Council to vote to give toll authority BAILOUT on loan
Says repayment a ‘financial hardship’ on the RMA
(San Antonio, TX, October 13, 2010) Thursday, the San Antonio City Council is set to vote to extend its $500,000 loan to the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) for one year. The RMA is officially in DEFAULT and says it doesn't have the money to pay the loan back until it has a revenue stream (ie - tolls) to pay it back. City staff claim to require payment of the loan would pose a “financial hardship” on the RMA. It’s only available revenue stream is toll roads, which has led to widespread controversy, litigation, and public backlash.
“Instead of axing the dead weight of a toll road bureaucracy that's used up $40 million in taxpayer money and that draws $1.2 million annually in salaries for just 10 people, they're planning to vote to give the RMA a one year extension on its loan. What about the ‘financial hardship’ of tolls in perpetuity on the taxpayers?” asks TURF Founder Terri Hall.
“A vote to extend this loan is, in effect, an RMA bailout. A vote to extend is a vote FOR toll roads. Guess what that means? Your taxes are going to go up to keep this tax-sucking entity alive! If you and I couldn't pay back a loan, we'd be in foreclosure, have our car repossessed, or go bankrupt. It's time to PULL THE PLUG on the RMA!”
The item is on the consent agenda, which means it'll be voted on in a group with other items. It's not even up for discussion. TURF is urging its supporters to call councilmembers and ask them to pull the item and vote to NOT extend the loan, but cut its losses and close down the RMA.
The loan controversy comes on the heels of Mayor Julian Castro’s meeting with the President just yesterday about 281/1604. Express-News columnist Scott Stroud hinted at the possibility of getting the roads fixed without tolls as being a political coup for Castro. Thursday’s vote will be a big test of Castro and the city council’s willingness to cast a vote for tolls, knowing the community opposition to them.