Come to the Dark Side, BOS!
Seduced by the popularity of Metro to Loudoun (supposedly 80% of Loudoun residents support it), the push of other notable Republicans (Wolf and McDonnell) and the political support of those who stand to benefit financially from its construction (MC Dean), the Loudon County Board of Supervisors almost hypnotically draws closer and closer to the Dark Side of politics, that being reckless blank-check spending. Supervisors York, Buona and Letourneau already have boarded the Death Star. Volpe is on her way and Reid will just follow the majority like a weak-willed storm trooper.
And the circle will be complete.
Make no mistake, I like the idea of Metro. However, I also expect well-reasoned decisions from my elected representatives, and the BOS has done none of its homework here. They haven’t agreed on how we’re going to pay for it, or even how much it’s going to cost. No doubt, if they came out with information on special tax districts or confirmed property tax increases for everyone, the support numbers would drop dramatically. But they haven’t done that, effectively capitalizing on the childish excitement of something shiny and new without doing the grown-up analysis of the price. And, in the process, they wholly abandon the promise of fiscal conservatism upon which they were elected.
Listen, I’d rather spend the Metro billions on widening Rte. 7, opening I-66 inside the beltway, my own personal HOV lane with a police escort, and my own helipad. Since those are equally unlikely, I choose Metro. Like I’ve said before, it is the only meaningful transportation thing going. In essence, my support is a desperation move.
That is, a desperation move to the Dark Side.
UPDATED: Matt Letourneau’s exhaustive statement on Metro provides some additional insight on the Death Star construction costs along with his thoughts on paying for it.