Kilgore’s Plan Sets Agenda

Yesterday Chris Graham of the Augusta Free Press led with this story: “Transportation issue at top of candidates’s agenda.” Graham wrote,

Former attorney general and Republican Party gubernatorial-nomination race frontrunner Jerry Kilgore has been carrying the transportation ball forward in recent weeks with his plan to address the state’s roads problems through the creation of regional authorities that would have the power to issue bonds and hold referendums to involve taxpayers in financing decisions.

The article mentioned some of Lt. Gov. candidate Leslie Byrne’s ideas, but conspicuously absent was any discussion of Tim Kaine’s ideas. Does he have any, or is he just the anti-Kilgore?

This criticism was offered of Kilgore’s plan:

Dick Daugherity, the executive vice president of the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance, is concerned that “regional transportation planning is not going to be as easy a thing to accomplish” as some people might think that it will be.

“The problem will come when you ask a regional transportation authority to prioritize the projects that need to be done,” Daugherity told the AFP.

“They’ll be able to agree on a list of projects that are high priorities, but getting them to agree on what the most important project is going to be extremely difficult to do,” Daugherity said.

Hmmm. I don’t know of anyone who is saying regional transportation planning is “easy.” Centralized planning has proven to be no picnic and the state’s project prioritization seems to be one of the chief bones of contention in the whole transportation debate.

Kilgore’s plan is the most specific plan out there right now. Kaine and others are free to pick it to death, but eventually they need to offer some specifics and put their plans out for public comment as Kilgore has done.


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  1. Bob Griendling Avatar
    Bob Griendling

    Will, I know you want to pan Kaine’s lack of a plan as much as you can and certainly have criticized Potts for his plan to call a special session, but how is Kilgore’s plan really a plan?

    Potts has outlined a very general “plan” to call lawmakers into session but at least has shown (I believe) sympathy for a gas tax and wants to reinstitute the car tax.

    All Kilgore has done is the same thing only less: suggested a process for transportation planning. However, unlike Potts, Kilgore doesn’t want to take responsibility for making any of the key decisions, certainly not on how to pay for it.

    A plan, would include a list of priority projects, a series of initiatives to address transportation via land use, a method for paying for roads and transit and a mechanism for protecting funds ostensibly raised for transportation.

    None of these guys have a plan, Kilgore included.

  2. Kaine’s statements on the subject at hand, under “Improve Planning Coordination Between State and Local Officials”:

    http://www.kaine2005.org/issues_transportation.asp

    Nothing concrete, but some decent enough sounding noises, atleast *mentioning* land-use concerns. It seems to me the fundimental division between Kaine’s views (as stated above) and Kilgore’s is Kilgore wants to push transportation planning out from central and into regional/local, and Kaine wants to bring in local to be more involved in the central process. Neither is really a plan (more of a meta-plan) to solve the problems, but that is a pretty fundimental difference in the candidate’s views.

  3. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    The biggest problem with the Kilgore transportation plan is regional taxing authorities. We, The People, have rejected this twice at the polls in the past 7 years. It should be two strikes and you are out.

    We don’t need a new taxing authority. We don’t need un-elected bureaucrats taxing us.

    The fact that every new tax is supposed be subject to a referendum is supposed to be honey enough to make it palatable. No, that means we, The ordinary people, would have to kill the Tax Vampire every year, like we did in 02. What a pain that was to win.

    Kilgore should get a new plan asap.

  4. Steven Avatar

    I agree with Atticus.

    Kilgore’s referendum plan is nothing more than a new taxing authority. But statewide Republican’s need to voice their objections to help ‘deep six’ the previously failed idea.

    Btw, does Democratic Kaine have a transportation plan?

    ~ the blue dog

  5. Ray Hyde Avatar
    Ray Hyde

    There is only so much money, folks, no matter how many taxing authorities you are willing to support with the limited funds available. More taxing authorities is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.

  6. There is no question that transportation needs to be planned by region instead of by the state or ad hoc, or locally.

    But…

    Aren’t we already doing that with regional transportation boards?

    Kilgore’s plan is a gimmick…like most referendum plans.

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