"IF YOU AGGRESSIVELY INVITE THE PRIVATE SECTOR
TO BE YOUR PARTNER,
YOU CAN'T TELL THEM WHERE TO BUILD THE ROAD"
Above is a direct quote from Texas Transportation Commission Chairman
Ric Williamson made during their regularly scheduled
May 24, 2006
This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Today CorridorWatch.org is
entitled to another great big WE TOLD YOU SO!
It's amazing that so many people are surprised that our state would
make such an unabashed announcement to nearly 100 business and community
leaders, including state and local elected officials.
Williamson went on to say, "If we're going to ask the private sector to be our
partners, we cannot tell them how they're going to be our partners or they
won't be our partners."
The fact is our state legislature has abdicated their responsibility
by giving absolute authority and control to a body of unelected
Commissioners exclusively appointed by Governor Perry. In turn that
Commission, given the power to negotiate in secret; to conceal bid
selection criteria from public review; to enter into 50 and 70-year
contracts; to withhold terms of those contracts, even when ordered by
that Attorney General to make them public; has moved to grant sweeping
monopolies affecting public infrastructure including transportation,
utilities, and land development. In the name of privatization and
public-private partnership we are creating a monster.
Community leaders, elected officials, taxpayers, citizens and voters
are of little to no concern to the Texas Transportation Commission. They
simply don't answer to any of you. Generally they say the politically
correct thing and give plenty of lip service. But as their actions
demonstrate, the truth is you just don't count anymore.
Ask yourself who is the state protecting and serving now? Who's
interest comes first, the citizen's or the state's new corporate
When did we start putting the protection of a company's proprietary
information ahead of the public interest? Who thinks that's a good idea?
No good ever came from any government that operated in secret.
Make no mistake, the State of Texas is selling out.
intends to buy the right to operate the country's largest public
infrastructure monopoly. They will be in control. If you can't tell them
where to build the road what else can't you tell them? What will they
tell us? They will make decisions affecting every Texan, based solely on
their own best interest, not yours. The toll road is the tip of the