We’re here at the end of the school year with students on vacation. What are the chances that any student in school would ask for the chance to turn in their big project next fall?
I would imagine that the chances of that deadline being extended would be pretty small, even if it was an important assignment.
Well, transpose the classroom with the Board of Supervisors’ boardroom and the similarities are striking with Supervisors Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin), Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) and Ken Reid (R-Leesburg) urging a five-month delay on the final decision on Dulles Rail.
This is despite the fact that the board has already received an additional 30 days to consider the issue. Apparently, the trio will study really hard if granted an extension.
It is not as if the Dulles Rail decision is one that has snuck up on the board – and it is not as if the Silver Line was not part of the campaign last fall. For most of the board, they ran on support for Metro.
Everyone acknowledges that Dulles Rail will be a massive undertaking and it comes with a daunting price tag, but did no one study the issue beforehand? It has been in the pipeline for 30 years.
The proposed extension sounds suspiciously like political gamesmanship. In this way, it is not unlike the delay in voting on the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance. For good or ill, that vote was put off to ensure community outreach, but the time was instead spent disseminating half-truths and scare tactics.
In the past, we have made our position clear that Dulles Rail is an irreplaceable part of Loudoun’s future. However, for better or worse, the decision needs to be made now.
Even before the Silver Line looked like a real possibility, Loudoun has been planning for Rail to Dulles. It has factored into the county plan and has been used to lure new residents and businesses to the county. A delay only extends the uncertainty about regarding future business growth and the county’s commitment to the project.
Given the uncertain supervisors’ 21-point opt-in list, it seems that everyone is waiting for Rail to Dulles to transform itself into a perfect project. No project in the history of the county has ever been perfect, and it seems unlikely that any change would be sufficient to persuade naysayers.
Certainly those changes will never be enough for the rabid anti-rail constituents. Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) has the benefit of being the only supervisor consistently opposed – although his increasingly-crazed anti-Rail rhetoric has drifted further and further from reality and from the majority in his district who favor rail.
MWAA has been rightly criticized in the past on transparency and management issues. However, recent actions by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to shake up the organizations’ Board of Directors and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va) to install a permanent inspector general should go far to addressing any further problems with the organization. We agree with those who question why new replacements on the MWAA board are not from Loudoun, but this is a solvable problem and not one to bring the entire project to a halt.
It’s been said that the perfect is the enemy of the good. For this reason, we believe that the time for a vote is now. And while we agree that some portions of the Rail to Dulles plan can be approved, we do not believe that any of the voiced obstacles warrant a delay or an cancellation of the project.
|The Loudoun Times-Mirror
is an interactive, digital replica
of the printed newspaper.Open the e-edition now.