February 5, 2008
“Texans today saw convincing evidence of a fact that many of us have known – they cannot trust the Texas Department of Transportation or the policies that are consigning Texas to inadequate roads and privatized toll ways.
In a hearing before a majority of the Texas Senate, the Department’s senior executives repeatedly failed to answer senators’ questions, frequently falling back on the political talking points that have defined the department’s response to everything from local inquiries to the massive transportation challenges facing the state.
Like all Texans, the Senate is demanding a new policy direction that is far more accountable, transparent, and responsive to the people whose quality-of-life depends on this agency’s actions. We expect, and we must have, a transportation department and policy we can trust. Executive Director Amadeo Saenz said today he welcomes an audit of his department’s finances and practices. Such an audit, unfortunately, may be necessary at this point to restore confidence in this agency.
But these problems go beyond bookkeeping and bureaucracy. The Department and its board of political appointees must understand that they serve the people of Texas; the people of Texas do not serve them. When that becomes clear, we can begin to create the transportation system that we all want and need.”