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MoCo's Ervin Explains Stance On ICC

Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring) said this week that she signed a letter, along with four other council members, which urged the state to hold off doing major work on the controversial Intercounty Connector highway because she didn't want to see any irreversible damage done. Not, she stressed in an interview, because she has taken a position for or against the highway, which has been on the drawing board for 50 years.

Both the state and the highway's opponents came to an agreement last week to allow some startup work to go forward while a federal judge sorts out competing claims in two anti-highway lawsuits.

Ervin has come under the spotlight in her district where a strong anti-ICC movement has been active for years. One critic termed her "Astroturf Val," a jab aimed at suggesting she isn't a strong enough environmentalist.

Ervin said it isn't worth expending the political capital on the ICC, which she said is a fight that is over unless the judge decides differently.

"The reality is that the County Council has little if any impact on a road project that is overseen by the state, especially once full funding has been appropriated," Ervin said in a letter to constituents this week.
"Instead, I am choosing to focus on an area of transportation policy where I can make a difference - the Purple Line. ...[which] will not only help ease traffic congestion and promote more livable, walkable communities, but it will also benefit the environment."

Signing off, Ervin said, "I hope that you will judge my performance as a council member based on my entire body of work."

By Anne Bartlett  |  October 17, 2007; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  Miranda Spivack  
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