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Fairfax Board Seeks Changes to Wolf's MWAA Bill

Frank Wolf (R-10th)'s legislation would give Virginia more appointees on the MWAA Board of Directors, but supervisors want a hand in the appointment process.

As U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) prepares a bill that would change the makeup of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Board of Directors, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors are asking him to include language that would give Northern Virginia more influence in appointing members.

The MWAA Board — which has been sharply criticized by Virginia officials in Fairfax and elsewhere for its handling of the Dulles Metrorail project, including a squabble over a labor agreement for Phase 2 of the line that will run from Reston to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County — currently includes three presidential appointees, five appointees from Virginia, three from D.C. and three from Maryland.

Wolf’s proposed legislation would scale down the board from 13 to nine members: six from Virginia, and one appointee each from the mayor of Washington, D.C., the governor of Maryland and the President of the United States.

In a letter to Wolf and U.S. Reps. Jim Moran (D-8th) and Gerry Connolly (D-11th), Supervisors requested Northern Virginia officials in Fairfax, Arlington and Loudoun Counties have a hand in the appointment process.

“Changing the number of Board Members representing Virginia does not, in itself, ensure that they will be responsive to the public,” the letter reads.

They also requested that the legislation include criteria for picking MWAA Board members “to ensure that they can adequately address the issues that the MWAA Board regularly deals with.”

The board approved the letter at its Sept. 25 meeting, thanking the congressmen for their work but hoping for more change.

“We believe that improvements to the governance at MWAA are critical, so that reforms are not dependent on individual appointees, but rather become part of the institutional culture at MWAA,” reads the Board’s letter.

No Toll Increase September 28, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Traffic will get really bad if the unaccountable MWAA board continues committing highway robbery and reduces toll road usership by 25%, as projected, even as the population continues to grow..... The root of the problem is that we still have an unaccountable board committing highway robbery. They will continue to drive up the costs of commuting on the Dulles Toll Road unless Virginia takes control back. Virginia State Senator Richard Black is asking Gov. Bob McDonnell to have VDOT take the DTR back from MWAA- this is a huge step towards slowing or stopping toll increases. https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B64IfZTFiYIAeGo1dmpWVjlhMUE Toll Road users and local residents need to contact Gov. McDonnell and ask him to take our road back. He can be reached at (804) 786-2211 or http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm For more information, visit www.NoTOLLincrease.org
Rob Whitfield September 28, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Our Congressional representatives, Virginia General Assembly delegation and local Supervisor Board members have failed the public by allowing MWAA to take over the Dulles Toll Road and construct Dulles Rail without first demanding that MWAA cede more control to appointees from Fairfax and Loudoun counties. They also failed to demand a rigorous analysis of rail ridership forecasts, funding alternatives, cost benefit evaluation and a sensitivity analysis of revenues and costs. Imagine how Maryland or DC legislators would react if Virginia demanded seats on their transportation boards. Both Governor Kaine and then MWAA Chairman Mame Reiley saw an opportunity for expanding political patronage and viewed the Dulles Toll Road as a cash cow so transit riders and DC, Maryland, Arlington County, Alexandria and Falls Church taxpayers obtained a hugely subsidized project for their primary benefit at little cost. Under Kaine's plan, assisted by Delegate Ken Plum, DTR users, mostly from outside the Capital Beltway, will be milked for $$ billions over the next fifty years, free from influence by Virginia politicians. Congressman Wolf's plan is comparable to re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. This week, Jack Potter, MWAA's President, said that most near term domestic air traffic growth will occur at Reagan National rather than at Dulles. MWAA wants to build a new parking garage there. Average Metrorail weekday boardings at Reagan in FY 2012 were less than in FY 2007.
joe brewer September 29, 2012 at 08:58 PM
How about Mame Reiley getting 300,000 dollars plus benefits for about 8 months work as a consultant for the MWAA? Comes to about 10,000 a week not quite Romney level but still outrageous!
Just the Facts September 30, 2012 at 11:17 AM
The problem is not the Board believe it or not. The problem is the staff. The staff did the Mame Reiley deal. The staff did 220 million of no bid contracts. Both of these issues never came before the Board. Republican Sec of Transportation said the Mame Reiley deal was what pushed him over the edge. But he also said CEO Potter is great. Well, CEO Potter said he did the Mame deal. Do you hear LaHood , Wolf, McDonald. Comstock, Allen, Minchew, Ramadan, asking for his removal? Nope, because he is bought and paid for by the Republican elected officials. This inside deal cost the Authority over $300,000. I do not hear those same elected officials going after Potter like they went after the labor guy for an approved MWAA plane ticket . Where are these same public officials? Silent because they were all in on the Mame Reiley deal. They bought her seat and some Board members are involved as well.. A Gov in the state of Ill went to jail for selling a seat. Mame's seat was worth $300,000 of MWAA money. I hope the FBI investigates what is going on here. The MWAA Board is not the problem. It's the CEO and some corrupt Republican elected officials. Wolf, LaHood, McDonnell need to be investigated to see what role they played. The public is being hosed in all of this. Tolls are rising and MWAA just keeps spending more money on stupid issues like this. They need to clean house starting with the CEO .
Bob Bruhns October 01, 2012 at 02:32 PM
MWAA staff did not hire Mame Reiley. Check the Robinson Hall and Jack Potter quotes near the end of this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/mame-reiley-to-leave-metropolitan-washington-airports-authority-post/2012/09/05/de8c3f46-f76b-11e1-8398-0327ab83ab91_story.html MWAA CEO Potter took full responsibility for the Mame Reiley hiring. There is no way Potter would take responsibility, if staff was to blame. And if staff was approving excessive non-bid contracts, where was the Board and executive oversight? Are the Board and executives just strutting before the news media, while the staff does everything? The problem at MWAA still comes down to the MWAA Board and executives. And our 'leaders' and most of the news media are complicit. I submit that even though we are seeing these MWAA improprieties that add up into the millions, the focus only on them is blinding us to the waste of Billions of dollars due to overcharges in the Silver Line / Dulles Rail project. Personally, I believe that this is deliberate misdirection. Taxpayers should have paid attention to the near-double prices of Dulles Rail construction, because those costs are heading home to roost. http://www.bruhns.us/civic/DullesRail/Dulles-Rail---Silver-Line-overcost-report---Bruhns.pdf
Bob Bruhns October 01, 2012 at 02:56 PM
By the way, this squabble is just a bunch of thieves fighting over stolen money. They know exactly what they are doing - not a single one of our so-called 'leaders' ever breathes a single word about the near double cost, because control of the surplus money from the massive overcharge for the Dulles Rail / Silver Line project has been the main purpose of this job since about 2002. Taxpayers should have paid attention to the near-double prices of Dulles Rail construction, because those costs are heading home to roost. http://www.bruhns.us/civic/DullesRail/Dulles-Rail---Silver-Line-overcost-report---Bruhns.pdf
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