Hampton Roads Politicos Favor Regional Transportation Authority

Mayors and council chairmen representing seven of 12 Hampton Roads localities say they support, or lean toward supporting, creation of a regional transportation authority to raise taxes and fees for transportation projects, reports Tom Holden with the Virginian-Pilot.

At least seven of 12 municipal governments representing at least 51 percent of the area’s 1.5 million inhabitants must pass resolutions approving the authority’s new power. Once the authority is empowered, at least seven of 12 representatives to the authority would have to approve the full package of taxes and fees in an all-or-nothing vote.

According to Holden’s nose count, the mayors of Norfolk, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg and the chairmen in James City and Isle of Wight counties support the authority. Those opposed include the mayors of Chesapeake, Hampton and Poquoson and the chairman of York County.

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7 responses to “Hampton Roads Politicos Favor Regional Transportation Authority”

  1. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    This is precisely why the ’07 Tax Panic was such a cynical exercise in politics. The “More Concrete, Congestion and Corruption Crowd” – lead by Republican Senators Williams, Stolle and Norment – knew they would lose if the Voters decided. But they could swing the Democrat-dominated city and county officials. It will be more power to them when the Democrat-dominated appointed Regional Government starts handing out hundreds of millions to their friends, associates and contributors.

    The fix was in – they had counted noses – last year.

    Bob McDonnell and all the other Republicans that supported this in 02 – and got their butts handed to them – should be ashamed to be associated with the same scam in 07.

  2. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    Man, talk about a perfect storm. I wouldn’t want to be an incumbent or political insider right now.

    People down here are really POed. I have never seen it this bad since I have lived here.

    First you have the real estate taxes and the cities refusal to grant meaningful relief.

    Then there is the regional authority and it’s huge increase in taxes that all the local politicians want and the citizens constitutionally rejected.

    And of course the wages here are already low and the only raises one gets is a cost of living.

    Then there is the final straw, this business with illegal aliens.

    They say there is a mob mentality down here. That Oreily is just stirring up trouble. They are right, but their reasoning is wrong. This outrage is across the board, aimed at every politician regardless of party. It is a revolution in the making against a legalized mafia system that extorts money without providing any protection or solving the problems our citizens face daily.

    This is Act II that JB talked about although it’s probably not what he expected. The stage is set, the nation’s media has taken an interest, and Virginia will be in the spotlight reflecting the national mood.

  3. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Darrell: You have to have candidates. For Stolle, Quayle, Norment, Williams – I know of one for sure and one maybe – and there is only one week left.

  4. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    Darrell, I quite agree with you that the conditions are right for a throw-the-bums out election. I’ve been arguing for a year now that the slowdown/collapse in housing prices would make the inevitable property tax increases all the more painful. Combine rising property taxes with increased fees/penalties for transportation, and you’re going to get a lot of very angry voters.

    The voters have surprised me with their supine attitude before, but I’m waiting for the great taxpayer backlash.

  5. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    Well of course you need candidates. But just like the regional authorities, the fix is already in. When you have government run by the elite, paid by the elite, for the elite, there can be no room for the common citizen. That was the original purpose for the House, to protect the citizens from overbearing government. Now they are part of the problem.

    Virginia is being closely watched by the rest of the nation. Much has been raised about Jim Webb’s victory. But this is more than about some Democrat beating a Republican. There is a ground swell building nationwide that is going to have a profound impact on the way these parties operate. The people want representatives, not career politicians. They want results, not lame promises and rhetoric. The foundation for the two party system has been undermined by neglect and greed. Perhaps the time is right for a political redevelopment plan for the future. One in which the citizens regain their authority. Can’t you hear the bulldozers revving up?

  6. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    I remember local elections a few years ago where residents were totally fed up with the incumbents who never met a project they did not like even if it totally maxed a local road.. or extended water/sewer lines 10 miles past the current limits.

    Then election time came and everyone was good and ready to boot them… until they realized that all the challengers also were very much in favor of similiar policies – and their promise was simply to “do better” than the incumbents across the board.. i.e. “we’ll be more efficient with tax dollars but we still like growth and development” because it’s “healthy”.

    It was at that point – that many – realized to their horror that “throwing the bums out” was mostly an empty phrase – unless you actually went out and found and ran better candidates against them.

    It’s not impossible but it is difficult.

  7. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    Which is why voter turnout is just about zero.

    The system is geared around money. Just a local council race costs hundreds of thousands for a 20k job. It would take an exceptional individual to come up out of the commoners who had the ability to pull that kind of money without corrupting their ideals.

    Money is power and control. Anything short of a political revolution isn’t going to change anything. The elites decide, and we are along for the ride.

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