September 20, 2003
Metro responds to Culberson

Metro has contacted the FTA in an effort to placate the Little Napoleon of West Houston, John Culberson.

Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, sent the Metropolitan Transit Authority a letter Monday asking it to amend its ballot language. Culberson attached a letter he received Sept. 12 from the Federal Transit Administration's chief counsel, ruling that Metro's ballot language would disqualify it from federal funding if a bill pending in Congress is enacted.

Metro responded with a letter to the FTA the same day, asking Chief Counsel William Sears to reconsider his opinion that the transit authority's failure to list proposed rail segments on the ballot would violate the amendment Culberson added to the fiscal year 2004 transportation appropriations bill.

The transit authority enclosed the board's 22-page resolution with its letter to Sears. The resolution, which Metro plans to publish for voters before Election Day, spells out in detail the elements of the 2025 plan that Metro wants voters to endorse, including each rail segment.

Culberson's provision "does not specifically contain the word 'ballot,' " Metro wrote. "Therefore, we believe that the requirements of (the provision) can be met in alternative ways."

Culberson strongly disagrees with that statement and said Friday he does not believe Sears will change his opinion.

"I'm fully prepared to stamp my feet and hold my breath till I turn purple until I get my way on this," Culberson did not add.

As Ted noted in the comments to my earlier entry, Culberson's office phone number is (202) 225-2571, Houston office (713) 682-8828. Feel free to call and tell them (politely!) how you feel about this issue.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 20, 2003 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack

I think it worth noting the 2004 Transportation appropriation bill has not passed. So, Culbertson is holding Houston hostage to a provision which might not even survive the conference committee.

And I thought Archer was an arrogant a--. At least he was an intelligent, arrogant a--.

Posted by: Charles M on September 20, 2003 6:26 PM