Correction—I had thought that both Chairman Delisi and Executive Director Saenz had stayed for the entire hearing. At the beginning of public testimony, Sunset Chairman Isett thanked Delisi and Saenz for their “commitment to stay with us.” Saenz was recalled to the testimony table a few times to answer points that had been made by the public. I couldn’t see from my vantage point, and I assumed that Delisi was still there.
Thanks to Agnes Voges, Blackland Coalition Secretary, who testified at the hearing, for letting me know that Delisi left before the public testimony and did not return, to the best of Agnes’ knowledge. Agnes was positioned where she could see the comings and goings, and she says, “That contingent pulled an ‘Elvis has left the building.’”
This makes Rep. Linda Harper-Brown’s observation at the beginning of the public testimony even more important: “There are a few people here from TxDOT. I notice a TxDOT contingent left. They may need a break. Are they coming back? One of the issues here is lack of communication.” Sunset Chairman Isett agreed, calling it “a reasonable question.”