Kaine’s CTB: A Little Old, A Little New

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has finally announced his appointments for Commonwealth Transportation Board seats that expired June. Two of the five appointments are reappointments: Mary Lee Carter, a former chair of the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors, and John J. “Butch” Davies, a Culpeper attorney and former member of the House of Delegates.

Bringing new perspectives are:

  • E. Dana Dickens III, of Suffolk, vice chairman of the Suffolk Planning Commission and CEO of the Hampton Roads Partnership.
  • Peter B. Schwartz, of Delaplane, a former commercial real estate developer and now vice chair of the Piedmont Environmental Council.
  • Cord A. Sterling, of Stafford, vice president of the Aerospace Industries Association and former legislative assistant to U.S. Senator John Warner, responsible for advising key issues such as military construction projects and Base Realignment and Closure .

Kaine is to be credited for appointing three new individuals who bring strong areas of expertise and a variety of new perspectives to the CTB. Here’s how the Governor is spinning the appointments:

These public servants demonstrate our Administration’s continued commitment to innovation and reform that will help us maintain Virginia’s reputation as a national leader,” Governor Kaine said. “With the addition of VDOT Commissioner David Ekern, we are assembling a team of individuals who share practical, front-line experience in the critical linkage between local land use decisions and state transportation planning.

My gut reaction: If Kaine wanted a true change of thinking on the board, he would have selected five new appointees, not three. Of the three newbies, only Schwartz is likely to challenge Business As Usual head-on. (I say that based only on the formal credentials of the appointees. I know nothing about their personal philosophies, and am willing to stand corrected.)

Based on the contents of the press release, I see this as a cautious step in the right direction, not a dramatic departure from the old way of doing things. Can anyone else lend any insight?

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