Collin County Politics: How We Vote Matters Too

June 28, 2021

Commissioner’s Court: The commissioners continue to try and prevent public speakers who don’t agree with them. They’ve previously charged one citizen with contempt of court and created rules of decorum intended to stifle dissent. This week they put off the public speaking portion by holding a close to two-hour executive session to discuss pending legislation. If the commissioners held their executive session at the end of the meeting like they usually do, it wouldn’t have been a problem. However, by holding it directly prior to public comments, we ended up with 3 public speakers instead of the 6-7 who initially came to speak.

Per usual, the consent agenda passed 5-0 without public discussion. I’d sure like to know how the commissioners decide what’s “routine” (which means the item goes into the consent agenda) and how they’re going to vote on these matters. They don’t have a work session and Darrell Hale insists they don’t discuss items outside of the public view. There were several contract renewals in the consent agenda. How do they determine who’s awarded contracts?

Another consent agenda item was for maintenance and continuance of the license for Election Voting System & Services. ES&S is the largest and perhaps most corrupt voting machine vendor in the United States but, mysteriously, hasn’t been challenged at all by Republicans oh so determined to find evidence of fraud. In the September 2020 Texas examiner’s report, a “bug” was identified that could’ve allowed ES&S to install (without detection) unauthorized software in its DS200, DS850, DS450, ExpressVote & ExpressVote XL voting systems. Collin County uses DS200, DS850, and DS450 voting systems. Yet neither the Texas Secretary of State’s website nor the Election Assistance Commission’s website mention how, if at all, this bug was addressed.

I find this situation so odd. Our attorney general – the corrupt Ken Paxton – was incredibly quick to demand overturning other states’ elections due to fraud. Yet he’s ignored the ES&S voting systems in his own backyard that could have allowed the installation of unauthorized software. Perhaps he was fine with the fact that none of the 10 Texas races expected by both parties to flip from Republican to Democrat actually did.

Duncan Webb presented on the Regional Transportation Council. The RTC approved a plan to reduce single-occupant vehicles by 20% (basically one day per week) through the use of incentives like transit passes to companies and toll credits to individuals with multiple occupancies. They also want to encourage telecommuting as this helps with decreased traffic and improved air quality. Congestion is down 7% which they believe is due to people still telecommuting.

Federal officials refused to covert the HOV lanes on US 75 to general-purpose lanes. However, they did agree to convert them to a pilot program that would reward vehicles traveling with multiple occupants. The “Tech Lanes” won’t have barriers and anyone can drive on them. However, for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening, sensors will be able to determine which vehicles had multiple occupants. Those with multiple occupants will then receive toll credits against their toll charges. This sounds like an exciting development!

Republicans – the party of “fiscal responsibility” – continue to waste taxpayers’ money by using Covid relief funds for negative instead of positive projects. Governor Greg Abbott now wants to use some of the money from the American Rescue Plan to fund a useless and environmentally harmful border wall. Similarly, as I’ve mentioned, the Collin County commissioners want to use our funds to expand the jail. This is what we get when our leaders don’t how to effectively govern and only support punitive programs. Border walls and jails wouldn’t be as necessary if we funded preventative programs instead.

Share Your Thoughts