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Arlington "County Board Members Go Ballistic"

Thanks to some good reporting yesterday from the Arlington Sun Gazette's Scott McCaffrey:

"From the outside, it seems like such a minor matter – how the state government cuts the checks to localities for transit projects.

"But to several members of the County Board, the change is another example of Richmond’s fear and loathing of Northern Virginia.

"“Unnecessary.” “An enormous waste of time and money.” “Punitive.” “Disruptive.” “Probably illegal.” That’s how County Board member Jay Fisette described the proposal of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), which wants to write checks directly to local governments and Metro, rather than send funds through the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

"Fisette this year is serving as chairman of the commission – which is made up of localities across the region – and used the June 19 County Board meeting to blast the McDonnell administration for demanding that local governments go along with the change.

"The administration still doesn’t understand this region,” Fisette said. The new plan, he said, would “add financial and administrative burdens” to local governments.

"The outcry makes little sense to DRPT director Thelma Drake, who says the amount of state transit aid ($133 million in the coming year plus $50 million more for Metro) won’t change, and local governments have the option to have the funds managed by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission if they so choose."

Perhaps the County Board masterminds now know how some Arlington taxpayers react in response to some Arlington County Board decisions.

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