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Sunday, March 25, 2012

No public hearing!

We wanted a public hearing on the USACE permit application for the proposed Central Texas Airport. About fifty of us requested one. But it’s not gonna happen.

The USACE has just issued an ‘official’ letter informing those of us who submitted comments requesting a hearing that there’s not going to be one:

“. . . the USACE has evaluated your request for a public hearing and has determined the issues raised are not sufficiently substantial to warrant a public hearing and there is otherwise no valid interest to be served by a public hearing. Therefore a public hearing for this project will not be held.”

More thoughts to come . . .

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hey, Joe . . .

No this is not going to be about that great Jimi Hendrix song. It’s about Joe Ternus who is a Democratic candidate for the position of County Judge that was recently vacated by Ronnie McDonald.

Mr. Ternus came to Bastrop (from Austin) in 2006 to head the then ‘Development Services’ department, replacing Dee Czora who had served in that position for many, many years. His tenure lasted only a few years, until May of 2008 when he resigned/retired from his post.

If the proposed Central Texas Airport had not reared its ugly head. Mr. Ternus’ job history would be of little significance. However . . .

It was during his stint with the the county that the first applications for the Colorado Riverland Ranch Airport now known as the proposed Central Texas Airport were submitted to the FAA in 2007. That fact would also be of little significance if the following hadn’t occurred.

Mr. Ternus signed on to Carpenter’s ‘team’ as a ‘Consultant & Advisor’ for ‘Project Design, Development & Construction’ within 6 to 8 months after he resigned his post with the county. It seems that 6 months is the ‘acceptable/routine’ transition period for employees cycling between the public and private sector aka the infamous ‘revolving door’. Even that fact wouldn’t raise concerns but . . .

Then came Mr. Ternus’ recent bid for the Democratic nomination for County Judge. This is a BIG red flag that something might be afoot other than selfless public service. Perhaps he’s here to finish what was started under his watch five years ago?

Voters should be connecting the dots. We need a County Judge working for ‘we, the people’ not for developers out to make a quick buck at our expense. It remains to be seen whether the other candidates will provide a viable alternative for those of us opposed to the CTA project. Preliminary research is not encouraging . . .

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cut ‘n run

Last week’s big news was that Ronnie McDonald resigned as County Judge - a position he held for over a decade - to run for US Congress. The Judge chose an interesting time to abandon the county. What will this political opportunism mean for the county . . . assuming that the now Congressional candidate contributed more than presiding at the Commissioners Court sessions and face-time on the media when Bastrop was burning?

The Court has been in a bit of disarray since Lee Dildy’s death nearly a year ago. His wife, having no political aspirations of her own, stepped in somewhat unwillingly to fill his position. So for the last year, the Court has in effect been down a hands-on Commissioner.

Since Commissioner Dildy’s death the Court has had to deal with continuing redistricting uncertainty. And then the Great Fire came. Recovery is ongoing and in need of strong leadership. Great time to have our ‘leader’ abandon ship.

But those of us concerned about the impact that the proposed Central Texas Airport will have on the County’s future have another take on McDonald’s departure. Remember that while the Court unanimously approved entering into the 381 Agreement in June of 2010, the signature that sealed the deal is Ronnie McDonald’s. Now two years later as the first deadline that must be met by the developer is approaching, the person who ‘officially’ inflicted this obligation on the County won’t be here to answer for the mess he’s left as his legacy. Instead he’s chosen to ‘cut ‘n run’ in an attempt to move up the political foodchain.

In the coming months, McDonald’s campaign contribution records will likely provide an interesting read . . .

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Silenced . . . again

Update: These comments have now been deleted from the ‘awating moderation’ queue at the Advertiser. So much for balanced journalism. Cheerleaders only allowed.

Ronnie McDonald’s decision to resign his duties as Bastrop County Judge will be discussed separately. The purpose of this post is to publish comments that are once again languishing in the Bastrop Advertiser’s ‘awaiting moderation’ queue.

Posted on March 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm on ‘County judge eyeing run for Congress ‘

Bastrop county’s disaster = a politician’s career opportunity. Isn’t politics wonderful?!

Here’s a thought for a future project in DC . . .

Pave over the reflecting pool to make way for an airstrip! It would be very convenient for politico junkets and undoubtedly benefit the local economy.

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm on ‘McDonald chooses Congress’

Perhaps the developer of the proposed Central Texas Airport and his associates could assist with campaign funding as they did in the fall of 2009 a few months BEFORE the 381 Agreement was approved by the Commissioners Court and officially signed by Judge McDonald.

Please see:

McDonald contributions

381 Agreement

Airport Opponents Lobb [sic] Questions

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