Governor Bob as King George?

Bob Marshall

Bob Marshall

This quote from Del. Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, at the Commonwealth Transportation Board was just too good to bury in the longer news story I filed last night….

Here’s the context: Marshall was making the argument that the Virginia Department of Transportation and McDonnell administration had provided insufficient transparency to the approval process for the Bi-County Parkway (a key link in the North-South Corridor) and inadequate opportunities for citizens to express their opinions. He then referred to the CTB meeting itself, where only a dozen or so residents among the hundreds who had gathered in Northern Virginia meetings to protest the project, had made an appearance. Holding a CTB meeting more than 100 miles away in Richmond, in the middle of a weekday when working people affected by the project cannot in all practicality attend, he said, “is a profound disservice to citizens.”

Then he added this zinger:

Reflect on this fact and consider that America’s Founding Fathers detected the same fault in Britain’s King George: “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the repository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”

Shades of the Tea Party? The Bi-County Parkway is giving rise to the same alliance that defeated a proposed increase in the regional sales tax a decade ago: small-government fiscal conservatives and Smart Growth-minded liberals. Governor Bob McDonnell would do well to reflect upon his legacy.

— JAB

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2 responses to “Governor Bob as King George?

  1. I’m no fan of Bob Marshall but in this case he is 100% correct.

    Just as with other controversial projects like the Cville Bypass, VDOT follows a different public participation process than it does with less controversial projects.

    It’s not only a disservice to the citizens who want to be heard – it’s disservice to all taxpayers who are entitled to a proper citizen vetting of projects that use substantial state and federal funds that are thus not available to other projects.

    I’m of the view that VDOT is trying to start a dual corridor to I-95 from Md to Richmond with some hope that at some point Maryland will relent and help find a connect back to I-95 perhaps along the ICC.

  2. VDOT is not alone. MWAA has held multiple inconvenient non-hearings on the Silver Line over the years.

    And a number of Virginians want to build a western bypass on the hope Maryland will change its minds about additional river crossings. However, I firmly believe any such crossing must be in Loudoun County. There is no way Great Falls residents will accept a major thoroughfare and bridge in Great Falls. And it’s questionable that established Loudoun County neighborhoods will be receptive either. I know one big supporter of additional Potomac River crossings who fears that, if Maryland consented, Virginia might well oppose this.

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