I’ve been meeting and catching up with clients the past 2 days.
Despite being underwater with work, I saw today’s article in the Post which deserves further comment.
Yes, the spotlight on the Airports Authority has not been kind. It’s unfortunate because so many of the people on the Board are long-time veterans in public life.
The basic problem of the Airports Authority breaks down as follows:
1. Lack of transparency (Not subject to FOIA laws).
2. Lack of accountability. (Not subject to state procurement laws).
3. An under-representation for Virginians, who are most impacted by decisions involving our regional airports and the highways (or trains) leading to them.
The current battle involves the Governor’s attempt to replace Dennis Martire, head of the International Laborers Union, for overseas forays for the Airports Authority. The Governor thinks he can decide “cause” and then unilaterally replace a member of a Board appointed by the Assembly. Obviously, the trial court thought differently.
I’ll refrain from speaking to the merits of the Martire controversy; anytime you travel on the taxpayer dime you better be ready to explain it.
Of course, it’s no coincidence that the Governor took a larger problem with the Authority and singled out the only member of the Authority who represents organized labor. Sorry but that tends to negate the protestations about ”reform.”
Regardless, the next Governor will have to restore the public’s confidence. The Airports Authority is the most significant regional agency in our area. It controls a $6 billion project in Dulles Rail, which will transform the western Virginia suburbs and drive economic growth in Virginia for the next ten years.
We’ve got to rise above the current mess.