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LTE: Hillsboro Resident Questions Higgins' Stand on Rail

Opinions around the county continue to flow as the Loudoun Board of Supervisors begin rail discussion.

Dear Editor:

The following is a letter I sent to Geary Higgins following last week's Town Hall Meeting held in Lovettsville, VA.  Mr. Higgins says that he needs to look at all the information, he is "very concerned about the capital construction and long term costs associated with joining a system which is governed by unelected boards (MWAA and WMATA) that are controlled by Maryland and the District of Columbia," and "will not support the project if it is to be laid upon the backs of Loudoun's families," but he is still unable to commit to a position of opposing the Loudoun Rail Project.  Now is the time for true leadership in order to protect Loudoun County citizens from endless taxation, instead of political games.  I offer my letter which was addressed to Mr. Higgins for the people of Loudoun County to consider, and I am still waiting to hear that Geary Higgins will publicly, clearly, and vigorously oppose the Loudoun Rail Project.

Mr. Higgins,

I attended tonight's Town Hall Meeting in Lovettsville, and while I do appreciate the fact that you showed up, you did not earn my respect when it comes to the issue of Loudoun County's involvement with METRO.

Your inability to acknowledge how this project is bad for your constituents, and Loudoun County as a whole was disappointing.  The people who you represent need someone willing to have the courage to state an opinion, recognize that this is bad for their future, and to be a leader in rallying support to defeat this measure, instead of someone who will sit on the fence and see which way the wind of public opinion is blowing that day.

I am curious, as you state that you want to look at the information, how much information do you have to see in order to say that this is bad for Loudoun County.  I also wonder, if so many people are stating their support for building the Metro project in response to your email survey, where were they tonight?  If these people  are as passionate about building it as you mentioned tonight, they certainly didn't believe in it enough to get off their couch and leave their home to come support it tonight.  It takes a lot to get me to leave my family and my children in an evening to go out to something like this, but I did tonight because I truly believe this is a horrible idea for Loudoun County.

Sir, please do the right thing, have courage, be a leader, and take a stand as a leader to defeat this horrible idea of Loudoun METRO by publicly stating your opposition and OPT OUT!

Thank you,

Todd Morrison,
Hillsboro, VA

Rob Jones April 21, 2012 at 02:08 PM
As a western Loudoun resident who often spends time in Ashburn and commutes into Maryland I could not agree more that Ashburn could use more in the way of sidewalks, bike paths and good bus service. But the Ashburn rail station will only make matters worse for you, as the funding that would improve your local amenities will probably be snapped up by the BOS to pay for Metro. There is no extra money in the budget unless you borrow it. Also, if you can envision the amount of urban development that will be triggered by the rail station, your traffis situation will be infinitely worse, as you are adding thousands of households, with their cars, and you can't predict the amount of traffic that will bleed off of Route 50 and Route 7 as folks actually choose Metro, which would be a good thing except for the fact that they all have to drive to Ashburn first. You could run more commuter buses from Hillsboro, Berryville and Paris, but once people are on the buses, they might as well ride all the way in. Buses move pretty well down the toll road, I watch them every day. Metro stations at Ashburn will only make your property taxes go up, add a killer amount of local traffic, and if you like Reston better, maybe you should consider moving there as an option. If you like Loudoun schools better than Reston's, well, consider what happens when you pull money from the school budget to pay WMATA subsidies. Buses cost $Millions less and will give you what you need from your local government.
Rob Jones April 21, 2012 at 02:14 PM
+1
Kelli Grim1 April 21, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Writing and speaking at the meetings are less than a longshot to get the BOS to listen, all one has to do is take a look at their campaign donations...they did not get elected because a bunch of residents funded their campaigns. My supervisor to a lot of funds from developers and unknown origin pacs that are far removed from our Blue Ridge District. I can assure you I am very involved in, I just understand how the Loudoun Politics works. Follow tooconservative.com or brleader.com?
Janie Oldham April 21, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Mr. Jones, please email your supervisor with your views. I've heard that supervisors are not hearing from those opposed to the metro.
Rob Jones April 21, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I have, and have actually heard back from two of them. If what you say is true, my guess is that the pro-rail interests are well-funded or well-organized in the usual astro-turfing manner. The voices against rail have very specific, researched and thoughtful points. The pro-rail voices are more generalized, lack specificity, and tend to parrot somewhat partisan slogans that fall apart under scrutiny. That being said, governance is all too rarely contaminated by logic or reason.

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