Nest Session TxDOT Is In The Legislatures Hands

Posted in Around The State, Commentary, Privatization, Road Issues at 1:15 pm by wcnews

AS EOW’s commentary below pointed out, Thursday’s first Transportation Commission hearing with Deirdre Delisi at the helm was aimed at the legislature. As reported by the FWST, компютриPanel to call for axing Texas’ transportation board, (Tip to Sal) yesterday The Sunset Commission is set to recommend a conservator run TxDOT instead of a 5 member commission.

A legislative group will recommend next week that a conservator take over the Texas Department of Transportation, an agency under fire for planning toll roads in areas that don’t want them and failing to keep track of its finances properly, officials said.

The staff of the Sunset Advisory Commission, which periodically reviews state agencies to see whether they’re still functioning properly, is expected to release a report on the department next week.

The Transportation Department has been overseen by a three- or five-member commission with members appointed by the governor throughout its 91-year history. But several people who have reviewed drafts of the sunset report say one of the key recommendations is to replace the current five-member transportation commission with a single commissioner who would serve a two-year, paid term and report to the Legislature.

“TxDOT has become an agency that is focused on making money and deciding policy, and they need to get back to the business of building roads,” said state Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving, who serves on the sunset commission.

Harper-Brown declined to comment on the report itself. But she said better communication with Texans — especially lawmakers — is crucial to the Transportation Department restoring its credibility.

“Whatever tools we give them, that’s what they need to work with,” she said.

With TxDOT, in recent years, becoming a vehicle for the right wing’s ideologically and incoherent drive to build nothing but corporate toll roads all over Texas, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that this type of change is being recommended. Especially since they have virtually ignored the public’s distaste for their “toll everything” plan. They only Thursday started showing signs that they’d start listening to Texans and the legislature.  Vince believes this recommendation will be ignored by the governor and the legislature next session.

The Sunset review of TxDOT will surely be a tense struggle over the next year. Changes will definitely occur, but whether the commission will be disbanded for a conservator is hard to say. Regional issues are a big part of the justification for commissioners. Nothing should be ruled out at this point because most everyone’s opinion of TxDOT, excluding the governor that is, is not good.

1 Comment »

  1. HeavyDuty said,

    June 2, 2008 at 3:13 am

    TxDOT HQ may change from 5 people to 1 person, but there can be little real change till the legislature provides sufficient funding to stop the sale of TX toll roads to for profit companies; raising fuel taxes and spending the revenue on transportation infrastructure only.

    Don’t hold your breath!!!

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