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Michelle Schumacher, San Clemente
One has to wonder how and why the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) is so far off its course thinking they can become the planners for regional mobility after using Orange County residents for the last 20 years. The TCA was to build for only local area benefit. The TCA has collected billions of dollars in development fees, or a tax from Orange County residents and businesses. Development fees are collected any time a home or commercial space is constructed or remodeled, collected by the city, then passed along to the TCA. Why, when the TCA has not constructed anything in the past 20 years, is it allowed to still collect these development fees?
Caltrans maintains the toll roads, another way our tax dollars are used by the toll roads. In addition, several areas on the toll roads had problems when initially built and Caltrans and U.S. taxpayers had to pick up the tab. Ironically, the TCA claims often they do not use taxpayer dollars. The TCA is also the recipient of a $1.1 billion bailout when they were going to go bankrupt and had junk bonds not so long ago.
We already pay dearly for transportation in in California, and in Orange County we have the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Caltrans. Why is the TCA a duplicative failed experiment allowed to continue? The 73 was supposed to be free two years ago; instead, due to failure to pay down its bonds, the TCA extended the period out many more years.
Michael Kraman, the CEO of the TCA, just received a 6 percent retroactive pay raise.
It is a rough life for those who have had to worry for over a year about their homes, businesses and children’s schools that are under attack, but since the TCA actively sponsors golf tournaments, galas and award banquets to say what a great job they’re doing, they are deaf to the concerns of poor soil not able to handle such construction and the laws about how close you can have a toll road to a school.
The TCA in 2015 made neighborhoods and residents the last stakeholder on the list with their buddies companies above. Enough is enough, it is time to strip the TCA of development fee collection powers and eminent domain powers.