On the one hand, transportation officials tell us that they just donâ€™t have the funds available to build roads. Yet on the other hand, toll roads dollars are being used to let executives take European vacations complete with first-class and business-class airline seats.
CBS News 11 in Dallas is reporting that the North Texas Tollway Authority spent $42,500 to send five people to the â€œ75th Annual International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association conference in Vienna, Austria.â€
But donâ€™t worry about them being stuck in boring conferences, most of the officials skipped out on the meetings and went window-shopping. They did find time for the free meals, of course.
The tollwayâ€™s executive director is quoted as saying the trip was critical for the NTTA “to understand the global market as we compete in North Texas.”
How, exactly, does a toll-road in north Texas â€œcompeteâ€ globally? Does a driver in Vienna wake-up on a Tuesday morning and ask, â€œAm I going to drive to fly from here to Dallas, take their toll-road, and then fly on to Rome?â€
This was nothing more than a posh vacation paid for by Texans who seeing both their gas-tax dollars AND their toll-road dollars squandered by a bureaucracy accountable to no one.