Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"They're essentially running over the people of the state of Texas...They just imposed their will, did whatever they want to."

TxDOT may soon get more legislative oversight


By: Catie Beck
News 8 Austin
Copyright 2008

Mel Borel drove to Austin from San Antonio to drive home a point about the Texas Department of Transportation.

"They're essentially running over the people of the state of Texas, which is just not right," Borel said.

Borel believes the agency has spent too much of taxpayers money and tried to take people's land away to build a super highway. He's happy to know that some lawmakers are asking for big changes.

"It's incumbent upon us to create an agency that Texans can be proud of again," said Lubbock Rep. Carl Isett.

In order to do that, the Sunset Advisory Commission wants legislative oversight of the agency, and more transparency about plans and projects in the works. The legislative agency, which works to reduce waste and inefficiency in Texas government, wants to see more open-decision making, especially in regards to the Trans Texas Corridor.

"They just imposed their will, did whatever they want to," Borel said.

TxDOT officials said they have been working to implement some of these suggestions already, but their task is daunting.

"No one wants to pay tolls, no one wants to pay higher taxes, but no one wants to be stuck on dangerous clogged roads," Chris Lippincott, of TxDOT, said.

State lawmakers want things moving faster in the right direction for the agency.

"It's not just efficiency, transparency and accountability; I just think we ought to set some goals," Irving Rep. Linda Harper-Brown said.

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