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Metro Needs Directors Who are Not Artists or Social Engineers

NewsChannel8 reported today an AP story that "Metro plans to install 30 stylish canopies by the end of the winter to protect escalators from rain and snow." The original plan was to install 50 canopies at a cost of $27 million (unit cost increasing from $450,000 to $761,000) "but a nearly 70 percent increase in material and design costs forced the agency to slash the number." One Metro manager actually defended the design change by saying, "The system must be befitting of the nation's capital." (emphasis added). Last Friday's Northern Virginia Journal (page 7, January 7; Adobe required) reported that some Metro directors were pushing for a so-called 'living wage.' According to the Journal, the item was discussed at the "behest" of Arlington County Board member Chris Zimmerman, who chairs the Metro board's Planning, Development and Administration Committee. The Journal article noted the proposal could cost $5 million, but noted that "Zimmerman disputed that figure." The paper also said there is the possibility the proposal could jeopardize funds from the federal government "since it makes the agency seem cash flush." Metro directors should be ensuring that Metro operates efficiently and economical rather than playing art director or pushing social engineering experiments. If they did their jobs, there wouldn't be a need for 'dedicated funding sources,' i.e., a regional sales tax!

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