March 20, 2009
Collin County Judge Keith Self has opposed bond elections to build roads, accused regional leaders of socialism and made fighting a bill that would give people the right to vote on rail expansion his top legislative priority. This week, he took his mischaracterizations of a rail expansion plan directly to the source, testifying before a Senate panel. During Self’s testimony, Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, called Self out on his assertion that the bill contained a tax increase instead of a way for locals to call elections. Sen. John Carona also pointed out that Self provided no input on the bill, instead spending his time stirring up anti-tax sentiment. It’s a shame the Keith Self sideshow overshadowed the surprising testimony of Jerry Hoagland, the senior member of the Collin County Commissioners Court. A staunch fiscal conservative, Hoagland testified, “I am not insensitive to our current economic situation, but hopefully we will be on the road to recovery by the time our voters are asked to vote on this important subject.” Alas, there are many voices for long-term mobility planning in Collin County, but state and regional leaders may be too gobsmacked by the tactics of the county judge to hear them.