Bacon Speaks!

I’ll be addressing the Richmond First Club next Thursday (Feb. 1) on the topic of Virginia’s transportation policy. The title: “A Train Wreck for the 21st Century: Dissecting the Transportation Policies of Gov. Kaine and the General Assembly.”

The meeting will be held at the SunTrust building in downtown Richmond on the 10th floor. The public is invited. However, if you want lunch, you’ll need to contact Allen Trosclair at (804) 564-0630.

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12 responses to “Bacon Speaks!”

  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross


    Be sure to work on your “ums”.


  2. I’m also at another reception that day. Could you tell me what time you’re expecting to speak?

  3. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun

    Don’t forget to mention this little gem – in HB 3202 – found on page 7 Section 15.2-2403.1 Creation of urban transportation service districts – article C. (discussing citys over 90,000 in population that assume control of there roads from VDOT:

    And I quote:

    “In addition, such locality shall receive a $10,000 payment from the Commonwealth for each displaced VDOT employee who is hired by the locality. Each displaced VDOT employee who is hired by the locality shall also receive a $10,000 payment from the Commonwealth upon completion of one year’s service with the locality.”

    They are raising our taxes for THIS?????

    Have they lost their minds????

  4. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Joe, I’m not sure exactly what time I speak. These downtown affairs usually allow people half an hour for lunch then half an hour for speech and Q&A, so I’m assuming that I’ll speak at 12:30.

    Reid, There is a logical reason for those payments to VDOT employees. The concerns is that local governments will not want to take over responsibility for maintaining local roads because they have no administrative apparatus to do the job — no equipment, no employees. In my conversations with local government officials, there was a concern that maintaining local roads would be a good idea in the long run, it would be very difficult to get over the hump of the start-up expenses. This provision is attempting to address that problem. Another provision (I believe) provides for transferring equipment from VDOT to the localities.

    Whether those reasons are sufficient to justify these one-time payments, I don’t know. But that’s the reason.

  5. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    JB – I AM … SHOCKED!

    Nary a word about contracting out for low bid to the private sector.

    And there are also lots of private consultants available to manage the contracts.

    Let the VDOT employees compete for those jobs in the private sector just like anyone else would.

    or .. has my tongue got ahead of my mind on this? …. as usual?

  6. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Larry, Don’t freak out. Counties would not be *required* to set up their own mini-VDOTs. Indeed, everyone I talked to mentioned that privatization would be an attractive option in many cases. Don’t forget, it’s not as if counties will be clamoring to make this change. The G.A. is hoping to get two or three volunteers to act as pioneers, to to speak. As they figure out what they’re doing and as the program proves to be a success (assuming that it does), other counties may follow behind, learning from their experience.

  7. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun

    Jim, you have to be joking – you don’t see any problem with this???

    Holy smokes!!!

    If the plan is to hire “one or two” ex-VDOT people – than put THAT cap into the bill.

    There is NO CAP in the bill.

    How many VDOT workers are expected to be displaced by this bill? What, 3,000 – 5,000 ???

    How much money is THIS needless VDOT employ Bonus Program going to cost “We, The People”?

    We . . do .. not … know!

    Who can vote in support of such outlandish little “surprises” hidden in these flurry of transportation bills?!

    I mean, the $10,000 per ex-VDOT employee is, in effect, using taxpayer dollars to bribe local governments to hire ex-VDOT employees!?

    Reading your post it seems to me that you are stating you don’t have a problem with that.

    I too – am shocked.

    And saddened.

    Unless this provision is removed from HB 3202 I feel the entire bill should be rejected.

    Jim, you support raising taxes, adding new tolls and a host of new annoying fees – to give displaced VDOT workers a $10,000 raise???

    Did it even cross anyone’s mind that these “displaced VDOT workers” might end up earning MORE in pay and benefits then their old jobs???

    The bill does nothing to means test this blatany $10,000 Bonus to folks – for having the good luck to get hired once their job went away!!!

    This … is simply unbelievable to me!

    It is so in the face of the taxpayers!

    Ex-VDOT employees are often a REASON outr transportation infrastructure is so neglected and mismanaged!!!

  8. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Reid, Don’t jump to conclusions. I didn’t say I supported the idea. I was simply trying to explain the logic of the bill to you. It *does* have a logic, even if you happen to disagree with it.

    My reservation about the way the bill is structured is this: The state wants to devolve road-maintenance powers to the localities on the grounds that local governments can do the job cheaper than VDOT. But if you’ve got to give away the store in order to achieve that devolution, then you’ve undercut the reason for the devolution in the first place.

    I don’t have enough information to judge at this point. I suspect that you’ll have to look at each situation on a case-by-case basis and see what the numbers look like.

    What I would *not* want to see happen is for local governments to say, no thanks, even though we think we might be able to save money and/or provide better service over the long haul, we don’t want to incur the short-term costs of taking over responsibility.

  9. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun

    Okay Jim. I have come to respect you a great deal – so I appreciate your view.

    It is simply that when everyone is throwing around terms that we have a “crisis” due to not enough money to fund transportation NEEDS – this kinda of blatant in your face B.S. serves to prove how corrupt and untrue such “the sky is falling” proclaimations really are.

    Clearly if the GA feels they have no problem finding money to pay $10,000 to localities to bribe them to hire ex-VDOT workers – AND – at the same time – hand out $10,000 bonus checks to ex-employees (!!!); there can’t really be any “funding crisis”.

    THIS type of shinnanigans is tax & spend fleecing of taxpayers that has got us into the mess we now find ourselves in regard to transportation!

    Clearly the problem is not that we are not taxes enough – it is HOW our tax dollars are being spent!

    Handing out $10,000 bonuses to ex-VDOT workers shows a total failure to prioritize spending!!!

    Jim, we have REAL NEEDS that this money could – and should – be spent on.

    We don’t have any “critical need” to hand out $10,000 bonus checks to ex-VDOT employees.

    So, why on earth is the GA foolishly taking more money away from the citizens of Virignia – to hand out who knows how many millions of dollars in birbes and bonus checks???

    It’s nuts!

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    Hey Bacon,
    If you want us to come, why aren’t you buying us all lunch?

  11. Jim Bacon Avatar

    You need to ask? You know very well I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a free lunch!

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    You Republicans are such cheap bastards!

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