Va. bill would alter Metro board
Gov. Bob McDonnell would have the power to appoint a member to the Metro Board of Directors, under a bill proposed by a Northern Virginia delegate.
The bill, HB 2000, introduced by Del. James LeMunyon (R-Fairfax) would allow the governor to appoint an additional member to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, who would then sit on the Metro Board.
McDonnell (R) has tried -- unsuccessfully -- to gain two state seats on the board.
In October, the 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, made up of 19 local 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. Two alternate seats appointed by the federal government remain empty.
In November, a task force of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments recommended that Virginia, Maryland and the District change the Metro agreement to increase the number of members from each jurisdiction from two to three, with one member appointed by the chief executive of each jurisdiction.
McDonnell spokesman Jeff Caldwell said the governor had planned to have his own Metro bill, but LeMunyon filed his bill first. Caldwell said in fiscal 2011, Virginia will provide 54.7 percent of state and local funding going to Metro.
"The governor and members of the General Assembly agree that the Commonwealth must have a voice on the WMATA Board of Directors,'' Caldwell said. "Adding a transit professional representing the Commonwealth's interests will improve safety and better enable the Commonwealth to maintain this level of investment."
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