Johnson County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution opposing House Bill 4138 and Senate Bill 1828. If passed the bills would have allowed oversized and overweight vehicles to travel U.S. 67.
The bills included Johnson, Ellis and Dallas counties. Commissioner Rick Bailey said that although Johnson County has been removed from the language of the bills he believes it is still important for commissioners to voice their opposition.
“This would allow 96,000 pounds on trucks that are not even designed to haul gross 80,000 pounds,” Bailey said.
Such, Bailey said, would risk public safety and area roads.
“There’s no way, at some point, those trucks aren’t going to get off the state road and onto county roads,” Bailey said.
Bailey praised organizations representing Johnson County in Austin. Bailey and fellow commissioners argue that such organizations help smaller counties keep abreast of proposed legislation and give those counties a voice in Austin.
“State officials, the commissioners argue, view such organizations as lobbyists and are trying to silence them, thus robbing counties and cities of the ability to let state officials know how proposed legislation would affect them.
“This is a good example of the representation we have in Austin working for us,” Bailey said. “Had they not brought this up we would not even know this is going on. Because, frankly, our state senator authored this bill and didn’t even have the courtesy to contact any of us to even discuss this bill.
“So it’s a little overwhelming how local control is being viewed at the state level even by our own representatives that are elected by the same people that elect us.”
County Judge Roger Harmon joined 413th District Court Judge Bill Bosworth and 249th District Court Judge Wayne Bridewell to present the 2020 Annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award to the Johnson County Purchasing Department.
This marks the fifth straight year Johnson County has received the award and the county is one of only 46 Texas agencies to receive it this year.
“The purchasing department is important because they make sure everybody has an equal chance at getting business with the county,” Bosworth said. “That keeps elected officials from those decisions and takes us out of the loop. I can’t, for example, choose the photocopier I want for my office because I like the guy who runs the company. They protect us from any claims of favoritism and keep everything upfront and honest.
“It’s important that residents of this county have confidence that officials are doing their job in accordance with the law and treating people properly and with respect in doing that,” Bridewell said.
County Purchasing Agent Ralph McBroom credited the success of his office to his staff.