UPDATE: Regional transportation lobbying proposal fades
The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) lobbying proposal was not introduced Thursday during the board meeting, according to Del. Tom Rust (R-86th). Rust, an NVTC commissioner, said the consistent negative feedback from the various NVTC jurisdictions essentially killed the $250,000 proposal for “legislative advocacy and public outreach.”
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors are formally opposing a Northern Virginia Transportation Commission lobbying program proposal, despite the fact that Loudoun wouldn’t be asked to contribute funds toward the project, according to Richard Taube, executive director for the NVTC.
Taube said Thursday the $250,000 “legislative advocacy and public outreach program” proposal would come at “no cost” to Loudoun County. Rather, the expense would be divvied between the other five governments – Fairfax and Arlington counties, and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church – based on their allotment from commonwealth transportation funds.
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (R-At Large), in a letter to NVTC commission members Wednesday, expressed “significant concern” regarding the commission’s lobbying proposal, which he says would be paid out by member contributions, including Loudoun County.
Taube said he’s aware of York and the Board of Supervisors’ stance, but he believes they “may not have been aware” Loudoun wouldn’t have to contribute funds.
York wrote, “To the extent that [certain] positions [may] conflict with those of Loudoun County, we will strongly object to our transportation dollars being diverted to fund an NVTC lobbying program.
“...as 85 percent of the funds for NVTC are allocated by the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is our opinion that the use of State grant funds for lobbying purposes places our precious transportation funds further at risk,” York continues.
The lobbying program would entail increasing public communication, better identifying performance goals, and potentially lead to the hiring of additional NVTC staff, Taube says.
Public citizens will have a chance to comment on the NVTC’s proposal tonight during the organization’s 8 p.m. meeting at 2300 Wilson Blvd., Arlington.
Taube predicted the NVTC board won’t accept the proposal Thursday night, saying he believes the organization will try to enhance its communication with the public without increasing revenues.
The NVTC allocates approximately $200 million in state, regional and federal transit assistance each year among the member jurisdictions.