Can’t Wait for that Gol’ Dang Potts Plan

The Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce asked the gubernatorial candidates to comment on the Chamber’s three top transportation priorities, according to this Daily Progress report.

Jerry Kilgore said he supported two of the projects endorsed by the chamber, but admitted he wasn’t familiar with the third. Tim Kaine didn’t address the three projects directly, but said he’d deal “aggressively” with the transportation “crisis.”

Here’s what straight-talking Russ Potts had to say:

Potts, who labeled Kilgore’s proposal that all transportation funding first be passed by local referendum “disgraceful,” said the state’s transportation “crisis” would require major new sources of state funds.

“It’s going to cost a lot of money to fix this,” Potts said. “This is a heck of a problem.”

As for the three specific local projects, Potts said he intended to leave such decisions to the localities.

“Governor Russ Potts should never tell an area what their transportation priorities are,” Potts said. I’m not going to try to pull the wool over your eyes and tell you I know as much about Hillsdale or Meadowcreek as you.”

Maybe somebody out there can enlighten me, but on the one hand Potts dismisses regional referendums and regional transportation authorities as described by Kilgore, but on the other hand he says localities will decide on their priorities. On still a third hand, he’ll have a special session of the General Assembly that will be devoted to transportation, a seeming move to give Richmond all the authority to decide on projects. For a man who’s rallying cry is “everything will be on the table,” he sure seems to snatch things off the table–or can some things be on the table only if they’re on his terms?

I’m waiting to see his post-Labor Day transportation plan. What I hear right now seems contradictory.

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  1. Charley Tuna Avatar
    Charley Tuna

    “The chamber recently sent letters to the three candidates for governor outlining the chamber’s transportation priorities and requesting support for the projects.”

    “Governor Russ Potts should never tell an area what their transportation priorities are…”

    They weren’t asking him what their region’s transportation are, they were TELLING him and asking him if he–as Governor who has a say in how VDOT obligates its funds–would support these priorities.

    Kaine and Kilgore answered directly; how come Russ can’t?

    You know how you spell “passing the buck”?

    I thought you did.

  2. You do attract the comment spam, Will.

    But I get the sense that when confronted with specifics, Potts just doesn’t know what to say.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Russ Potts: “Everything’s on the table, everything… … except no general fund expenditures for transportation… and no referendums… and no ideas from Governor Potts…”


  4. Anonymous Avatar

    If the Chamber asked Potts for his priorities, he would have said “wait until I reveal the plan.” That is not what they did. They asked for the candidates to talk about three relatively small projects. As a few editorials have noted, the Charlottesville Chamber asked the wrong questions. No gubernatorial candidate will offer a detailed opinion on three small, individual road projects, particularly when the state’s biggest transportation problems lie elsewhere.

    I don’t expect any of the three candidates to get out a chart and a pointer and describe how they’ll fix potholes in County A and add turning lanes in County B. If Potts plan focuses on minutia like that, I think everyone will be very disappointed.

    And no, I don’t think any of the candidates are transportation experts–I just expect them to know a problem when they see one and do something about it.

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