Posts Tagged ‘good governance’

MPO votes in haste for Western Bypass on July 27

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

After the premature vote on Wednesday night, there is more work to do.

This is not over. In my opinion the MPO made a huge mistake voting for the change in the TIP without communication with their Board and Council as well as attorney assistance to make the conditions as bullet proof and enforceable as possible. We have time in the next two weeks to serve our community better. I cannot look away now.

I hope that citizens will speak out at the Aug 3 Board of Supervisors meeting under matters from the public, or via phone or email to bos@albemarle.org, to demand that the BOS direct the MPO reps to fix the conditions, to detail our list in the TIP change and get an MOU as suggested by Jim Utterbach himself.

The actions last evening, against the recommendations of staff to postpone the vote on the change to the TIP until proper language could be prepared, were grievously destructive to our community process and well being. The county reps turned their backs on their city colleagues, who were right in demanding time to think over a contract as huge and consequential as this one. The MPO majority lost a chance to handle the process correctly and help citizens feel that transparency and good government prevailed, despite the decision made. There is certainly no claim to that now. The VDOT rep himself said he was surprised at the content of the letter, having been part of the discussion at the CTB where other members understood the need to improve conditions on the 29 core as well.

After all, with any zoning change, if there is language in the conditions which needs fixing, we return to the process at a later meeting after the proper changes have been made and approved for legality and enforceability. Why would we not do this for a change this huge?

As Mac Lafferty, vice-chair of the CHART committee who develops the long range plan, said, why is it wrong that the city council and board of supervisors would want to study, understand and agree to the next step in this process? It is not wrong, it is essential.

Yet the MPO reps don’t want to listen and to learn, they “want their lives back,” as did the chairman of BP just after the oil spill in the Gulf. They should not cling to their MPO positions if they are unwilling to do the work required.