San Antonio, TX, Monday, July 27, 2009 – Monday’s San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meeting contains a proposal to changes its bylaws to strip the Chair of the power to set the MPO agenda and give it to the Executive Committee that’s 50% UN-elected bureaucrats. Commissioner Tommy Adkisson, a vocal opponent of toll roads, will be elected the new Chair at the meeting, so the proposed changes come as toll advocates are dealt a blow. The grassroots are crying foul.
Read Terri Hall's Examiner article with all the gory details on the players and the betrayals here.
“We the people have seen these tactics by the political establishment time and again. If the taxpayers reject their policies, they just keep changes the rules in the middle of the game to try to maintain control at all costs. Well, the public rejected the MPO power grab in 2007 and 2008, and we reject it again now,” observes Terri Hall, Texas TURF Founder.
In 2007, there was an attempt by Mayor Phil Hardberger to appoint an unelected alternate to the MPO Board (that would have voting powers in the place of an elected appointee). The grassroots rose up, and it was soundly rejected by the public and tabled at the City Council.
In 2008, former MPO Chair Sheila McNeil sought more controversial changes to the bylaws that diluted what constituted a quorum, making un-elected appointees have greater say than elected officials. The bylaw changes also formed this Executive Committee and gave new powers to the UN-elected Executive Director to make changes to MPO plans. The grassroots fought the changes and won much of the battle (defeating boundary changes and changes to project scoring to make tolling easier) last June.
Now, for a third time, a power grab is taking place at the MPO. Since Adkisson is the Vice Chair and now the acting Chair (since McNeil’s term expired in May), it begs the question: who drafted and approved this agenda hostile to the Chair without the Chair’s approval?
Be there for the SMACKDOWN!
WHO: Taxpayers through Texans United for Reform and Freedom (Texas TURF)
WHAT: MPO meeting where they’ll vote to elect the Chair, address controversial changes to the bylaws (granting TxDOT direct say over the agenda involving billions in taxpayer money), and some controversial changes to MPO plans that would make non-toll alternatives to 281/1604 harder.
WHEN: Monday, July 27 @ 1:30 PM
WHERE: Via Transit Center, 1021 San Pedro (near SAC)