Home » Dear Editor »Opinion » Currently Reading:

Upcoming Metro Vote

May 24, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Dear Editor, Opinion No Comments

I have read all the documents on the site and listened to the arguments. This sounds like Obamacare where you have to sign the deal before you can see what is in the deal. I don’t see how any supervisor who votes for this Metro deal can run again as a fiscal conservative.

Data Quality. The information is not a proper business case and it has not been independently validated. The documents lack realistic ridership projections, no pros and cons, no risks, no worst case cost estimates, and no impacts to taxpayers or car traffic, and no explanation for the deltas with previous claims and models.

Coherence. How can the Board vote to lower property tax rates and then a few months later approve an unbudgeted and unfunded discretionary project? You are undercutting your management credibility.

Transparency. Impacts to taxpayers have not been calculated and properly disseminated to Loudoun county residents. If you sent a flyer out to residents stating that taxes must go up or this “investment” equates to one or two schools or the 2% gas tax will go to rail and have to be backfilled, or that existing road projects will be deferred, then you would see that taxpayers would not support this project especially while in this economic climate. But put it on a referendum in November with an estimated tax impact and prove us skeptics wrong. You can use the IG report or union issue to delay making any deals. The deal is not really “only good until you walk out of the showroom”. MWAA needs our checking account a lot more than we need their few miles of track.

Exposure. You are committing Loudoun to a non-revocable agreement that permanently funds a portion of MWAA’s total budget – America’s most expensive and poorly run transit system (just like everything run out of DC). You will leave Loudoun vulnerable by having no contractual recourse that guarantees spending limits or service level guarantees. Why do you want to be a lifetime MWAA shareholder when you have no idea what MWAA’s billions of unfunded liabilities amount to and in addition you have no veto power over future design, personnel, and operational decisions?

Corruption. The IG report (thank you Frank Wolf) formally documents Metro’s lack of good governance practices and integrity – and that is only the preliminary report. Why would you consider entering into a permanent pact at this time with what we know today, not to mention what might be in the final IG report? If you cut a deal now, aren’t you implicitly saying that you do not take government corruption and accountability seriously?

Conflict of Interest. Who are the developers and land owners that would benefit from opting in, how have they been involved in studies, email campaigns, and marketing this project. Which supervisors, if any, have received monetary and in kind contributions from property owners who stand to financially gain?

What’s the Downside. You haven’t answered a basic business question which is what happens if we opt out? Eastern Loudoun residents will still be able to use Metro stations between Wiehle and 28 and MWAA can still build the 606 station on their property. Doing nothing looks like a great deal to me.

Priorities. Where is the list of Loudoun’s school and infrastructure project priorities and what falls off if you opt in? You seem to lack focus. While you are debating a Metro station on Loudoun County Parkway you can’t seem to finish the south end of the parkway even though you have approved a major commercial center and massive residential development between Arcola and Braddock Road. And now part of the unfinished section has to be elevated over a wetland which is no doubt an unbudgeted expense.

Environment/Congestion. We know that Dulles Toll Road fares will significantly increase to fund Metro thanks to Tim Kaine’s failure to properly fund transportation, his number one campaign promise in 2005. This will force cars off of the toll road onto secondary roads thereby increasing commute time and impacting the environment which is already on the national bad list in terms of air quality. How will you explain even more congestion to the 95% who won’t be using Metro?

Metro Capacity. Metro’s design and capacity problem is well known. Two tracks cannot adequately handle peak volume today and no one is going to bore another tunnel under the Potomac. WMATA’s rerouting proposal actually calls for adding more Orange Line trains during peak hours. The Orange Line commute today is slow and adding the Silver Line will make it worse. I predict the service will be so bad that people using the Silver and Orange Line will abandon Metro and go back to cars because it will be faster.

Unnecessary Conflict. Why are you setting us all up for a perpetual battle between education and rail? You know that Loudoun is far more interested in schools. Have you already forgotten the last School Board battle over modest school cuts? I am amazed that the Loudoun education/political establishment hasn’t put 2 and 2 together and aggressively opposed this project; then again VEA-NEA are probably simpatico with construction and other unions in Metro.

Bus Option. I see that Chairman York is a bus denier. Perhaps he should take a fact finding trip with my son who rides the bus from Sycolin to Tysons for $3 each way. We call that a great deal. And bus service is true mass transit because it helps more people and more income levels while rail is just a subway for a select (and might I add usually well paid) few that commute to Arlington and DC. Clearly bus service is a viable option. It can be easily reconfigured, has predictable costs, and would service far more of our large county.

Reputation. Our country is officially bankrupt and a national political movement has organically risen up to try and stave off economic disaster which threatens our children. NoVa lives in an artificial income bubble that benefits from rampant federal spending, which will eventually come to a screeching halt. Since Loudoun is such a wealthy county that means we should be setting the example for fiscal prudence: that means minimal short term debt, sticking to clear priorities, and maintaining a rainy day fund. Taking out a 20+ year debt service which doubles the construction cost is irresponsible.

Given the lack of reliable data and analysis, I have to conclude that four supervisors believe Barack Obama’s economic forecasts and now they have a burning hole in their pocket to buy a shiny toy; or perhaps they have always wanted to build a version of Walt Disney’s Epcot planned community fantasy; or maybe this is just the latest example, like education spending and electronic whiteboards, where Loudoun just can’t help itself from touting statistics and bragging rights over Fairfax. We moved from Fairfax to Loudoun to escape liberal and fiscally irresponsible government and I prefer to not move again.

The only supervisor who is looking out for the taxpayer’s interest, who has mastered the details, conducted his own due diligence and can articulate his position in a reasoned fact based manner is Ken Reid. I suggest that you bring the quality of your own arguments up to his level before voting and dispense with the illogical rants and (I hate this overused word but it applies here) bullying, that was on display in the May 3 meeting.

We elected this Board of Supervisors to make hard choices and we gave you a mandate to finish a complex infrastructure build out due to mismanaged growth and while in a stagnant economy. You have enough on your plate. Forget your dream of being photographed at a ribbon cutting ceremony and be the common sense executives that we know you are and vote no.

Thad and Doreen Hunter
Aldie

Comment on this article


By commenting, you agree to abide by our Terms of Service.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

A Habitable Planet

habitable_2

“At the moments when we are able to separate ourselves from our daily concerns and ponder deeply, most of us have encountered fundamental questions of our existence as human beings. Where do we come from? What happened before humans appeared …

Choose Joy, Don’t Go Negative

Lunde new

Sometimes life is pleasant and it is easy to smile, other times it is not. The real question is how do you react and live your life when you are going through trials? What do you do when you feel …

Character Outlives Us All

moore-sobelnewmug

“Brains are like muscles, you can rent them by the hour, but at the end of the day all you have left is your character.” This statement was uttered by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a phrase his father used …

Foxridge Park

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth- Foxridge Park-1

You know, I can still taste those sausages: The first early-spring bratwurst cooked over an open flame in a beautiful setting among good friends; nothing so surprising, really, in recalling a good meal in classic context. The thing is, though …

Planning for Life Disclosure and Other Family Issues in Estate Planning

Smith0035

What do we tell the kids? Questions of how much and what type of information to give the children often arise during consultation. The answers depend on the circumstances of each family – the ages and maturity of the children …

A Look Into What Is Learned in High School English

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde English is the arguably the most important subject for a student in high school to learn. The most successful people in the world have one thing in common — being able to communicate effectively. This is …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Isn’t Loudoun Better Than This?

blueridge2

More than forty years I have watched a rising tide of development flowing from the east across Loudoun. Once it was thought the western mountains would be spared the flood. …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

eaglescout

Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

(Be the first to comment)

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

(Be the first to comment)

Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

benkellog

Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

(Be the first to comment)

Calendar

May 2016
M T W T F S S
25 26 27

Hamilton Town Hall

28 29

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

30

Lobster Day with Chef Seb at North Gate Vineyard

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

1

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Spring Wine Glass Painting with Penny

2

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

3

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

4

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

5

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

6

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

TGIF @ North Gate Vineyard!

7

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

The Sprouted Spoon Food Truck at North Gate Vineyard

Nathaniel Davis Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

8

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Celebrate Mother's Day at North Gate Vineyard!

Mother's Day Brunch at Breaux

9

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

10

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

11

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

12

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

13

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

14

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Dog Day at Breaux Vineyards

15

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

16

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

17

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

18

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

19

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Senior Caregiver Training

Hillsboro Ruritan Club Dinner Meeting

20

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Strawberry Afternoon Tea

21

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Strawberry Afternoon Tea

22

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Land Trust of Virginia Annual Garden Party

BRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

Waterford Concert

23

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

24

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

25

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

26

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

27

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

28

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

A Taste of Paris and View of Normandy at Breaux Vineyards

Annie Stokes Live at North Gate Vineyard

29

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Paella by Carlos at North Gate Vineyard

30

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

31

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

1

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

2

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Free Gardening Lecture

3

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

4

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Yard Sale

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

PAUL REISLER TRIO WITH LEA MORRIS AND MARSHALL KEYS

5

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

Lifestyle

New Concert Series Comes to Purcellville

20 May 2016

brianganz150

On Sunday, June 5 at 4:00 p.m., internationally recognized pianist Brian Ganz will present an all-Chopin recital at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 711 W. Main Street in Purcellville. The recital will feature several of Frédéric Chopin’s studies for solo piano, including the renowned “Revolutionary” Etude, among other works by the Romantic master. Ganz, who recently moved to Purcellville from Annapolis, …

(Be the first to comment)

Eucharistic Procession To Pass Through Leesburg May 29

20 May 2016

Eucharist

– By Mark Gunderman Each year, Catholics around the world celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ), symbolizing their belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. In the United States, the celebration of Corpus Christi is held on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. This is a time when Catholics can demonstrate their …

(Be the first to comment)

Art in the Burg, Middleburg’s Town-Wide Arts Celebration

12 May 2016

middleburg_seal

Sponsored by the Middleburg Arts Council and the Town of Middleburg On Saturday, May 21, the Middleburg Arts Council and the Town of Middleburg will host the fourth town-wide arts celebration, Art in the Burg. Artwork from more than 20 local and regional artists of different styles, forms and subject matter will be on display at 108 East Washington Street, …

(Be the first to comment)

Around Virginia

Out and About Loudoun and Beyond

The Plains’ charming restaurants, shops and sidewalks.

Five Stone’s Throw Spring and Summer Destinations By Andrea Gaines Bordered by the Potomac River to the north and beautiful mountains to the west – and with easy access to Rt. 95, the Dulles Toll Road and Route 66 – Loudouners have no short list of fun spring places to …

(Be the first to comment)

Update: Remains Located in Shenandoah National Park; Search Efforts Suspended

VSP Photo - 4-21-16 Whiteoak Canyon Trail Entrance VSP

Update: Body preliminarily identified as Nicole K. Mittendorff, 31, of Woodbridge. The physical and digital evidence collected during the course of this investigation includes a note recovered from the car leads investigators to believe there was no foul play involved in her death. ——————– Search efforts in the Shenandoah National …

(Be the first to comment)

Virginia Trooper Shot and Killed at Richmond Bus Terminal

Tpr Dermyer Patrol Car in front of VSP SPHQ

A Virginia State Police trooper has died as a result of his injuries after being shot on March 31 at the Greyhound Bus station in the 2900 block of North Boulevard in Richmond. At approximately 2:40 p.m., Virginia State Police Trooper Chad P. Dermyer approached a male subject just inside …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

(Be the first to comment)

ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

ODFCsoccerpics

The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009