Thursday, November 18, 2010

Virginia May Increase Representation on The Metro board, Moran and Connolly Upset

For months I have been complaining about the gross waste and mismanagement of the Washington Metro system, a system so badly run that it makes the Postal Service look efficient.

 Well on Wednesday a report was issued by a joint Task Force of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Greater Washington Board of Trade on reforming the governance of Metro, and it called for dramatic changes to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The Task Force recommended that Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia be given greater oversight of the Metro, including seats on the Metro Board of Directors.  This is what bothers Moran and Connolly, they don't want a Republican Governor to intervene.

"I am pleased that the Task Force has recommended that the WMATA Board include greater representation from the Commonwealth of Virginia," Governor McDonnell remarked.  "We believe the current governance structure has contributed to a decline in Metro's performance and safety record. The findings of the Task Force are in agreement and support increased Virginia representation on the Board, as well as improved accountability and organization, as integral to improving the system."

The 18-member Task Force, comprised of business, elected and political leaders from the region, recommended that signatories to the Compact form a WMATA Governance Commission to make the improvements and hold the board accountable for its performance.  The Task Force also recommended that the Signatories to the WMATA Compact, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC, change the Compact to increase the number of primary members from two to three for each Appointing Authority, resulting in a 12-member Board, with one member appointed by the Chief Executive of each Signatory.

Why are Reps, Moran and Connolly upset about the Governor getting to appoint members to the board?  One theory, as it stands the Metro board is made up of Democrats, with McDonnell's appointments there could be a couple Republicans added to the club.  For partisan Democrats like Moran and Connolly that is a scary prospect.

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