December 11, 2012

Regarding the Dec. 9 Metro article “Arlington board blasts conflict-of-interest allegation”:

I can testify that Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey’s suggestion that Chris Zimmerman is ignoring a conflict of interest was off the mark. During my service on the Metro board, I vehemently fought and disagreed at times with Mr. Zimmerman. However, I served with no one of higher integrity and respect for the transparency of board operations than Mr. Zimmerman.

It is incomprehensible to me that Mr. Zimmerman would not fully disclose all personal interests that he might have on any and all issues. He and I are not political birds of a feather, but I would continue to trust the sincerity of his word to this day. He carries the full interest of the public at the heart of his actions, and no one has a broader understanding of public transportation issues.

Robert J. Smith, Gaithersburg

The writer was a member of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board from 2003 to 2006.

Little did I know when I started calling Arlington’s Columbia Pike streetcar plan “Zimmerman’s Folly” how right I was. Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey has every right and responsibility to question fellow member Chris Zimmerman’s economic connection to the project. From the beginning, a streetcar along Columbia Pike has been one of the worst ideas ever, and it is well worth looking into any behind-the-scenes efforts that may have contributed to the inexplicable advance of this project.

Warren Emerson, Arlington