Orange County's political superstars tonight were Diana Carey and Margie L. Rice, both Westminster City Council members, who figuratively kicked the sniveling ass of a state transportation bureaucrat trying to sway the council to back off its vocal rejection of adding future, costly tolls fees on the long-ago-built 405 freeway.
Councilwoman Carey told the Caltrans official that Westminster citizens “are angry beyond words” about turning the 405 into a mechanism for private toll-road profit and firmly asserted, “We will not tolerate it.”
State government officials, working in league with faceless but ultra-wealthy Wall Street investment interests that make billions of dollars a year by enticing elected officials across the country to convert public roads to tollways, want citizens to pay fees each time they use already constructed roads.
Their excuse is that the freeways need to become private revenue generating sources to expand traffic capacity.
In reality, toll roads are a huge windfall for Wall Street bankers who take road projects that should cost, for example, $350 million, and convert them into semi-private roads that cost $12 or $15 billion or more–with the overwhelming bulk of the money landing in the bank accounts of New York fat cats.
That example isn't a hypothetical.
That's what is happening in Orange County's horrific financial experience with the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road.
Carey made clear that she, the council and local residents are not humored by the state's push to essentially privatize the public roads.
“We certainly are not looking at tolls at this point,” she said, tersely calling Caltrans' plans “very disappointing.”
Carey added, “I think I'm going to have a heart attack if I say anything more.”
Rice asserted that state officials “don't listen” and have a problem telling the truth.
The Orange County Transportation Authority, whose members are wined and dined by Wall Street lobbyists, is scheduled to vote on a final plan in October.