Public Werks Possibly Seeking Legislation

Just heard a rumor that Public Werks is in Austin shopping amendments that would help them get around some of the obstacles they are facing in getting approval for the Blacklands Toll Road. Apparently they don’t want to have to deal with NCTCOG/RTC, NTTA, local officials, and especially the PUBLIC! I have not been able to get any specifics, but we have to stay ahead of this. PLEASE contact the House and Senate transportation committees, and let them know there is much public opposition to this project. Tell them why this is a bad idea for our communities and how this corporation is seeking to profit on the backs of private citizens. Public Werks does not care what the public wants, and they don’t want you to speak out. They are denying the public the transparency we deserve. Let them know you are still here and you are not going to be silent. Click the link below to email everyone on the House & Senate transportation committees. If you can, call some of the members as well, especially those closest to this area. Their phone numbers are below. (Be sure to include your full name, address, and phone number in all correspondence.)

Email Transportation Committees

House Transportation Committee
Rep. Larry Phillips (Sherman-Denison/Grayson Cty area) – 512-463-0297
Rep. George Lavender (East Texas) – 512-463-0692
Rep. Allen Fletcher (Houston) – 512-463-0661
Rep. Debbie Riddle (Houston) – 512-463-0572
Rep. Linda Harper-Brown (Irving/North Texas) – 512-463-0641
Rep. Yvonne Davis (Dallas) – 512-463-0598
Rep. Cindy Burkett (Mesquite/North Texas) – 512-463-0464
Rep. Ruth McClendon (San Antonio) – 512-463-0708
Rep. Joe Pickett (El Paso) – 512-463-0596
Rep. Mando Martinez (Hidalgo County/the Rio Grande Valley) – 512-463-0530
Rep. Robert Guerra (Hidalgo County/the Rio Grande Valley) – 512-463-0578

Representative Dan Flynn – (512) 463-0880
Representative Scott Turner – (512) 463-0484
Representative Jodie Laubenberg – (512) 463-0186
Senator Bob Deuell – (512) 463-0102
Senator Ken Paxton – (512) 463-0108
Senator Craig Estes – (512) 463-0130

RTC Applies the Brakes

Finally someone recognizes that this project has been on the fast track with VERY little public support. The RTC has basically told TTC/Public Werks and Hunt County that they need to slow down and follow procedure. RTC indicates that this project has NOT done due diligence in informing the public and determining if this project is really needed. The link below is to a video of the RTC meeting on March 14, 2013. I am including a list of the relevant segments so you do not have to watch the entire video, unless you are inclined to do so. After clicking the link below, click on Item #10 on the right hand side of the page. Then you can skip to the following segments.

minutes 2:00-3:00
minutes 4:30-5:00
minutes 7:50-18:36
(This is the discussion segment. Judge Horn is in the red shirt, Michael Morris is the gentleman speaking on behalf of COG, and Duncan Webb (sitting close to Judge Horn) is a commissioner from Collin County. Webb is in favor of the move by COG to study this further. Collin Co. is not on board with the toll road.)

Meeting in Austin with Dan Flynn

I met with Rep. Dan Flynn yesterday in Austin. He is well aware of our situation. However, the only people he has heard from in person are those in favor of the road. He is in favor of public-private-partnerships as a means for funding roads in Texas. But he also realizes the importance of private property rights NOT being abused through eminent domain. He most likely can not and will not stop this road. He will, however, work to ensure the citizens are most fairly compensated for our loss. His best advice, “DON’T TAKE THE FIRST OFFER!” and “STICK TOGETHER!”
By the way, the advice he gave is basically the same as what the eminent domain lawyer said. I don’t think this means we as a group give up our fight against the road. This is a worst case scenario of what we do at the very end if/when it comes down to that. Hopefully, based on the RTC meeting last night, things are going to be moving a little slower.
Dan Flynn will meet with anyone who will make an appointment. It’s not that far to Austin and he has local offices. I encourage EVERYONE to take the time to talk to him IN PERSON. He said we were the only 2 people he had seen who were opposed to the road. I may not agree with everything he does, but he treated us with dignity and respect. Our local leaders could learn a thing or two from him about how to handle the public when the public is not on the same side as they are. At least Flynn didn’t accuse us of being conspiracy theorists and spreading fear and panic.