OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On Monday, there will be a call to action from members of Pike Off OTA at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The group is calling for reform of the Turnpike Enabling Act.
Hundreds of Oklahoma homeowners would be affected by this $5 billion, 15-year plan for the turnpike expansion. Several speakers including the Attorney General will be at the Capitol to talk about transparency and accountability.
Amy Cerato, President of Pike Off OTA and Oklahomans for Responsible Transportation told KFOR, “Requiring sound engineering and fiscal policies of our public-private partnerships is good business for Oklahoma. Pike off OTA and Oklahomans for Responsible Transportation believe in the protection of property rights, the prevention of government overreach, properly planning and financed roads, preservation of land, wildlife, water and agriculture, and we believe that roads should be owned by Oklahomans and be free to drive on. We are calling for our legislators to help us protect future Oklahomans from this rogue instrumentality of the state and strengthen the turnpike enabling act. All Oklahomans will be better off when trust, transparency and accountability is restored and government is held to the Oklahoma Standard.”
Monday’s Capitol Day will feature Attorney General Gentner Drummond, and several other speakers who will provide updates and calls to action on reforming the Turnpike Enabling Act.
This comes less than two weeks after the AG requested an investigative audit by the state auditor, Cindy Byrd, into the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s finical conduct.
Transportation secretary Tim Gatz responded to that call and said he welcomes the audit.
“We understand certainly what the attorney general is focused on, and we’re going to make every effort to be cooperative and provide them whatever they need… The Turnpike Authority is no stranger to audits. And we have an independent financial audit conducted annually. We’ve got very competent financial staff and very competent staff overall,” said Tim Gatz, Secretary of Transportation.
Cerato said she’s happy with the decision to audit the agency, especially after finding out her home was once in the direct path of the proposed road.
“We’re finally going to have some answers about the interesting financial transactions that the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has undergone over the last few decades,” said Amy Cerato.
Pike Off OTA also said, “This is a great day to get to know the Capitol and show our state how serious we are about Responsible Transportation.”
Capitol Day will be from noon to 3 p.m. on Monday and will start on the second floor Rotunda.