Most Read: Local

Dr. Gridlock
Traffic and Commuting Home  |  Discussions  |  Columns  |  Q&A  |      Twitter  |     Facebook |  phone Alerts
Posted at 08:04 AM ET, 12/07/2011

New appointees may have little say at Airports Authority board

Two of the Virginia governor’s new appointees to the Airports Authority board are expected to come to Wednesday’s meeting, but whether they’ll be invited to participate is a bit unclear.

Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell (R) appointed Todd Stottlemyer of Oakton and Caren Merrick of McLean, after legislation passed that expanded the size of the board to 17 from 13. Virginia would get two additional seats — the governor’s appointees--while the District and Maryland would each get one.

But the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) had voted to not support changes to the structure of its board.

The MWAA board sought the opinion of an outside legal counsel on the legality of the governor’s appointees and the new bill. They believe the appointments and changes to their structure require a change to the compact that governs MWAA.

MWAA’s board chairman Charles Snelling said in a letter to Congressman Frank Wolf that the legal opinion “will not permit” McDonnell’s appointees to “participate in board duties until the appropriate changes are made to the governing MWAA compact.”

The most controversial item on the agenda these days of the MWAA board is constructing the new 23 miles of Metro rail that will eventually run to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County. The first phase of the construction is underway and expected to be completed in late 2013, but officials have said it could be as much as $150 million overbudget.

Construction of the second phase has yet to be awarded, but preliminary engineering is underway.

The airports authority is also responsible for overseeing operations at Dulles and Reagan National Airports.

Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl for live tweets from Wednesday’s board meeting, starting at 8:30 a.m. 

By  |  08:04 AM ET, 12/07/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company