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5 December 2007 at 10:17:37 AM
More verification of TxDOT's unaccountability to the people of Texas!
One year ago TxDOT's contractor resealed FM 1826 with poor quality and/or inferior "cold mix" materials. Since that time residents fought "the Battle of 1826" to make TxDOT accountable for the poor job it had signed-off on, which relieved its contractor from acting responsibly to local residents. Most likely, the reason TxDOT signed-off so quickly on the poor job was to protect itself because it had authorized the contract to use the "cold mix" for the reseal job. In any case, TxDOT officials were vehement that it would NOT resurface the poorly done job --- in fact, at first it stated that the job had been professionally finished and that there was nothing wrong with the road work. Finally those same officials acknowledged that the work done may have been poorly finished "in spots" but there was no money to resurface FM 1826.
Recently, the long efforts by Hays and Travis county residents were successful in getting TxDOT to reseal FM 1826 with a "hot mix" as should have been done initially. While residents may have won the battle, they lost the war because TxDOT simply diverted county tax dollars from other county areas to reseal the road a second time. Apparently, Hays and Travis Commissioners did not object loudly when TxDOT charged residents twice to do the job correctly once. To date, there is no public awareness that commissioners ever filed a formal complaint against TxDOT for double-taxing residents.
Apparently, the only entity that can confront TxDOT on its irresponsible maneuverings and diversion of tax dollars is the Senate Committee on Transportation, which so far has permitted TxDOT to double-charge Travis and Hays residents. While the laws currently seem to permit TxDOT to rechannel tax dollars as it sees fit, it is unconscionable that our legislators allow the double-taxation of road work by an agency that continues to cry poverty, yet is NOT accountable for its poor judgment, as per its recent actions regarding FM 1826.
In addition, "you can bet the farm" that if TxDOT is permitted to do this re: FM 1826 it will continue to do so throughout Texas --- and that's just wrong!
Legislators must challenge the agency's ongoing poor judgment and decision-making and most of all, TxDOT must be accountable to the people of Texas. Currently, TxDOT gets away with anything it does and has no accountability.
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