The following is a post on Facebook by Waller County Judge, Trey Duhon:
The meeting mentioned in his post is a meeting of Waller County Sub-Regional Planning Commission which will be held at the Court House, Hempstead at 7.00 pm this evening, Thursday 5th May, 2016.
I have to change tracks from Flood Recovery to update all of you on an extremely distressing situation that has developed with Texas Central Railway and their proposed High Speed Rail project from Dallas to Houston.
Below you will find a letter I have already sent to Congressman McCaul, Senator Kolkhorst, and Rep. Cecil Bell, Jr. in this regards. You will also find a copy of a Reply/Resolution that was passed this morning in Waller County Commissioners Court. I have received a response from Sen. Kolkhorst’s office and she is joining in a letter being drafted by Texas State Sen. Schwertner in opposition to this development. I also spoke to Rep. Bell and he is also outraged by this. I think he called it “Tyranny”, and he will either join that letter or he will be sending his own.
Briefly, what we are dealing with what constitutes, in my opinion, a major violation of the notion of due process under the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It has come to our attention that TCR and/or its affiliates have filed two petitions with the Federal Surface Transportation Board requesting that certain regulations and procedures be disregarded and that TCR be granted the authority to begin condemnation of property BEFORE a final route is selected or BEFORE the Environmental Analysis is completed, even admitting in their pleadings that this may result in property being condemned that may not be used for the project. These petitions have been filed WITHOUT any notice to landowners, affected municipalities or counties.
ON TOP OF ALL THIS, they are asking for this entire process to be expedited and that it be done without any opportunity for public comment or input. This type of fast-track is usually only reserved for projects that are NOT controversial. As such, our timeline for action and response is VERY SHORT. Waller County and others must reply to these petitions by this next Monday.
This type of action goes against basic tenets of fairness and due process. It goes against everything that private property rights stands for. It goes against what Texas stands for. It is even more egregious considering that the Environmental Analysis they are currently conducting is flawed and it is not in compliance with NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act).
We will not and we can not stand for this. Tomorrow night, the Waller County Sub-Regional Planning Commission will be meeting at the courthouse at 7 pm. This issue will be discussed. We need as many of you there as humanly possible.
THIS IS A CALL FOR ALL HANDS ON DECK!! PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW, INCLUDING ANYONE THAT LIVES IN TEXAS.
I also recommend that folks begin contacting every elected representative on the state and federal level that they can, including Sen. Cruz, Sen. Cornyn, Rep. Michael McCaul, Gov. Abbot, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Texas Attorney General. (see contact information below for all of these individuals). Feel free to use my letter as a model. I do not think any state officials should be allowed to ride the fence on this issue any longer. NOW is the time to bring pressure and let our elected officials know how we all feel. EVERY FARMER. EVERY RANCHER. EVERY LANDOWNER, EVERY TAXPAYER. EVERYONE. Sen. Kolkhorst and Rep. Bell are on board. Now we must focus on the state officials.
I will need each one of you to help. This is about protecting Waller County land. This is about standing up for what is right. Standing for the protection of private property rights and DEMANDING THAT DUE PROCESS NOT BE NEGLECTED OR DISREGARDED. Regardless of whether this project touches your land or not.
Please join us tomorrow. Get involved with the Waller County Advocacy Group. No more complacency. IT IS TIME TO FIGHT!!!
The Agenda for tomorrow night is attached. We need as many of you there as possible to sign documents that we will be sending to the STB in response to TCR’s petitions.
I hope all of you will join me in telling TCR and Japan to “COME AND TAKE IT!!!”
Thank you all and God Bless!
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR OFFICIALS
Senator Ted Cruz
Senator John Cornyn
Congressman Michael McCaul
Federal Surface Transportation Board
Governor Greg Abbott
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick
Attorney General Ken Paxton
TXDOT Executive Director
James M. Bass
Railroad Commission of Texas
State Senator Lois Kolkhorst
State Rep. Cecil Bell
Link to search for your Federal representatives:
Link to search for your State Representatives: