‘A Simple Ass’
courtesy of ‘Orin Zebest’
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who lives in Richmond, 97.4 miles from the closest Metro station, wants two seats on the WMATA board (one voting, one alternate) or else he’s taking Virginia’s contribution to WMATA and going home. He’s upset that (Democrat) part time local politicians are taking up the seats that he’d like to fill with (Republican) transit “experts” that are based out of Richmond.
Call his bluff.
Yes god forbid that the GOVERNOR of a state that contributes money into the a transit system the spans two states and the District should have some say in how that money is spent.
Let’s face it… the DC “transit experts” aren’t doing such a hot job anyways so why not open up the discussion to new ideas.
Honestly, Matt, the reps from the VA municipalities that currently are *elected* and serve on the board ar actually doing a pretty decent job. Chris Zimmerman from Arlington has done a rtty good job talking honestly and openly about what it would take to handle this current budget gap, and has lead the charge to commit the funds to replace the aging 1000-series cars.
McDonnell sees this purely as a control mechanism over the Nothern Virginia transit arena that he has no plan for and no understanding of.
We already know that NoVA pays more in state taxes than it gets back, so if you ask me, it’s NoVA resident’s money anyway. As Tom noted, the current NoVA board reps are elected by the people who actually use Metro. The Governor is beholden to rural Virginians who have no vested interest in a functioning Metropolitan transit system for NoVA. As it stands VA transportation funds are portioned out using various formulas – this means that rural counties use nearly all their funds for roads, while NoVA jurisdictions have chosen to spend more of their money (via NVTC) on Rail and Bus services – this is the choice of the officials elected by NoVA, not the Governor. Why should he have a vote on funds that he didn’t actually apportion to Metro? Besides, the Governor already has representation on the NVTC.
This is a crappy power play by a crappy Governor that threatens to cut off Federal funding for Metro as well.
Out of every dollar that NoVA sends to Richmond, it only gets 20 cents in return.
To suggest that Richmond is paying into the system without any voting representation is a disingenuous argument at best…dishonest is more like it.
The fact is that what Metro receives from Virginia is primarily NoVA’s money and the representatives on the WMATA Board should come from NoVA.
Transportation is not a partisan issue and it should not fall to the governor of any party to dictate who the experts are.
“NoVA’s own Bob McDonnell” seems to have forgotten from where he came. New ideas, this is not.