Jaynes adding endorsements

By JOE JAYNES
This is a copy of the email Joe Jaynes sent out this week.
With the passage of Proposition 10, elected county officials can announce their intentions to run for state offices in early December.
Until such time, we are putting together an endorsement list for an anticipated run for State Representative District 70. I believe the knowledge and experience developed during my time as your County Commissioner will serve Collin County well in the Texas House.

If you would like to add your name to the list of endorsers, just hit reply and type in the name(s) you would like to add and hit send. Your response will help us develop a plan for how we prepare for December.

I am proud of the conservative record that I have established on the commissioners court. For example:
I have never voted for a tax increase;
I authored the 5% county homestead exemption;
Collin County was one of the first counties in the state to receive a AAA bond rating;
We have approximately $2 billion worth of transportation projects underway to keep our citizens moving and businesses growing. At the same time, we have lowered the tax rate;
The commissioners’ court placed our employees on a pay for performance system as opposed to the traditional step system that most government entities have in place;
I led the effort in freezing taxes for senior citizens;
Among Texas’ 254 counties, Collin County has the 3rd lowest property tax rate.

We have also kept long-term personnel and retirement costs down for both current taxpayers and future generations. The median salary for county employees is 55% less than the median salary for Collin County residents. In addition, according to the Texas County and District Retirement System, county employees’ average retirement benefits are valued at less than $25,000 a year through 2025

The best news is that Collin County is one of the few major governmental entities in the nation that has their retirement program fully funded. While other counties and cities are facing multi-million dollar pension shortfalls, our fiscally conservative approach means that we have created no major unfunded liabilities to be paid for by future generations.

Again, let us know if we can count on your support. I look forward to communicating with you over the next few months concerning the issues facing Texas.

As always it is an honor serving you,
Best,
Joe

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Jaynes considering run for State House

By JOE JAYNES

Dear Friends,

Thanks to encouragement from so many of you, my family and I are strongly considering running for State Representative from District 70 which represents McKinney and most of northern Collin County.

I cannot make an official announcement at this time because throughout Texas, county office holders are restricted on formally announcing for a state position until Dec. 2, depending on the passage of Proposition 10 in the upcoming Nov. 8 constitutional amendment elections. (Complicated, isn’t it?)

However, in the meantime, I am looking for your thoughts and input.

This position has had excellent representation from Ken Paxton. It would be my goal to carry on the conservative principles that Ken has established through his leadership.

My own record as county commissioner reflects these conservative values. For example:
* I have never voted for a tax increase;
* I authored the 5% county homestead exemption;
* Collin County was one of the first counties in the state to receive a AAA bond rating;
* We have approximately $2 billion worth of transportation projects underway;
* The commissioners’ court placed our employees on a pay for performance system as opposed to the traditional step system that most government entities have in place;
* I led the effort in freezing taxes for senior citizens;
* We cut the county property tax to one of the lowest in the state.

Unfortunately the state of Texas is not as well off. For the upcoming legislative session in 2013, Texas could be facing another deficit. It is during these trying times that Collin County needs a state representative with the necessary experience to make the hard decisions necessary to keep this state great.

My pledge to you would be to approach the difficult issues with three core beliefs that I hear every day from constituents which are:
* People want less government intrusion in their lives
* Counties, cities and school districts should have more local control
* No new taxes

I would also make as my platform the following issues which I believe are so important to the future of Collin County:
No new toll roads – Collin County does not need to be one big gated community;
Water – in this fast growing area it is essential that we develop long-term water resources;
Local control for our school systems – If Austin is going to cut funding for schools, they should cut unnecessary regulations as well;
Unfunded mandates – There should be a constitutional amendment prohibiting unfunded mandates for cities, school districts and counties;
End diversions — Almost half of gas tax revenues meant for roads are diverted to other areas of the state budget.

I plan on using the time between now and Dec. 2 to listen to you in order to find out what you want to see in your next state representative. Please send me your thoughts and ideas on these issues and others.
As always, it is a pleasure serving you.
Best,
Joe

Joe Jaynes/The County Line: Sam Rayburn Tollway update

By Joe Jaynes
The County Line
According to the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA), all major traffic movements on the Sam Rayburn Tollway (SRT) and US 75 Interchange are expected to be fully operational by the end of January.
This will almost complete the SRT project. The major piece left will be the interchange at the Dallas North Tollway (DNT), which is scheduled to be opened in early 2012.
After touring the project, the NTTA sent over the following facts concerning the SRT (it’s still difficult not to call this 121) that I thought you might find interesting:
* Overall the SRT is approximately 26 miles in length, stretching from Denton Tap Road in Denton County to east of US 75 in Collin County, linking the region’s fastest-growing communities with DFW International Airport;
* The SRT consists of 40 miles of concrete traffic barriers and more than 277 acres of concrete pavement;
* The volume of concrete used in constructing the SRT is enough to build a five-foot-wide sidewalk from Dallas to Minneapolis;
* The square foot area of concrete walls along the tollway is approximately the same square foot area as the face of the Hoover Dam;
* The SRT/US 75 Interchange is designed to handle 238,000 vehicles per day;
* 16 million pounds of steel beams are being used to construct the SRT/DNT Interchange. This is enough steel to reconstruct the Eiffel Tower or build 1 ? Gateway Arches in St. Louis;
* The SRT project used approximately 4 million cubic yards of fill, which was equates to 400,000 dump truck loads of dirt;
* If the dump trucks that hauled the dirt were lined up from end to end, they would stretch close to 1,890 miles — greater than the distance from Dallas to Boston;
* The SRT has more than a half acre of aluminum signs; and
* The sod used to cover this project would cover 325 football fields or three 18-hole golf courses.
Most important about this project is that Collin County received approximately $1.4 billion in funding from the NTTA for future transportation projects. This funding is called Regional Toll Revenue (RTR) funds.
RTR funds will be used on the US 75 expansion, which will be well under way by this time next year.
The total scope of the U.S. 75 expansion is from Spring Creek Parkway in Plano north through Allen, McKinney and Melissa to the Outer Loop just south of Anna.
In addition RTR funds are also being used for the expansions of virtually every major thoroughfare throughout Collin County including:
– SH 121 through Melissa
– FM 455 in Anna
– U.S. 380 through Farmersville
– U.S. 78 through the Wylie and Lavon areas
– U.S. 380 through Frisco
– U.S. 289 through Prosper and Celina
– Custer Road in McKinney
With the state facing a $25 billion shortfall it is safe to say that there will not be any new funding for transportation coming out of the legislature next year.
It is the RTR funding from the Sam Rayburn Tollway that is keeping Collin County’s major transportation projects moving and our economic development growing.
I look forward to keeping you updated on these important projects.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.
Best,
Joe

The County Line: Transparency and the Outer Loop‏

By Joe Jaynes
The County Line

The Outer Loop will be the last toll road in Collin County. With this in mind, the question becomes who will toll this very important project. The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) is the region’s tollway provider.

However, since 52 miles of the Outer Loop is in Collin County, the commissioners’ court created the Collin County Tollroad Authority (CTA) with the thought that future tolls on Collin County’s portion of the Outer Loop would remain in Collin County.

Since the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is basically broke the revenues from the Outer Loop could be a major funding source for Collin County’s future transportation needs.

The NTTA has an issue with our CTA since they are, by statute, the region’s tollway authority. However, since the Outer Loop is, at this point, a county project there is some gray area about who has “primacy.” Basically the term primacy means what agency has the first option to build and toll the Outer Loop.

This issue has been a source of tension between the NTTA and Collin County. Right now most if not all entities in the region support the NTTA. However, the NTTA is willing to work with Collin County to develop some statutory language that both Collin County and the NTTA can live with.

We have been down this road before. (no pun intended) During the last legislative session there were a series of meetings between myself, Judge Self, Senators Shapiro and Carona and then-Chairman Paul Wageman and then-Vice-Chairman Victor Vandergriff of the NTTA on developing and agreeing to language that
we all thought resolved this issue.

Unfortunately, after the agreement was completed Judge Self went over to the House side of the legislature and had an amendment inserted into a bill that would give Collin County total primacy not only for the Outer Loop but also for the Dallas North Tollway (DNT) extension through Collin County.

This last point is particularly troubling because the DNT has historically been a NTTA project. Collin County was viewed as trying to hijack a NTTA project. Needless to say, this action killed the compromise previously agreed to above and seriously damaged the creditability of Collin County throughout the region.

As a result, the NTTA supported Senate Bill 17 which would have given them primacy for the Outer Loop. Fortunately, Senate Bill 17 died during the legislative session. Had this bill become law it would have potentially cost Collin County millions of dollars in future transportation funding.

We are now at the beginning of a new legislative session and the NTTA under now-Chairman Vandergriff is willing to again work with the commissioners’ court on language that will resolve this issue.

Collin County needs to reach an agreement with the NTTA. The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) which selects and funds major transportation projects throughout North Texas is about to vote and send their legislative agenda to Austin. The only thing missing from that agenda is how this primacy issue will be handled.

I am fully convinced that the RTC will support whatever language the NTTA proposes. Therefore, it is essential that we reach a consensus with the NTTA.

I have sent a proposal to the NTTA suggesting that there be concurrent primacy. In other words, while Collin County advances the Outer Loop through the alignment selection, engineering, environmentals etc., the NTTA will use that time to decide whether or not they want to toll the project.

If the NTTA declines then our CTA will take on the project. If the NTTA accepts the project as part of their system then Collin County will be made whole for our expenses and there will also be formula funding which means that a certain percentage of the tolls from the Outer Loop will remain in Collin County.

To be honest, I am not sure how the NTTA will respond to my proposal. They are supposed to send over their own language this week which could include or not include any of my thoughts.

Regardless of what is proposed it is my goal that all discussions over this topic be transparent and take place in commissioners’ court where the court as a whole has a chance to weigh in and hopefully come to an agreement which will be voted on and documented in a commissioners’ court order so we can avoid the missteps of the last session.

I look forward to keeping you updated on this very important issue.

Joe Jaynes is a County Commissioner in Collin County.

Joe Jaynes’ The County Line

The County Line

By Joe Jaynes

County Commissioner

In March, the U. S. Census Bureau will mail a 2010 Census form to every residence in the United States. Please take 10 minutes to fill out and mail back the form. If forms are not mailed back in March then from April through July the Census Bureau will be sending out field representatives to knock on your door or give you a call.

So to avoid the visit or the call, please mail back the form. It is also important to point out that about $85 million in taxpayer dollars are saved for every one percent increase in mail response.

The 2010 Census form will ask for name, gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship, and whether you own or rent your home – just 10 simple questions that will take about 10 minutes to answer. Your answers are protected by law and are not shared with anyone.

If a Census Field Representative does knock on your door they must present an ID badge that contains a Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date. The field representative may also be carrying a bag with a Census Bureau logo. The field representative will provide you with supervisor contact information and/or the Regional Office phone number for verification, if asked and the field representative will provide you with a letter from the Census Bureau Director on official letterhead.

Field representatives will ask the same 10 questions that are on the mailed form. Field representatives will never ask you for your social security number, bank account number, or credit card number. Census workers also never solicit for donations and will never contact you by e-mail.

In 2000, Collin County’s population was approximately 500,000. Today we are hovering near 800,000. This is a 61% growth rate since the last census. For Collin County citizens accurate counts will mean more representation in both Austin and Washington and more funding for infrastructure and services like:

· Hospitals

· Job training centers

· Schools

· Senior centers

· Bridges, tunnels and other-public works projects

· Emergency services

For more information about the upcoming 2010 Census visit http://www.census.gov/2010census.

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