Bringing back local control to the communities is making a difference.
November 15, 2008
Kathy Palmer, President
South Central Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission
On November 13-14, the Call America National Convention was held in Austin. I just returned from participating in this event, where the main theme was “Coordination”, and a substantial amount of conversation was had about the efforts around the nation where Coordination has worked. From California to Montana to here in our great state of Texas, Coordination is giving back local control to the citizens and their communities.
In Texas, we have nine 391 Sub-Regional Planning Commissions which invoke the Coordination clause in the Texas Local Govt. Code, allowing the formation of the Commission with two cities, two counties or a combination thereof. The Commissions were formed because of the grassroots movement in the local communities directly affected by the current proposed path of the Trans Texas Corridor, both TTC-35 and TTC-69 but, these Commissions have evolved into more than just a way to oppose the TTC. They have given control back to the local communities for everything from transportation issues, to environmental issues, to Homeland Security issues relating to zip codes and 911 addresses.
I was privileged with the opportunity to speak to several hundred individuals from around the nation, sharing how our SCTSRPC came to be, and I in turn heard from individuals from Montana, California and Wisconsin and the results their efforts in coordination have brought to their communities.
Prior to attending the convention, I made a stop at the TxDOT building in downtown Austin. My intent was to attend the I35/I69 Corridor Advisory Committee Meeting and hear their report to the Texas Transportation Commission however, the posted date of the meeting was incorrect, and I missed it by one day.
Therefore, instead of hearing from the Committee (of which their final report is below as well as an article from WOAI) I had an impromptu meeting with the Associate Executive Director of Innovative Project Development Phil Russel and Public Information Officer Gabby Garcia. I spent about an hour and a half with them discussing various things from 391 Commissions, the I35 and I69 Corridor Advisory Committee reports, to the Segment Committees in the process of formation. It was very interesting to hear things from their side, to say the least.
What came out of both the Call America Convention and my impromptu meeting with the Executive Levels of TxDOT is that Coordination works. Bringing back local control to the communities is making a difference. I would encourage all citizens that really want to be heard to contact your 391 Commissions, your local City Councils, your local Commissioners Court, and to keep up with if not attend the public meetings put out by TxDOT relating to the Corridor Advisory Committees and upcoming Segment Committees ( Corridor Advisory Information ). With all information from all sides, you yourself will be able to begin to better understand the direct impact proposals discussed in these meetings will have on you. That in turn will enable you to be more involved. Remember, knowledge is power and power is coming back to the local levels through “Coordination”. We are making a difference.
Links to SCTSRPC Related Articles:
Links to TxDOT information:
Please note the SCTSRPC does not necessarily support the information contained in these links. They are simply posted here to make it easier for you to access this information without having to go to multiple websites.