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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


Katy woman rallies support to stop toll road plans but her information is lacking

A Katy area woman and resident of Fort Bend County, is rallying the media and local residents to her cause. She wants to stop the plan to make all of State 99 (The Grand Parkway) a toll road—although there is no such plan, and she criticizes “Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Warner” although Fort Bend County has no such commissioner.

In an open letter to the media and citizens of Fort Bend County, Amy Dopson says “I am a Katy resident, a mom, and I am with Independent Texans trying to help stop the Trans-Texas Corridor project. Political affiliations aside - I have been watching TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) like a hawk for quite some time.”

Dopson goes on to claim that “TxDOT is trying to make Hwy 99 a toll road from Hwy 59 in Sugar Land to Franz Road in Katy.”

“I attended the TxDOT meeting on Tuesday night May 22, only to have a brief discussion with Ft. Bend Co. Commissioner Andy Warner in the parking lot - while he was leaving the meeting early. He indicated to me that TxDOT informed him that there was no other way to fund Hwy 99 unless it was made a toll road. Fort Bend Co. Commissioner Andy Warner is in favor of Hwy 99 being made a toll road and he also is proud to announce that he was one of the driving forces behind the West Park Toll Road,” Dopson says in her mailout.

Oops—Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers’ precinct covers the area and after I received the mail out, I contacted him to see if he was the elusive “Commissioner Warner.” Meyers said he thought he might be. From that point on he disputed a number of issues in the mail out sent by Dopson. For instance, he says he ran into Dopson as he was leaving the meeting and she was arriving. “She got there when the meeting was ending, I wasn’t leaving early,” he said.

He also says he cannot understand why Dopson changed his identity because she requested a business card and he gave it to her,

In addition, Meyers said he told Dopson repeatedly and “tried to make it clear to Amy that no part of the completed portion of State 99 was going to be tolled and there were no plans to do that in the future.”

Only new overpasses will be tolled and motorists traveling the Grand Parkway will still have the option of exiting and driving on feeder roads if they object to the new overpass toll conditions, officials have said.

Dopson goes on to claim the tolling of State 99 will impact school districts, decrease property values, thwart new business and impede emergency responders. However, there is no statistical information to back up her claims of doom and disaster.

After reading the obvious misinformation in the first portion of the mail out, it is real hard to get fired up about the rest of the claims.

If you want to rally people to your cause, the best way to do it is with good, sound information and accurate identification of the government officials that play a part in the plans you are fighting.

As for Andy Meyers, aka Commissioner Warner .. hey he’s been called worse!


Contact skinnerc1@ev1.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  June 13, 2007