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LTE: MWAA Provides Political Cover for Silver Line

One reader makes the case that MWAA simply insulates elected officials from angry constituents.

To the Editor:

Most people have heard of the endless problems with MWAA (the guys in charge of Metro’s Silver Line construction) and their reckless spending. Still, our state and local governments keep ignoring their bad reputation when it comes to their management of the Silver Line construction. Loudoun and Virginia are handing over our taxes and tolls knowing MWAA has no incentive for efficiency. They answer to no one, at any level of government.

If you want to know where the wasted billions go look at the names of companies on the campaign contributions of those who push this crony-driven spendfest. I expect you'll see the lobbyists, the contractors and the developers making hefty investments in the campaign accounts of these officials to protect their baby, the Silver Line. They win, citizens lose.

There’s another reason your elected leaders want MWAA in charge of the Dulles Toll Road. Here it is: When MWAA is wasting your tolls and taxes MWAA gets the blame, not the politicians. Don’t be fooled so easily. Tolls are the new hidden tax on drivers. This would not be so bad if the Toll Road drivers were getting something in return. Instead the price of having MWAA as a middleman is much higher tolls and taxes.

MWAA operates the Dulles Toll Road under a permit that VDOT controls, and the Governor controls VDOT. So why is Gov. McDonnell, along with most of the people we elect, looking the other way instead of taking action to save our money?  

Both the federal and state governments seem to be broke. There will be no one to step in and fix all this if people refuse to pay the nearly $20 daily round trip from Leesburg to Washington.

The next time your elected official tells you they "feel your pain," tell them to do something that actually helps you for a change, instead of looking out for the big guys.

Sincerely from a fellow Loudoun citizen,
Bobby Harris

joe brewer October 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM
The list of errors by the MWAA is as the saying goes long but illustrious. Are we going to have more revelation when the Inspector General's report comes out, I think so. An entity without oversight and the ability to raise fees at will is a fiefdom. There is no negotiation just rulings on expenditures (latest wasted money, Martire and Reiley) and toll increases by whom? A czar a lord, is it King potter and the lords of the Mwaa, seems medieval does it not? The funding should have been completed before any other concern, don't blame the state for our Supervisors lack of vision.
No Toll Increase October 16, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Bobby makes some great points. More information about how the Governor could retake the Dulles Toll Road can be found at http://notollincrease.blogspot.com/2012/08/mwaa-there-is-better-way.html
Bob Bruhns October 16, 2012 at 03:12 PM
MWAA says Loudoun County needs to pay $275 million for Phase II costs, PLUS $168 million for the three Metro parking garages (two at Rt 772, and one at Rt 606). Don't be tricked, thinking that some builder will build those garages for free - they will get parking fees, etc, that would otherwise have gone to the County, and apparently it is not unusual for the municipality to pay many costs anyway. It behooves taxpayers to be vigilant right now. Worse yet, the costs we will be struggling to pay, appear to be almost two times what they should be. http://www.bruhns.us/civic/DullesRail/Dulles-Rail---Silver-Line-overcost-report---Bruhns.pdf And worst of all, WMATA needs $13.5 billion for maintenance and capital needs. When you hear them knocking at the door... look out.
Just the Facts October 19, 2012 at 04:23 PM
MWAA was provided an IG Audit in May about 220 MILLION DOLLARS OF NO-BID CONTRACTS that were given out without Board approval. This is more then a bottle of wine, plane tickets or lavish dinners. This is 220 MILLION DOLLARS!!! MWAA has not told the public where this money was spent, who benefited, and why they hid all of these contracts from the Board? Who is the responsible party for putting out millions of dollars of contracts without getting them approved? Does anyone ever get fired from this organization? CEO Jack Potter said he hired Mame Reiley for $200,000 also without Board approval. Now he and his staff have uped the anti and are dealing out millions of dollars without Board approval. Where is Congressman Wolf? Where is the Governor? Are they responsible for the no bid contracts? Did it go to political friends? They sure are being silent on this issue but were very vocal about controling Board votes. Who knows because MWAA will not disclose the information. Get out your wallets because MWAA does not have to tell you anything.

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