Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fwd: Commissioner Riddle stands alone, rest of court throws Titus taxpayers under the bus

Like many other taxpayers, I believe oversight of Pate Transportation Partners is long overdue. Commissioner Al Riddle stood alone yesterday at the meeting of the Commissioners Court when he made a motion to retain the services of an engineer to oversee the remainder of the project after the $1.8 million mistake on the the railroad bridge on 271 south. I watched the other 3 Commissioners and the county judge sit there in silence after Al's motion and wondered who are they working for? Pate Transportation or the taxpayers of this county?  There has been a lot of feedback on their actions the past 24 hours and the taxpayers are fed up with the lack of transparency and the feeling that we have been thrown under the bus by this court with the exception of Al.

I have talked with the engineer who offered his services to the county in the fall of 2011 at no charge except for travel reimbursement. His offer was rejected by the court that included Don Boggs at the time, along with Mike Fields, Phillip Hinton, Thomas Hockaday and Judge Brian Lee.  The memo that Commissioner Riddle mentioned yesterday about the offer from the retired engineer was sent to Commissioners in September 2011 by Judge Lee. The pro and con and this is a quote from Judge Lee:

"Pro-having a professional engineer working directly for the county that would have full access to Pate might be good"

"Con-How is Pate going to like a county employee constantly looking over their shoulder and reporting info back to us that they might not want to share if it put them in a bad light."

Yep, a bridge that is 16 inches too low and costing the taxpayers of this county a minimum of 1.8 million to redo does put the company, Pate Transportation Partners, in a pretty light bad light when they are being paid $6.8 million taxpayer dollars for construction management and oversight. What is going on at this courthouse when the court still doesn't see the need for oversight of Pate?! 

By the way, new rules have also been imposed by Judge Lee for public comment, 3 minute limit at the beginning of the meeting, no audience questions or participation allowed during the meeting. Looks like the only way taxpayers can discuss this issue now with the court is one on one without media coverage or being recorded in the minutes of the court. Has Pate influenced a gag order at the courthouse on the bridge fiasco?

Barbara Bruechner

No comments:

Post a Comment