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

Pie in the Face (with remarks from Ron Paul)

noerpel_new

“In any field, the establishment is seldom in pursuit of the truth because it is composed of those who sincerely believe that they are already in possession of it.” E. T. Jaynes. Everybody prefaces Bernie Sanders name with “pie in …

Asterisk No More

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Moods come and go, but greatness endures.” These prescient words were uttered by President George H.W. Bush, a man who knows firsthand the truth of his own saying. In 1992, President Bush garnered only 37 percent of …

Second Bull Run

Bull Run Creek

It may not have been a battle, but – seeing as how it was my second attempt at getting a good look at Bull Run Creek – coupled with the fact that I’m a native Northerner – I felt a …

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly …

What Is a Sport?

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde On January 10, hundreds of talented dancers from across the East Coast competed at the Universal Dance Academy Regional Championship at West Springfield High School. Tensions were high and the stakes couldn’t have been greater. What …

Six Things to Know to Weather a Market Downturn

Smith0035

It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders. It can be very unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading for the red and …

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

Job Well Done!

town of purcellville sign

Kudos to Town Manager Rob Lohr and his awesome hard working staff. You did a fantastic job of snow removal throughout the Town of Purcellville this past week. Mr. Lohr …

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

February 2016
M T W T F S S
1 2 3

Loudoun Valley Boys Basketball Spirit Night at Coach's Corner

4

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

5

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

6

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

7

5K Race to Benefit Riverside High School Athletic Department

8 9 10 11

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

12

Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

13

Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Chocolate & Cabernet

Sweetheart's Soirée at Breaux Vineyards

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

14

Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Celebrate Valentine's Day at North Gate Vineyard

Gallery Coffeehouse: READERS THEATRE "LOVE LETTERS" BY A. R. GURNEY

15 16 17

Mad Cap Puppets: UNDER THE BONSAI TREE

18 19

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

20

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT: Year Of The Monkey

21

Loudoun Symphony presents A LITTLE CHAMBER MUSIC

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

22 23 24 25 26

Breaux Vineyards February Fourth Friday

27

THE EDGE: Malone Benefit Concert

28

Loudoun School of Ballet Winter Showcase

Our Love is Here to Stay

29 1 2 3 4

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

5

Merlot Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

North Gate Vineyard Wine Dinner with Chef Sebastian Oveysi

6

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theatre, 100 Lunches" by Jack Sharkey & Leo Sears

Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

  • Will Skowronski on Second Bull Run: I always enjoy Tim Jon's columns about the back roads of Loudoun County. Mr Jon's writing evokes the fun...
  • Pamela Baldwin on An Interview with Ron Meyer, Broad Run Supervisor: And what happens, exactly, when the Greenway goes bankrupt as a result of this new alternative road? And what...
  • Tony Noerpel on The Trump Effect: Hi Rosalinda What? :+) Tony
  • Tony Noerpel on The Trump Effect: Hi Paul Don't disagree. I'd be pleased to buy you a beer sometime. I don't like Clinton as I've...
  • MJ Justus on Police Investigating Student Death: I am so sorry. May this young person find peace, and may all those affected be comforted from above.

Lifestyle

Creation and Evolution in Native American Spirituality

9 Feb 2016

turtle_swartz

In celebration of Evolution Weekend, an annual event led by clergy to encourage serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science, St. James United Church of Christ in Lovettsville has invited Roger and Deborah “Turtle” Swartz to guide a discussion of traditional Native American Spirituality and its wisdom in celebrating human relationship to the earth. In a …

(Be the first to comment)

Run and Walk To Your Nearest 5K Pregame Event Happening on Super Bowl Day In Leesburg

3 Feb 2016

runandwalk

There is a new Running Company, the Pace Makers Running Company, in town and they are on a mission to help the local population with their health goals while raising money for selected charities. The race at The National Conference Center in Leesburg on February 7, is to help benefit the Riverside High School Athletic Department. The upcoming race on …

(Be the first to comment)

Lovin’ Leesburg for All Its Beauty

3 Feb 2016

lovinleesburgrealestate1

By Hannah Hager We may be in the thick of winter, but this home on Cherry Spring Lane will melt your heart. Come spring you’ll fully be able to enjoy this simple, yet elegant brick home and its surrounding green pastures enclosed by miles of black wooden fences. Beyond your immediate yard are sweeping views of the mountains and valleys …

(Be the first to comment)

Around Virginia

Education Savings Accounts Make Big Move in House

Dave_larock

The Virginia House of Delegates gave a strong push to House Bill 389, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-33rd District) innovative Education Savings Account legislation, as the House Education Committee voted 13-9 in favor of advancing the bill forward. “This is definitely an exciting development for parents and students in the Commonwealth,” …

(Be the first to comment)

Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse

Kaine

On Monday, February 1, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, will hold a field hearing in Loudoun County to examine the ongoing fight against opioid misuse and abuse among older Americans. Kaine has met with families, law enforcement and business leaders across Virginia …

(Be the first to comment)

Youth Can Apply for 2015 Livestock Exhibitor Scholarships

Virginia_seal

Youth who exhibited beef cattle, sheep, meat goats or swine in the 2015 State Fair of Virginia 4-H and FFA youth livestock program are eligible to apply for 12 new scholarships being offered by the State Fair of Virginia. Scholarships will be offered in three age groups: Juniors (9-12), Intermediate …

(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