Sunday, June 17, 2007

Citizen's observations of Thursday June 14 RTC meeting and presentations by NTTA and CINTRA

Lauri Wiss of Dallas submitted these comments to the NCTCOG RTC by e-mail following her attendence at the May 14th RTC "Workshop on SH121"

I attended the June 14 RTC Public Meeting.
I heard no mention of either the NTAA nor Cintra bid presentation regading repaying the taxpayers of the DFW region for money already expended for the SH 121 right of way.

I also heard no mention if the NTCOG or RTC will need to repay those funds to other entities.
I was shocked ethics and conflict of interests were not addressed in a knowledgeable way. · It seemed amazing that legal opinion is needed less than 4 days before a major decision is made for the region.

· Being a member of the NASCO or NTAA Board to me means a member should recluse themselves in the vote.

· I do not believe a vote should be taken prior to all 40 members filling out the necessary ethic and conflict of interest forms and putting them on the internet.

· The City Councils and the public have the right to know what Boards and Commissions a member holds office in or serves on the Board of Directors, what businesses they and their family own, as well as stocks relating to contracts let out for bid.

I was also amazed at the deceit in the numbers in the Cintra slide presentation.

· The answers to the questions asked and answered by both Cintra and Price Waterhouse should have been reflected in the slide presentation.

· Phony numbers are not something to rely on.
· If the numbers presented at this late date cannot be counted on, why should any future numbers be trusted?

· In the Cintra presentation, interoperability (a pass through) was presented as income.

· Federal taxes were presented in the slideshow as income, and the mysterious 20-30 billion dollar "future development" is not a tangible return, especially when Mr. Munos DID NOT AGREE to commit to future projects.
The PriceWaterHouseCooper speaker when asked about it by a Board member said "it is a wash" between the two bidders.
· Most importantly, the multiplier rate stated ($ 1:3) was not backed up with facts.
· This is especially true as most multiplier effects depend on the money remaining in the local economy .
· With the money simply collected then sent to other US states and overseas, the multiplier effect lessens because loan funds are not as available.

· The number of jobs provided was not broken out on whether the jobs would be spread over the lifetime of the contract or in the immediate future.

The NTAA presentation was short on substance. There was nothing that was said that seemed firm enough to make a decision on. I recognize that they did not have a lot of time to prepare, but their statement "that we will not seek federal funds today" reminded me of the Dart pledge

· I am concerned about the raising of tolls on other roadways and possible lessening of maintenance to build SH 121.

· I am concerned on whether the NTAA is using the highest construction standards, not the lowest.

· I liked the NTAA bid better because local accountability will be possible, there will be federal laws followed, and the books will be audited every three months.

I have the following questions:

· Will the NTAA bid lower the rate of toll increases or
will the the same .145 to 58 be in place?

· Why would a business move to Dallas or Tarrant County if businesses and employees will have to devote a significant portion of transportation dollars to toll costs?
Is there a commitment in the contract that a certain percentage of the money remain in the banks locally for loans?

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