Va. Metro board plan rejected
As expected, Northern Virginia leaders voted down Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's attempt to gain two state seats on Metro's board of directors Thursday night. The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission voted 12 to 6 to keep control of the state's four members on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board at the local level.
The commission passed a resolution calling for the panel to "work with the commonwealth to establish an enhanced and supportive relationship in order to consider and resolve all of the issues,'' including governance and funding.
"This resolution does not shut the door on discussions of a state role on the WMATA Board,'' said Cathy Hudgins, chairman of NVTC and Metro Board member. "It identifies the reasons why sufficient representation on the WMATA Board by local elected officials is essential to protect the interests of local taxpayers and customers. It also links the need for adequate funding of WMATA to the discussion of governance. It provides a strong basis for productive discussions."
The commission, made up of 19 locally and state-elected officials plus the state's public transportation director, appoints Northern Virginia's Metro directors. The Metro board's 14 members include two representatives from Fairfax County, one from Arlington County and the Alexandria mayor.
This summer, McDonnell (R) threatened to withhold Virginia's contribution to a $3 billion federal funding plan for Metro's capital needs unless the state received two of Northern Virginia's four seats on the agency's board.
The federal government agreed to give Metro $1.5 billion for capital needs over 10 years but required Virginia, Maryland and the District to match the money. But Virginia eventually paid its share.
We have asked McDonnell's office for a reaction and will let you know when we hear back.
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