Sarah Eckhardt has consistently opposed State Highway 45 Southwest. As a County Commissioner, Eckhardt served as vice-chair of Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and voted against constructing the roadway because it could have a devastating environmental impact. That’s one reason the Sierra Club and The Austin Chronicle endorsed Eckhardt over Brown.
But Andy Brown recently mailed voters a false and desperate attack, suggesting that Sarah Eckhardt supported the construction of State Highway 45 Southwest.
Don’t be Bamboozled by Brown!
In 2010, Sarah Eckhardt voted to remove State Highway 45 Southwest from CAMPO’s long-range plan. Unfortunately, more than two-thirds of the CAMPO board voted in favor of State Highway 45 Southwest.
Undeterred, Sarah continued to work on improvements that would lessen the road’s impact. She also succeeded in adding more rail lines, bike paths, and safety improvements to existing roads. After all of the work, she voted for the plan on final package to ensure all of her positive work would be included. Throughout, it was abundantly clear to all that she opposed SH 45 (see below).
However, it apparently wasn’t clear to Andy Brown. Brown claims that Sarah’s vote for the final plan – that was much improved after her hard work – amounts to a vote for State Highway 45 Southwest. It’s the kind of desperate and deceitful attack that Brown is now becoming infamous for in this campaign.
Here are the facts:
Sarah Eckhardt voted to remove State Highway 45 SW removed from the CAMPO 2035 plan. [Impact News 6/25/10]
Sarah Eckhardt voted to take Texas 45 SW out of Travis County’s Long Range Regional Transportation Plan: As reported by the Austin American Statesman, in 2010, Eckhardt voted “to take Texas 45 Southwest out of a long-range regional transportation plan.” The Commissioners Court voted 3-1 to remove the road from the plan. According to the Austin American-Statesman, “The court’s opposition was based primarily on the environmental concerns related to the project since its inception in the 1980s.” Eckhardt said “there are still environmental and financial obstacles that translate to significant political obstacles.” [Austin American-Statesman, 9/28/11]
The Save our Springs Alliance recognized that Sarah Eckhardt was opposed to State Highway 45 SW. They wrote, “Show your support for Travis County Commissioners Karen Huber, Ron Davis, and Sarah Eckhardt and urge their colleagues on CAMPO to remove 45SW from the plan.” [SOS Alliance, 05/10/2010]
Sarah Eckhardt continued fighting the roadway even after she stepped down to run for Travis County Judge. Sarah Eckhardt testified at Commissioners Court against the roadway [Impact News, 10/22/13]
Sarah voted for a long-term transportation regional plan after trying to have State Highway 45 Southwest stripped from it.
Sarah voted for the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organziation (CAMPO) 2035 Long-Range Transportation Plan, an overall transportation plan which contained many transportation projects, including more bus lanes and bike paths and State Highway 45 SW, but only after trying to get State Highway 45 SW removed from it. A vote for the plan wasn’t a vote for State Highway 45 Southwest, and anyone who tells us different is distorting the truth.
Andy Brown has a history of distorting the facts to score political points. Let’s make sure the next Travis County Judge is someone we can trust to stand up to powerful interests, protect our environment and secure economic security for Travis County residents.