine.

To all my great friends, I wish you all the best.
And, I say good-bye.
: )

UPDATE: The corrupt Austin Chronicle has tried to insult me with their latest article. Here is WHY.

29 comments:

Porkus Maximus Tex: said...

Sal,

Thank you a thousand times over for lending your talents, time, and energy to this fight.

Texas needs more selfless attack dogs to go after the gutless know-nothing career politicians; the crony contractors; the greedy unaccountable quasi-governmental authorities; the cement-headed bureaucrats; the corporate welfare lobbyists; the conniving investment bankers, the globalist ideologues; the political PR firms; and of course, the slimy rat pack of attorneys who enable them.

You did MORE than your share, and you did it well. We will continue to use your blog and web site as a resource in our efforts.

Your legacy will live on!

Good luck with your new life. You will leave us with many fond memories. (Who can forget your Perry Land Grab video!)

I wish you all the best.

Your Humble Servant,

Porkus Maximus

Mike Mc said...

All the best to you Sal. You are not the only one packing up and moving out of Austin. My family and I decided to move as well. With the stress of the TROLL department, backdoor WALMARTS, and paying 65 million to a developer of high end shopping centers we don't shop at.

Well, we have had enough as well. Take care of yourself and I wish you all the best. I can only hope karma comes around to the TROLLS, CITY COUNCIL, and all the others who made middle class suck in Austin.

Anonymous said...

Sal you're my hero. I wish the best for you and can't thank you enough for what you've done. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

You did so much to help Austin and Texas. Your leaving creates a huge void, that will hopefully get filled by another with your talent and dedication.

Thanks for everything!

Anonymous said...

I wish you well.

Anonymous said...

Sal,

I am still mourning the loss of Tim Russert, as I always looked forward to Sunday mornings of good coffee and Meet The Press. And what did I do every other morning of the week? Make my coffee and sit down to read your blog, The Muckraker. I have been missing your entries for several months, and to think you are gone for good is almost too much to bear. I have no idea who will fill the void you are leaving.

As a fellow citizen of Southwest Travis County, I often spoke out to my friends and neighbors against the pro-toll politicians Gerald Daughterey, Brewster McCracken, Dawna Dukes, Nyle Maxwell, Kirk Watson, and Rick Perry. I learned so much from you. I always admired your obsession for getting documents and information against these crooks. And, it saddens me greatly that there is probably a huge smirk on the face of Kirk Watson and Brewster McCracken knowing that you have moved away, and their lives just got a lot easier.

I used to wonder how your family dealt with your public outcry against the Tollroad Establishment. You were the spokesperson against tolls on the news and in the media publications of Central Texas. That must have been so hard on your family. I want to thank your wife for putting up with as much of it as she could while you were here, because you really did an amazing service to us all, especially those of us living in Oak Hill.

I wish you well in Illinois. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me and my family. Those CAMPO meetings will never be the same without you! :o)

VTH

Anonymous said...

Take Care Sal, Great job over the years. You efforts for Austin were amazing. Good Luck in Illinois.

Wes Benedict said...

Best wishes, Sal.

Rick said...

Sal, best wishes on your new ventures. Small towns are the birthplaces of America. I too am leaving Texas very soon for a town even smaller. Time to leave the rats to their races. I can live self sufficienty much easier where I am going. My plan is also to help others although getting paid for it will be a rarity.

Anonymous said...

Adios Amigo! I'm sure you can find some tollers up there.

Craig Young

Sal Costello said...

11:15 AM,

Man, your telling me...I miss Tim Russert too. He was the best. Great reporter who always did his homework...and he always had the right tone and temperament.

Your Pal Sal
: )

Anonymous said...

We'll miss the hell outta you Sal. As a member of a 391 commission, I can tell you this blog was an invaluable resource and a constant source of motivation when things looked bleak. I pledge to keep up the fight on the TTC for you and all expatriots. Although your talents can not be replaced, we need someone to take up the mantle in your stead.

God speed.............

Freak Politics said...

Sal,

Thanks for shining a big bright light on this issue.

Good for you for having the wisdom and grace to know when to say when.

Best of luck with your endeavors in Illinois!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you go man! Too bad you didn't have an apprentice in training, or DID YOU??? Anyone else out there up for taking over the fight?? For the sake of all humanity in Austin I hope someone can fill your shoes Sal................

Peace brother and thanks for all you've accomplished here!!

Anonymous said...

One of the great emails I could share:

Dear Sal

We have been out of town visiting family, and I just now saw the news about your moving. I thought something was in the works because of your recent slow-down in posting. I hope you and your family enjoy your new community. Coupland is about that size, and we are trying to preserve the good qualities of a very small town.

Thanks for all your work over the years. You accomplished so much, and I don't know if there is anyone else who can or will take your place in the leadership against tolls, first, and then against the Corridor. I remember the first time we talked. I saw your ad against the toll road system in the Statesman and called to talk to you about the Corridor. You said you were getting ready to send out an email against tolls and would add something against the Corridor if I could get you a brief statement, which I did. Thanks for all your subsequent work against the Corridor.

Again, hope you can find peace in your new home. Sometimes I wonder if I had known of all the threats we would have to fight in our area, beginning with the Austin airport north of Manor in the 80's, would we have decided to settle on my husband's family farm, or would we have gone someplace else. Decades of fighting, rather than doing something else. Oh well . . .

Sincerely,
S.

Anonymous said...

Sal...
We're gonna miss you man. A big bucket of thanks for your efforts to keep me (us) informed about who was (is) pulling the strings on the Toll ripoff scheme.
Give your wife a hug from Austin for helping us out... at least 90% of Austin REALLY appreciates what you've done here.
Take care... and keep in touch.
W2

Nate said...

Sal. I've never seen any activist organization that I was interested in that had the success that yours had. We can all learn by your example. I know it was tough on you and I appreciate and respect the tremendous amount of work and time you spent.

Just this blog was an enormous effort. I truly hope you leave up this blog. I know many people still use this as a reference.

I wish you and your family well in your new life.

Thanks again, you will be missed, Nate

Sal Costello said...

Hey Nate,

This blog will stay up.

Thanks - Enjoy
Sal
: )

Sal Costello said...

Hey Everyone,

Please see the links to "Muckraker Gold" on the right side of this blog to find great articles and dirty corrupt politicos who ignore the public will.

Your Pal Sal
: )

Anonymous said...

HEY SAL, WHAT ABOUT THIS PROPOSAL: KEEP THE BLOG RUNNING AND JUST ADD A POST WHENEVER YOU HAVE THE TIME. SINCE YOU'RE NOT IN AUSTIN AND WILL NO LONGER BE A LOCAL ACTIVIST, PERHAPS YOU COULD STILL REPORT THE NEWS HERE??? I MEAN WE COULD BEGAN TO HAVE SOME REAL SUCCESS KNOCKING DOWN TOLL ROAD PLANS HERE WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR OR TWO. WITH MORE AND MORE CAMPO MEMBERS VOTED OUT OF OFFICE. DEMOCRATS GAINING POWER WITHIN THE STATE. AND WITH RICK PERRY POTENTIALLY GETTING KICKED OUT OF OFFICE IN 2010. ETC. ETC. WE COULD REALLY USE THIS SITE AS A POINT OF REFERENCE TO EDUCATE OTHERS- WHICH WOULD HELP IF IT LOOKED UPDATED, EVEN IF ONLY ONCE PER QUARTER.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! Even posts every other month or every semester about toll road malfeance across the country would be a gem of a resource.

Anonymous said...

Since I told Sal my good-byes a couple of days ago on this blog, I just wanted to add a little something.

This is totally off-subject, but I thought some of you might want to know...Last night, I saw on KXAN that two candidates are considering a run for Austin mayor in 2009. That is when Wynn's term is up, right? Anyway, it is Brewster McCracken, OF COURSE! And our favorite "Anti-toll Tough Grandma", Carole Keeton Strayhorn. Now, she did not do so well in Austin during the last Gubernatoral race. So she will need a lot of people talking up her anti-toll platform. But she has been Austin's mayor before (from 1977 to 1983), and as Comptroller she was surely against the TTC and PPPs. She would make a great addition to the CAMPO board...definately someone on OUR side. If you haven't seen this in the news yet, I thought ya'll might like to know.

Anonymous said...

From Dan Jasinski, a heartfelt thanks to Sal and his family for his (& their) time, efforts, and sacrifices for the common good of all (against the self-serving greed of special interests). FYI, Sal, I intend to continue to provide citizen's comments locally against the corrupting troller consortium. I, too, miss Russ and Sal with my morning coffee.

Sal Costello said...

Man! Again I'm mentioned alongside the great Tim Russert. To kind. The ultimate compliment that I could never live up to.

You the man Dan!

Folks, Dan coined the phrase "AustinTollParty" and I made into a website and an informal name for our group.

And, yes. I might post something new here a handful of times a year.

Your Pal Sal,
: )

Anonymous said...

I liked knowing you were around, Sal. Best wishes downstate and keep blogging!

Gordon Walton said...

Sal, you inspired me to activism and opened my eyes to the corruption here in Austin and you definitely will be missed. We will continue to investigate and expose those elitist criminals who put their own interests ahead of the people.

God bless you and your family!

P.S. Wish I'd known you'd needed more help back when it would have mattered most!

Anonymous said...

On November 20, 2008 Pharr District Maintenance Administrator Chano Falcon 56 was sentenced in Federal Court in McAllen Tx. to 5 years in Federal Prison for demanding money from contractors before he would certify their work on highway projects as complete, as per “The Monitor” McAllen based newspaper. U.S. District Judge Randy Crane said he intended Falcon’s sentence to send a message to other public officials. The other two section managers Ray Llanes and Noe Beltran will be sentenced on December 4, 2008 on similar charges.

Anonymous said...

GOOD LUCK SAL. I HOPE YOU MOVE BACK TO AUSTIN SOMEDAY. IF THE CITY HAD ANY SCRUPLES THEY WOULD NAME A ROAD AFTER YOU CONSIDERING ALL YOUR TIRELESS AND SELFLESS EFFORTS: "THE SAL COSTELLO EXPRESSWAY"...... HAS A NICE RING TO IT!!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck Sal. You will be missed. Thanks for all the work you did to clean up politics in Austin!