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Growth and infrastructure versus personal property

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Rodney Ramsey


I had a pretty testy discussion the other day with an old acquaintance over the Trans Texas Corridor and the Loop 9 initiative for Ellis County. Evidently my understanding of the people’s right to be free from the unwarranted taking of their private property is different from his.

I, like many of you, had a problem with the Trans Texas Corridor plan to take over 600,000 acres of Texans’ land and grant the building of a toll road to foreign investors and corporations. Call me old fashion, but I didn’t care for the taking of people’s land. I also don’t care for the way the Texas Department of Transportation and all of it’s cronies intended to use your and my tax dollars to force Texans off their land.

I was advised of the current state of our roadways and the congestion around different Texas metropolitan areas. It was explained to me how we need more roads to ease the congestion around San Antonio and Austin, not to mention trying to get around our own metroplex. I was asked just how we could solve that problem without a Trans Texas Corridor.

My suggestion was simple. Why don’t we just make four lane highways into eight lane highways by using the current easement on each side of the major highways? Why do we need to cut through farm land owned by hundreds of Texans to build a new highway? Why would we need to expand our roadway system at a time when the Texas Department of Transportation is telling me they can’t handle the roads they have?

It brought to mind the day I attended the forum presented by representatives from DART, the Tex. Dept of Transp. and other special interest groups who attempted to strong-arm our county into their light rail system. I was especially upset when one of the fat cats told us that we in Ellis County weren’t doing "our share" in regards to road and bridge construction and maintenance. How many times had Dallas County attempted to get into our pocketbooks? How may times will they continue to do so?

I stated that I had no interest in having Dallas County light rail in Ellis County. I stated that I had no interest in riding the DART bus. I have no interest in anything Dallas County has to offer regarding transportation. If I did I would move to Dallas County. I told my buddy that people are leaving Dallas County all the time and moving to Ellis County...and they are doing so to escape Dallas County. They are coming here because they don’t like it there.

Everyone should agree that it is vitally important to manage our infrastructure. It is important to maintain our roads and bridges. But I wonder if the problem couldn’t be fixed by clearing out the incompetents in our government agencies. Maybe we should be trying to find out how a billion dollars comes up missing.

I also attended a public meeting regarding the proposed Loop 9 a month or so ago in Cedar Hill. I didn’t care much for the meeting or the answers to the people’s questions. It appears that Dallas County is once again trying to "help" with "our" road congestion by coming into Ellis County and taking people’s property so they can build yet another roadway.

I guess it doesn’t matter that there are most likely alternatives to bulldozing through several neighborhoods to build roads when they could just stay north of our county line and not affect our citizens. I am so sick of the politics. This is no longer about infrastructure, this is about big business and corporate profit margins. This is not about your property rights, it’s about closed door politics and special interest groups.

If we had people in elected office who did their jobs we wouldn’t have any road problems. Don’t try to make me feel bad when my tax dollars have been wasted by bureaucrats who mismanage our money. Don’t try to tell me the answer is to take property away from Texas citizens and give it to foreigners to build toll roads upon. Don’t try to tell me I need anything Dallas County has to offer, because I don’t. I don’t need the increased unemployment; I don’t need the increased crime rate; I don’t need more apartments. I don’t need a bus line or light rail. Just in case they missed it...Hey DART, thanks but no thanks...and Loop 9 that goes for you too.

Ellis County is a great place to live and raise our children, and I would like to keep it that way. I say we control our own growth while protecting our citizens. There may come a time when growth will demand sacrifice, but today that is not the case.

If we are to maintain our current standard of living we must stand strong against special interest and foreign investors. We must protect our private property rights. We must defend against encroachment by our neighboring counties. They are not attempting to help you and I, they are only attempting to reduce their own problems by forcing them in our direction.

We need more businesses, industry, and manufacturing in Ellis County. We need a greater focus on economic development for the benefit of our county. We need jobs for our citizens, not tollroads and corridors. Controlled growth is good when managed with the best interest of the people in mind. Uncontrolled growth urged on by special interest, lobbyist, and corporations is never in our best interest.

Please take note of what is happening in our county. Take note and take a personal interest. The next neighborhood you save might be your own.

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