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Press Releases

Press Releases for the TURF organization are broken down by region. Click on the region of interest below.

Media inquiries
Contacts: Terri Hall - (210) 275-0640 or Hank Gilbert - (903) 871-2424

FED-UP CITIZENS SEEK NEW LEADERSHIP AT TRANSPORTATION BOARD NEW appointees at City try to grab Chair position from Toll Party pick, Adkisson

NEW appointees at City try to grab Chair position from Toll Party pick, Adkisson

San Antonio, TX, Monday, July 23, 2007 –  Citizens against the current toll road policies and toll proponents will square off over the election of the new Chair of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Transportation Policy Board. In past years, the Chair position rotated between the City and the County. Ex-Councilman Richard Perez is the immediate past Chair, so tradition would dictate that it now goes to the County. Commissioner Tommy Adkisson has seniority and should be the next Chair. However, for the first time in recent memory, the Chair position is being challenged, which didn’t happen until toll roads came on the scene. (Read more background below)

WHO: Concerned citizens with San Antonio Toll Party
WHAT: Election of next MPO Chair. Citizens to testify FOR the election of Commissioner Tommy Adkisson as Chair of the MPO.

Metropolitan Planning Organization
Transportation Policy Board
To elect next Chairman
Monday, July 23
Meeting begins at 1:30 PM
Vote expected to take place closer to 3:00 PM
(when Commissioner Lyle Larson is expected to arrive)

Via Metro Center
1021 San Pedro

The City’s four new appointees marched in at their first meeting (June 25) and challenged the County for the Chair position. None has ANY experience on the Board and yet Councilwoman Sheila McNeil thinks she should lead the Board. It’s no secret the City’s voting block on the MPO has been rabidly pro-toll and that County Commissioners Tommy Adkisson and Lyle Larson are staunch opponents to the toll plans.
The City claims since Larson held the Chair position for two, (2) year terms that the City is entitled to two more years as Chair. However, there is nothing in the MPO bylaws that entitles them to two more years, and logic would seem to dictate that if the City wished to challenge Larson’s second term, they should have done it when he sought that second term, not years later when they lost the seat. In fact, the City has more appointees and thus more representation on the Board than does the County. The City also wishes to give more UN-ELECTED members voting powers, like the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (tolling authority) as if the two TxDOT votes aren't enough!

Toll opponents contend this is about toll roads and controlling this all-important Board that put 281 & 1604 among others into the toll plans in July 2004, with Larson being the lone dissenting vote. Opponents are now close to having a majority vote on the Board, and they’re insisting only elected officials who answer directly to the people should have the ability to vote to make multi-billion dollar tax decisions.
"It's about accountability and having the citizens' voices heeded rather than repeatedly ignored by un-elected boards who can now vote for unlimited new toll taxes. Commissioner Adkisson has been a stalwart hero of the grassroots in our fight, he's got 9 years experience on the MPO, and the County lacks sufficient representation on the Board. By every measure, Commissioner Adkisson should be the new Chair!" notes Terri Hall, Founder/Director of the San Antonio Toll Party and Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom

Wentworth reacts to citizen outrage and amends bill to include SA roads


San Antonio, TX, Thursday, April 19, 2007
– In an amazing turn of events, Senator Jeff Wentworth responded quickly to the outrage that poured into his office since last night’s Transportation Committee hearing that took 281/1604 out of the CDA moratorium. In about 12 hours time, he changed his mind and introduced an amendment to INCLUDE 281 in the original moratorium bill, SB 1267. This move will effectively kill the 1604 deal as well. Since the two projects were linked by TxDOT, the package deal to hand over our public highways to a foreign company, Cintra, and San Antonio-based Zachry Construction, would no longer be able to move ahead as a CDA private toll project.
The San Antonio Toll Party anticipates that the same will occur when HB 1892 comes to a floor vote next week. While the moratorium hasn’t become law nor overcome a promised gubernatorial veto yet, the grassroots just completely changed the direction of this train.
“It’s so refreshing to return to citizen driven public policy in this State. For far too long our representatives haven’t represented us but those interests with the most money. I’ve long been confident that when you inform voters and they get engaged in the process, that citizens can take back their government one bill at a time,” reflected Terri Hall, Founder/Director of the San Antonio Toll Party who was present at yesterday’s hearing and witnessed what happened.
In fairness, the San Antonio Toll Party is asking supporters to call Senator Wentworth and thank him for changing his mind.
“We always make room for a politician to redeem himself,” remarked an elated Hall.
“We’re also grateful to Senators Uresti, Van De Putte, and Zaffirini who also supported the measure and for once again listening to and putting forward the best interests of Texans ahead of obscene private profiteering,” noted Hall.