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Transcript of ASK THE GOVERNOR
As taped for radio release the week of > f>
February 5, 1962 V
It's time to "Ask the Governor," when Governor a ri fant
answers questions based on letters and comments from Flor d citizi'~s.
QUESTION: Governor, the subject of a toll turnp ee om /
Tampa to Miami has drawn considerable pro and con comment in re
weeks. Just what is your view of such a road?
GOVERNOR: I am glad, first of all, that this road has
drawn a lot of comment because it's not any open and shut case either
way, of course. Primarily I believe in toll roads to supplement
our free highways because they are paid for by the users. And,
therefore, I would anticipate that if feasibility surveys indicate
that this road will pay for itself from the users, that it would
probably be a good thing to do. However, this is a turnpike that,
if built, will effect one particular area more than any other area
of the state, and therefore, I feel that the opinion of citizens in
that area must be carefully weighed.
QUESTION: Several citizens of Florida have made reference
to a minority report filed by members of the Blatnik Congressional
sub-committee which looked into Florida road building. They wonder
what you have in the way of comment on that section of this minority
report which said that of some $6 million dollars in consulting fees
paid to private engineering firms, much was wasted because you have
shifted emphasis from urban to rural interstate construction. This
is money that was paid out prior to your administration.
GOVERNOR: Well, of course, I don't know what the basis for
such an allegation is. There has been no basic shift in planning
as far as that is concerned. It is true that during the last
administration the great bulk of the interstate construction was done
in urban areas and it was intended that thereafter we would tie these
urban areas together, and that is what we are doing now. However,
we are continuing with the urban construction program in the
Hillsborough area, for instance. We are underway on a substantial
program; we are completing the work in the Orlando-Orange county area;
we are initiating a broad new program, including extension of the old
program in the Dade County area, and we are presently modifying -- in
conjunction with the Jacksonville Expressway -- we are making plans
to modify the program and to carry forward in the Duval area.
QUESTION: Another section of that same minority report
said of the State Road Department: "It should be purged of the dead
wood and alms takers and set up on a more realistic pay scale and
job designation, then insulated from political interference by a
merit system." How do you respond to that?
GOVERNOR: Well, the gentleman who wrote the report
obviously has as little knowledge of the Road Department as he has
of the whole program. There is a merit system now. You know I am
a little bit afraid of these people who always want to insulate
something from politics,because politics is the way that democracy
runs. That is to say people elect officials through the political
process, and if you insulate it from "politics" you are insulating
it from the people. That's the difference between democracy and
other forms of government. In a dictatorship, of course, it's
insulated from politics, but it is not freedom.
QUESTION: Governor, what are yourfeelings on a proposal
to stagger terms of Road Board members and the appointment of a
professional highway administrator, who it is claimed, would be free
from pressures and changes attendant to the quadrennial change of
GOVERNOR: I will keep an open mind on that subject. I
might point out that my State Road Board chairman was a professional
road builder until about 1954. Road building was his business in
life. He retired from that business at that time. I would like to
also point out that there are professional road builders running the
Road Department now. In the field of engineering there is an
engineer who has been with them almost 30 years with the highway
engineers. In the administrative department there is a permanent
salaried executive director.
Thank you, sir. If you have a question of general interest
that you would like Governor Bryant to answer on this program, send it
to "Ask the Governor," Governor's Office, Tallahassee, or in care of
this station, which has made available this time in the public interest.
Be with us next week when again we "Ask the Governor."