Thursday, August 24, 2006

Candidate's Alamo Regional Mobility Authority Workshop Report

I attended an Alamo Regional Mobility Authority workshop last night, held at UTSA. Bexar County Commissioner Art Hall and CD23 candidate Ciro Rodriguez listened to the formal presentations but left before the working groups were formed. There were only 15 or so citizens in attendance.

Scott Erickson, of the Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization and Terry Brechtel of the Alamo RMA gave formal presentations. The presentations were targeted towards demographics and transportation needs associated with the predicted growth over the next 25 years.

We broke into two work groups to prioritize road construction over the next 25 years. The projects we selected were based on revenue projections from the 20 cents per gallon tax. My group selected road projects that supported growth on the south side of San Antonio. Our logic was based on the Toyota plant opening this fall and the construction on a new Texas A&M campus. We ignored the north side for environmental reasons. The Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone is located on the north side so we decided to deter growth on the north side by not expanding the road networks.

The next phase of the group work was to decide if we wanted to speed up the construction phase and add more projects by tolling some roads. I explained the Cintra problem, the tie in to the Trans Texas Corridor and the 50 year commitment. After much discussion my group voted “no tolls” period. We told the facilitator that a new fuel tax of about 7 cents per gallon would solve the funding shortfall at a minimum cost. It was refreshing to see folks from other parts of the city saying NO to tolls.

The other work group was toll neutral. They did not trust the current toll plan but was open to the idea if full disclosure were available.

I was uplifted to witness folks saying no to tolls, when both sides of the issue were presented. We activists must continue to attend these meetings and speak the truth.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

NPAT Revisited

Little Larry's Vote-Smart Bio and complete NPAT are now available here:

http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=MTX92828

Frank Corte has yet again refused to answer the NPAT:

http://www.vote-smart.org/npat.php?can_id=BS023566


We've talked about this before, so I will hush mah mouf on the subject and let Project Vote Smart provide all the commentary for me. Click away!