halt toll plans

  • Below the belt: Wolff attacks Governor for pulling the plug on tolls

    Link to article here.

    In a brazen insult to the leaders of his own party, Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff hurled below the belt comments at Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Lt Governor Dan Patrick for keeping their campaign promise to pull the plug on tolls.

    Below are the relevant outrageous comments from Wolff, followed by more comments where Wolff portrays himself as a statesman for shoving tolls down constituents throats despite their persistent opposition to the unacountable new taxes, and accuses the governor and lt gov of being political puppets. Railroading unwanted taxes upon voters without their consent isn't statesmanlike, it's being a bully sold out to rent-seeking special interests who want a government-sanctioned monopoly to make Texas commuters their own personal ATM machines. Reducing the tax burden on working families and keeping promises to voters is a whole lot tougher than taking the easy way out by ratcheting up spending, increasing taxes, and handing out the public's money to well-connected cronies and special interests in multi-billion toll road deals.

    Apparently, he suffers memory loss in addition to substance abuse. Wolff says here that, “If they want to sit in Austin and decide that toll roads can’t be used, then they better damn well offer us another tool that will accomplish the same thing." Passage of Prop 1 in 2014 and Prop 7 in 2015 was designed to supply additional funding precisely so that policy makers could replace tolls. Wolff knows it. He pushed for passage of both. In fact, the last time Wolff ran for re-election he bragged that he removed tolls from the expansion plans for US 281 (in response to the public opposition after pushing tolls for more than a decade). So his 'blistering' comments aimed at the Governor and Lt Gov. are strictly political, not 'statesmanlike.'

    A true statesman, retiered engineer and successful businesman Don Dixon, supplies a well written repsonse below the story.

    Highway panel dumps planned I-35 toll lanes
    By Bruce Selcraig
    Staff Writer
    Express-News
    December 15, 2017

    A state transportation panel has dropped a plan to eventually add a pair of toll lanes to Interstate 35 from San Antonio to Austin, removing it and every other proposed tollway from its 10-year, $70 billion outline of 15 major road projects.

    The stretch of I-35 in Central Texas is annually listed among the most congested in the nation. The 5-0 vote Thursday by the Texas Transportation Commission illustrated how the state’s political system continues to eliminate options to deal with it, observers said.

    The decision, made at the behest of Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, received a blistering rebuke Friday from Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff, a fellow Republican.

    “Our governor and lieutenant governor are not the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to transportation,” said Wolff, who chairs the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which allocates billions of dollars in state and federal funds for local highway projects.

    “If they want to sit in Austin and decide that toll roads can’t be used, then they better damn well offer us another tool that will accomplish the same thing. I don’t like toll roads … but this just guarantees more gridlock. Doing nothing is not acceptable.”

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