Ray Hutchison Promotes NTTA's "Good Ol' Boys' Club"
by Tom McGregor
Thu, Aug 6, 2009, 07:03 AM
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price had castigated the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) last Tuesday over allegations that this agency pursues "racist" policies by awarding over 95% of its contracts to white-owned-and-operated contractors. The Dallas Blog exclusively asked for his opinion on this disparity and he responded that the NTTA runs a "Good Ol' Boys' Club."
Apparently, Ray Hutchison, husband of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R.-Tx.), plays a vital role for this "Good Ol' Boys' Club."
"On March 27, 2007, the Commissioners' Court of Collin County, Texas, met in regular session," according to official-on-the-record documents. The Court addressed numerous issues, including the construction of a toll road that would run through Denton and Collin counties.
Item No.3 (pg. 3) stated: "Private Activity Bonds for the SH 121 project, Commissioners' Court. Ray Hutchison and Ben Brooks, bond counsel with Vinson & Elkins, LLP, sttod to offer insights on the situation with TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) and the process of receiving privatization applications to make a section of Hwy 121 going through both Collin and Denton Counties a toll road. TxDOT had asked Vinson & Elkins to contact Collin County. A discussion followed on the pros and cons, what is involved in bond rating, NTTA (North Texas Tollway Authority) non-involvement rate of profit, and financial oversite."
Mr. Hutchison works full-time for Vinson & Elkins earning a substantial salary there. TxDOT and NTTA coordinate to build toll roads in the North Texas region. Yet, the NTTA recently earned notoriety for flagrantly hiring very few minority contractors.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that, "the report on the authority's contracting prepared by Mason Tilman Associates found significant disparities in the dollars awarded to contractors owned by women, African-Americans and Hispanics, particularly for contracts less than $500,000. It covered contracts awarded for architecture, construction, engineering and other professional services.
To read the entire article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, link here: To read Collin County Commissioners Court documents, link here:
... written by Jonathan Green , August 06, 2009
The NTTA is one of the most quietly ran organizations in the Metroplex that has for years been controlled by a "good ol boy network". Bob Day came right out of office and assumed a top leadership role within the NTTA and the officials that represent the board has never considered a African American, or Hispanic. Why? Contracts that are bidded are given to Whites who have dealings with the NTTA board members and have previeously done business with board members while in the position of leadership in their perspective cities. This is something that should have been addressed years ago, but now if finally coming to light. The question now is will the NTTA govern itself to mandate changes, and continue to come up media scurtiny exposing the racism that exist.
... written by Ned Brown , August 06, 2009
Toll roads are not good for Texans, either in the short term or in the long run. The toll roads will prove more costly to Texans than the cost of public roads. If this were not true, there could be no "profit" in the toll roads; and if the toll roads were not profitable, nobody would want to invest in them. Even if the toll roads end up being owned and run by the state, the use for profit by toll road authorities of roadways already paid for by Texas tax payers is not beneficial to Texans. Furthermore, no matter who owns or runs the toll raods, it is inevitable that a big and costly bureaucracy will grow up around them, and that will add layers of extra "administrative" costs to be borne by Texans.