Our local Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Policy Board (MPO) recently voted to change its membership.
The move was spearheaded by our state senator and one of our state representatives working in conjunction with the smaller municipalities and the county (e.g. other than the city of El Paso).
The cabal wanted to neuter the city of El Paso’s power on the board by changing the membership so that the city of El Paso would only have one voting member of the board instead of the eight it currently has.
Put simply they want our money.
The MPO was created under 23 USC (United States Code) 450.310.
Section 450.310 (j) reads:
(j) Redesignation of an MPO (in accordance with the provisions of this section) is required whenever the existing MPO proposes to make:
(1) A substantial change in the proportion of voting members on the existing MPO representing the largest incorporated city, other units of general purpose local government served by the MPO, and the State(s);
That is certainly what the cabal is trying to do.
The problem is that 450.310 (h) defines how the redesignation can be authorized:
(h) An existing MPO may be redesignated only by agreement between the Governor and units of general purpose local government that together represent at least 75 percent of the existing metropolitan planning area population (including the largest incorporated city, based on population, as named by the Bureau of the Census).
Without the city of El Paso’s vote they cannot achieve the 75 percent representation required to redesignate the MPO. Subsection h also requires the approval of the city of El Paso because it is the area’s largest incorporated city.
Of particular interest is that County Commissioner Vincent Perez voted against the redesignation–in fact voting against the County Judge. He told the Times that the board’s actions do not comply with federal regulations.
He also indicated that he was “particularly disappointed” with the board’s legal counsel (a county employee) and that the lawyer should be “evaluated and possibly fired”.
Thank you Commissioner Perez for standing up for the rule of law.
We deserve better