Freeway Toll Authority Pays the Toll - RMA Abandons Plans for Appeal

Published: Sat Nov 05 2005

AUSTIN, Tex. -- The Texas Regional Mobility Authority initially refused to pay a court-ordered settlement of over $19,000 to People for Efficient Transportation, but they suddenly abandoned plans for an appeal and delivered a check.

Judge Darlene Byrne ruled Texas RMA board terms were unconstitutional in July. In September, the Judge demanded Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) was to pay more than $19,000 in legal fees to People for Efficient Transportation Inc. (PET Inc.), who brought the lawsuit last spring.

CTRMA quickly put out a press release statewide on Sep. 14 in which council Brian Cassidy claimed "We do not believe payment is warranted and the authority will appeal" (

The CTRMA check for $19,331.98 was delivered to PET Inc. council yesterday and there will be no appeal.

"Gov. Perry's new bureaucratic RMA not only gives out no bid contracts to themselves and their friends as stated in the Comptrollers report (, but this check proves these crooks who will set the toll rates for roads we've already paid for, just keep telling mistruths at every turn. Their press release just weeks ago ( in which they beat their chest and proclaimed they would appeal, and not pay at all, was just one more of many statements to misdirect the press and the public. We've just begun to fight for the public roads we've already funded. The people will not allow Gov. Perry to toll roads that are already ours." said Sal Costello, founder of People for Efficient Transportation Inc.

Proposition 9, if passed, authorizes "the legislature to provide for a six-year term for a board member of a regional mobility authority," according to sample ballots.

The Texas Constitution limits regional board terms to just two years. Prop. 9 would allow board members to constitutionally serve their six-year terms.

According to voter informational literature, opponents, including PET, say "a six-year term of office may decrease the accountability of the persons appointed to the board of directors of a regional mobility authority. A two-year term of office requires more frequent assessments of the board members' job performances. Six-year terms for regional mobility authority board members are not necessary to carry out the functions of the authority. The staff or employees of an authority will carry out those functions regardless of the length of directors' terms."

Sal Costello

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