MPO power grab, Round II
MPO may vote to give Chair, Mayor, & County Judge unilateral powers, change a quorum, make tolling easier
San Antonio, TX, Monday, June 16, 2008 – At Monday’s San Antonio Metropolitan Planning Organization (SAMPO) meeting, the Board will vote on proposed changes to its bylaws that would water-down what constitutes a quorum, allow the County Judge and Mayor to unilaterally appoint MPO alternates instead of the entire Council or Commissioners Court as stated in their charters (which may include UN-elected appointees in the place of elected ones), make changes to the scoring of projects that encourage more tolling, and give the Chair and Director more unilateral powers and decision-making.
“We the people have seen these tactics by the political establishment time and again just like the repeated attempts to kill term limits. If the taxpayers reject your UN-Democratic policies, just keep bringing them up time and again until you wear the voters out, catch them off-guard, or beat them into submission. Well, the public rejected this power grab last year, and we reject it again now,” observes Terri Hall, TexasTURF.org Founder.
Last year, this same attempt by the Mayor to appoint an unelected alternate (that would have voting powers in the place of an elected appointee) was soundly rejected by the public and tabled at the City Council. (See more history below.)
The changes to the quorum would allow unfilled vacancies NOT to count toward the 50% quorum needed to conduct business. Since the SAMPO is nearly half appointees, this would encourage the vacancies that most often are the result of a change of elected officials to remain unfilled, while appointees then make multi-billion dollar tax decisions with NO accountability to the taxpayers.
WHO: Taxpayers through Texans United for Reform and Freedom (TURF) and MPO Board members State Representative David Leibowitz and Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson.
WHAT: MPO meeting where they’ll vote on proposals to make UN-Democratic changes to the bylaws and change the scoring of projects to make tolling easier
WHEN: Monday, June 16 @ 1:30 PM
WHERE: Via Transit Center, 1021 San Pedro (near SAC)
The City Council has smooth transitions of power every two years and the MPO has survived all of them. Yet under the guise of the Mayor’s concern he can’t fill the vacancies with the new councilmembers for 2 months, he and Chairwoman Sheila McNeil again feel there’s an urgent need to re-write the rules.
Read about the past attempts by Mayor Phil Hardberger & former Councilman, now President of the Greater Chamber of Commerce, Richard Perez to make it easier to railroad their UN-Democratic policies at the MPO: here, here, and here.