will introduce legislature calling for controversial board to be elected by voters
After two very controversial votes in the past two months to divert taxpayer money to project taxpayers don't want, northwest side State Representative Lyle Larson says it is time to allow voters to fire the Board of Directors of the Via Metro Transit Agency, 1200 WOAI news reports.'
"We probably ought to do what they do in Denver and San Francisco and many other cities, where they elect the members of their metropolitan transit board," Larson told 1200 WOAI news.
Larson says he'll introduce a proposal in the coming Legislature requiring all members of the Via board to be elected by the public.
Currently, Via board members are appointed by San Antonio City Council, Bexar County Commissioners Court, and mayors of suburban cities.
Earlier this year, the Via board suddenly decided to divert some $92 million dollars from the 2004 road construction Advanced Transportation District sales tax increase to build a wildly unpopular streetcar project downtown. Last month, the Via board voted to use taxpayer money to build a High Occupancy Vehicle lane on US 281 on the far north side, parroting the universally debunked and disproven social engineering theory that special lanes for busses and carpools only will encourage commuters to carpool or take the bus. What projects like that universally do is increase congestion, while leaving the HOV lane virtually empty.
"If they are not making the right decisions, voters have an opportunity at the next election to remove them," Larson said.
Larson also pointed out that with the Via board currently running the ATD, and talk that the Via board may soon take over the responsibilities of the toll road building Regional Mobility Authority, that is too much money to be under the control of an unelected board.
"I truly believe that elected officials will be more responsible and accountable to voters," Larson said.
The decision to divert sales tax money to the streetcar after voters were assured that the money would never be used for 'light rail projects,' was met with the truly bizarre comment that streetcars and light rail are 'different things,' even though Federal Highway Administration definitions call like rail 'a streetcar-like conveyance.'
That decision is currently being appealed to the Texas Attorney General.