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Old 06-13-2011, 10:37 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,789 posts, read 10,705,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
I
As for Tom Davis, I don't think he was sponsoring any new TOD law, but rather threatening to put language into a regular Metro funding bill that would have effectively prevented Metro's sale of a key parcel of land.
which was effectively legislating to change the process on particular project, and had no impact on any other project, not any other TOD project, or any other development project.

I realize that thats of a piece with much else that goes on on capitol hill, but I've never heard of it intruding into the local development process like that, and it left me with a bad impression not only of the project opponents, of Congressman Davis, whom I had previously respected.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
3,718 posts, read 4,783,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Bradley View Post
Fewer roads=more traffic on existing roads. People in DC have more options for how to get to places precisely *because* they are (grid-arranged) road-surface-dense. My fantasy plan for the suburbs would involve more and larger arteries to move traffic through the region quickly (with long bike/pedestrian trails as an alternative [and also to highlight 'wild'/'park'/'preserve'-like spaces in the region]; Fairfax Co. has been reasonably good at this part, actually), interspersed with walkable communities served by streets/roads arranged in dense grids. Oh, and plentiful public transit options serving the whole area.
So you would support something like this?

http://www.nvta.org/files/2008GoalsMapfinal.pdf
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:44 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,371,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
which was effectively legislating to change the process on particular project, and had no impact on any other project, not any other TOD project, or any other development project.
I would have seen it as using leverage with respect to issues within his district regarding a project within his district. Insisting that there be a public hearing doesn't seem all that radical or heavy-handed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I realize that thats of a piece with much else that goes on on capitol hill, but I've never heard of it intruding into the local development process like that, and it left me with a bad impression not only of the project opponents, of Congressman Davis, whom I had previously respected.
Constituent services is a major bit of work for every House member. They are up to their necks in it and have significant portions of their allotted staffs devoted to it. They are permanently besieged by calls of Can't you do something about this? coming at them from all quarters. If it has to do with federal funding, I would say it's within a Congressperson's legitimate purview if not responsibility to get involved. Highways, airports, railroads...almost whatever is going on. That's what people elect a Congressperson to do.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:38 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,789 posts, read 10,705,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
I would have seen it as using leverage with respect to issues within his district regarding a project within his district. Insisting that there be a public hearing doesn't seem all that radical or heavy-handed.


Constituent services is a major bit of work for every House member. They are up to their necks in it and have significant portions of their allotted staffs devoted to it. They are permanently besieged by calls of Can't you do something about this? coming at them from all quarters. If it has to do with federal funding, I would say it's within a Congressperson's legitimate purview if not responsibility to get involved. Highways, airports, railroads...almost whatever is going on. That's what people elect a Congressperson to do.

er, you know we have something called federalism in the USA. I mean some (most) folks in the party of which Tom Davis is a member, deny that the Federal Govt has a right to do some things that seem blatantly interstate to me, like the health care marketplace. One does not have to be a tea partier, or a Republican to agree that zoning and urban planning are local issues. Here in VA the state gets involved, often in very negative ways - I dont like that, but I acknowledge the constitutional logic (and that in some states the state govt intervention has been more positive). Federal intervention in local zoning goes a bit beyond that. Congressman pursuing their local interest by earmarking a specific highway or airport or transit line - well I dont think much of earmarking, but that sort of thing has been going on for 190 years, and at least we all know the rules and how its done all over. This is going beyond to local zoning, and was done specifically to impact one project.

I mean if Tom Davis and his supporters thing so much of Federal wisdom in land use, maybe he should get behind (in his capacity as GOP wise old man, I know hes not an elected official any more) national land use planning, or something like that. AFAIK he's never been a huge fan of expanding the authority of the federal govt like that.

Edit:I am not the only one who reacted this way

"
Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly yesterday accused Rep. Thomas M. Davis III of a "raw exercise of power" in pushing federal legislation that would block a development at the Vienna Metro station -- and said the congressman is threatening the independence of local governments across the region.
"Is that really what you're saying -- that from now on I need to say to every applicant in a land-use case, you've got to go see the congressman?" Connolly (D) said of the 31 words buried in a $1.5 billion special authorization for Metro that Davis (R) is filing today. He called the legislation "a threat to all of us" that "encroaches on the prerogative of each local government to be masters of our own destiny."
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:56 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,371,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
er, you know we have something called federalism in the USA.
The bill was a federal funding bill over which his committee had jurisdiction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Congressman pursuing their local interest by earmarking a specific highway or airport or transit line - well I dont think much of earmarking, but that sort of thing has been going on for 190 years, and at least we all know the rules and how its done all over.
Actually, earmarking has multiple definitions, and the rules governing the one that refers to Congressional prerogatives have changed substantially since 2007.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
This is going beyond to local zoning, and was done specifically to impact one project.
It was done to get Metro to pay more attention to the voices and concerns of some of his constituents. Most of those may have been idiots, but that's not the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I mean if Tom Davis and his supporters thing so much of Federal wisdom in land use, maybe he should get behind (in his capacity as GOP wise old man, I know hes not an elected official any more) national land use planning, or something like that. AFAIK he's never been a huge fan of expanding the authority of the federal govt like that.
Well, he's currently a member of the MWAA board and was among the recent 9-4 minority opposed to an underground Metro station at Dulles. Read into that what you may, but he had every right to cast that vote, and every right to insert language into a House bill that was before his committee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Edit:I am not the only one who reacted this way
"Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly yesterday accused Rep. Thomas M. Davis III...
Hmmm. Connolly was about to run for Davis's seat. I doubt he was speaking purely from some sense of personal civic outrage.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,178 posts, read 67,320,481 times
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Coming from someone who lived in NoVA for a year-and-a-half before moving to Pittsburgh to improve my overall quality-of-life I suppose one's interpretation of "downhill" will most certainly vary.

NoVA has grown, is growing, and will likely continue to grow for the foreseeable future, assuming Federal spending and job creation continues to be robust. I realize NoVA's economy is now somewhat diversified, but one thing that always concerned me about living there was just what would happen if a new GOP president were to be elected in 2012 who was hellbent on curbing our deficit through severe across-the-board Federal staffing cuts. Not only were hundreds of thousands of people in NoVA directly employed by the Government, but just as many were indirectly employed by them, as their employers (Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton, BAE Systems, SAIC, CDM, HP, etc.) relied on the Federal government's loose pursestrings to remain going concerns. For as diversified as many in NoVA liked to brag their economy was, the area will be devastated horrifically should a fiscally-responsible presidential candidate ever ascend to executive office, accompanied by a "yes (wo)men" majority in Congress. Even in McLean that nice big Ernst & Young Building housed auditors and accountants who primarily serviced those private-sector Federal contractors who serviced the Federal government, which means, they, too, would get the ax. Those in leisure, retail, and hospitality would also be let go as many of their patrons were employed in these sorts of Government-dependent industries. NoVA's economy was just too incestuous with the Federal government and too reliant upon that continued relationship to have ever afforded me any "real" job security.

NoVA really wasn't an "eds and meds" place in the same manner that other cities like Pittsburgh are. In fact, Pittsburgh's economy is now so diversified that we are now home to the nation's largest proportion of educated immigrants relative to our general population---a title you'd think NoVA would have. (Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburg...ion-level.html) I looked at my employment options in NoVA when I became disillusioned with my prior position within the Federal government for various reasons, and even now I also look at openings there for time to time online. The vast majority are either directly or indirectly reliant upon Federal spending to remain viable. When people talk about NoVA not really generating any "real" GDP or wealth independently, they mean that the vast majority of its workforce is paid salaries borne from tax revenues from all over the country. In Pittsburgh our major employers are all NON-Government-dependent, and a study not long ago showed Pittsburgh as being 99/100 in regards to the percentage of the population employed by the Government. (Source and resulting discussion: http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/s...1/daily53.html, PGH ranked 99/100 for percentage of government jobs) Our major employers are PNC Bank, Westinghouse, Rue21, American Eagle, Dick's Sporting Goods, UPMC, Bank of NY Mellon, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Genco, Federated Investors, U.S. Steel, Heinz, FedEx, Bayer, ReedSmith, Google, Management Science Associates, and Verizon, amongst many others. PNC is growing so quickly on its own merit that they are in the process of building a new large skyscraper Downtown. Google is hiring like crazy here.

In NoVA I'd assume that 90% of the "top employers" are the Federal government, private-sector contractors who rely upon Federal contracts, firms that primarily service those contractors, and businesses that draw their revenues from the discretionary spending of the employees of the Government and Contractors. Yes, there were some exceptions to the rule such as INOVA and GMU, but by and large NoVA is taking a HUGE gamble putting nearly all of its eggs into the same basket---a basket that WILL have to become smaller at some point as we regain control of our Federal spending, at which point some of those eggs will fall out of the basket onto the floor and crack open.

In this sense, then, NoVA will NOT go downhill in an economic sense anytime soon, but it WILL eventually (Maybe in 2013? Maybe not until 2057?) once Federal spending is slashed if it doesn't work NOW to diversify its economic base more than it already has. Pittsburgh receives very little support from our Federal government's spending, yet we have a thriving economy right now---so much so in fact that President Obama chose our city to host the G20 Summit to showcase us as an example of a city that was managing to resist the recession on its own merit. (Source: http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...925535,00.html) NoVA may have a higher level of "full employment" than Pittsburgh, a city which admittedly churns out more educated minds than it can provide commensurate positions for, but I'll take being affordably underemployed in a city with a proven track record of weathering a recession like it's a blip on the radar WITHOUT Federal spending than being "fully employed" in a position within an area where if the Federal piggy bank breaks I'll have nowhere else to go even just to pay my bills.

I have much, much more to say on this topic in other non-economic areas as well---overall quality-of-life in NoVA, urban design of NoVA, etc., but I'm on my way out the door for work and will have to add more [and]clarify my position [later]....

Last edited by FindingZen; 06-15-2011 at 06:53 PM.. Reason: off-topic
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:51 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,371,569 times
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There is still this mystical belief out there that you can somehow signficantly cut government spending. If that were actually the case, we would have seen such cuts long ago. We've been hearing tales of cutting the fat and putting an end to waste, fraud, and abuse for decades, but nobody seems to be able to find much of this to put a halt to at all. As the result, the federal spending curve over time has been very smooth, rising more or less along with the rates of inflation and population growth. What's gotten whip-sawed around by policy mistakes and corrections has been the receipts curve, and that's where the answer to current imbalances will ultimately come from.

Meanwhile, about 14% of NOVA workers are employed by the federal government. That's a sizable chunk, but not nearly the size of what it was not so very long ago. No matter how you slice it, the area is far more diverse in its economic tapestry than it was just a few decades ago. Government is still important of course, sort of like lumber in the Pacific northwest, coal in Kentucky, or oil in Texas. And if some environmental whacko were to get himself elected and was able to put an end to a lot of logging, mining, and drilling, you'd see the very same coattail effects rippling through the local, state, and national economies that you would if the public sector were somehow to be slashed here in DC.

The answer of course is to avoid electing any whackos, regardless of flavor. The US already has the smallest public sector among developed countries. If anything, we would benefit from its being larger than it is, so stay away from people and especially political people who try to tell you that the answer to everything somehow lies in making government smaller. There is a very high probability that these people are either confused, stupid, or lying.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,898,941 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post

Meanwhile, about 14% of NOVA workers are employed by the federal government. That's a sizable chunk, but not nearly the size of what it was not so very long ago. No matter how you slice it, the area is far more diverse in its economic tapestry than it was just a few decades ago. Government is still important of course, sort of like lumber in the Pacific northwest, coal in Kentucky, or oil in Texas.
Also, don't forget that Nova is a large area. The percentage of federal workers is higher the closer you get to DC, but the concentration lessens as you move farther and farther into the burbs.

For example, look at the types of businesses (boldfaced below) on the top employer list for Loudoun County. The number after each listing is the number of employees. Looks like a good balance of different types of employers to me.

Loudoun County Public Schools Educational Services 10,000+
Air Serv Corp. Transportation & Warehousing1,001-5,000
AOL Inc. Information 1,001-5,000
Inova Loudoun Hospital Health Care & Social Assistance 1,001-5,000
HHMI (Janelia Research Center) Medical Research 1,001-5,000
Loudoun County Public Administration 1,001-5,000
MC Dean Inc. Construction 1,001-5,000
Orbital Sciences Corporation Manufacturing 1,001-5,000
U.S. Postal Service Public Administration 1,001-5,000
United Air Lines Inc. Transportation & Warehousing 1,001-5,000
Verizon Business Information 1,001-5,000
Wal Mart Associates Inc. Retail 1,001-5,000
Wegmans Retail 1,001-5,000
American Financial Partners Finance & Insurance 501-1,000
Club Demonstration Services Inc. Professional & Technical Services 501-1,000
Costco Wholesale Retail 501-1,000
FAA Transportation & Warehousing 501-1,000
Gate Gourmet Accommodation & Food Services 501-1,000
Giant Food Store Retail 501-1,000
Home Depot USA Retail 501-1,000
Homeland Security Public Administration 501-1,000
Lansdowne Resort Accommodation & Food Services 501-1,000
Loudoun Medical Group PC Health Care & Social Assistance 501-1,000
Luck Stone Mining 501-1,000
McDonald's Accommodation & Food Services 501-1,000
Metro Washington Airports Authority Public Administration 501-1,000
N.E.W. Corporation Finance & Insurance 501-1,000
Neustar Inc. Professional & Technical Services 501-1,000
Northern Virginia Community College Educational Services 501-1,000
Southland Industries Construction 501-1,000
Swissport USA Inc. Transportation & Warehousing 501-1,000
Target Corporation Retail 501-1,000
Town of Leesburg Public Administration 501-1,000
Transportation Security Administration Public Administration 501-1,000
Trex Construction501-1,000
U.S. Airways Express Transportation & Warehousing 501-1,000
Verisign Inc. Professional & Technical Services 501-1,000
Airline Tariff Publishing Co. Information 251-500
AlliedBarton Security Services Administrative & Support Services 251-500
Carmax Auto Superstores Inc. Retail 251-500
Commonwealth of Virginia Public Administration 251-500
Computer Sciences Corp. Professional & Technical Services 251-500
Dynalectric Company Inc. Construction 251-500
Falcon's Landing Health Care & Social Assistance 251-500
Federal Express Corp. Transportation & Warehousing 251-500
Food Lion LLC Retail 251-500
Forfeiture Support Associates Administrative & Support Services 251-500
George Washington University Educational Services 251-500
Harris Teeter Inc. Retail 251-500
Host International Inc. Accommodation & Food Services 251-500
Hunt Leigh USA Corp. Transportation & Warehousing 251-500
J K Moving & Storage Inc. Transportation & Warehousing 251-500
LTF Club Management Co. Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 251-500
Mastec Services Company Inc. Professional & Technical Services 251-500
Meadows Farms Inc. Retail 251-500
NALC Health Benefit Plan Finance & Insurance 251-500
Nordstrom Inc. Retail 251-500
Prospect Waterproofing Co. Construction 251-500
Rockwell Collins Professional & Technical Services 251-500
Safeway Stores Inc. Retail 251-500
Science Applications International Corp. Professional & Technical Services 251-500
Southland Concrete Corp. Construction 251-500
Telos Corporation Professional & Technical Services 251-500
Thomas/Wright Inc. Professional & Technical Services 251-500
US Pools Construction 251-500
Valleycrest Landscape Maintenance Administrative & Support Services 251-500

And that's just for Loudoun. The lists for Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William counties are too long to include here.

The same goes for the outermost counties. For example, the biggest employers in Stafford are GEICO (Regional Headquarters) , Coca Cola, Intuit, Lifecare Medical Transports, McLane Mid-Atlantic Retail Distribution, United Van Lines, Northrop Grumman, SAIC, General Dynamics, BAE, Dominion Power, Federal Express & Fredericksburg Auto Auction. The biggest employers in Price Williams are hospitals and schools.

Last edited by Caladium; 06-14-2011 at 09:17 AM..
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:06 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,789 posts, read 10,705,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
The bill was a federal funding bill over which his committee had jurisdiction.


Actually, earmarking has multiple definitions, and the rules governing the one that refers to Congressional prerogatives have changed substantially since 2007.


It was done to get Metro to pay more attention to the voices and concerns of some of his constituents. Most of those may have been idiots, but that's not the point.


Well, he's currently a member of the MWAA board and was among the recent 9-4 minority opposed to an underground Metro station at Dulles. Read into that what you may, but he had every right to cast that vote, and every right to insert language into a House bill that was before his committee.


Hmmm. Connolly was about to run for Davis's seat. I doubt he was speaking purely from some sense of personal civic outrage.
Davis certainly had a legal and constitutional right to vote as he did. That does not change the fact that it was using federal funding to impose a specific requirement on a specific project (whether or not one happens to like that requirement) - a requirement there is no evidence that Davis thinks or thought should be applied nationally. I am not sure how his vote on the metro station at Dulles has anything to do with that.

Connolly WAS about to run for congress himself, thats true. He was ALSO the chief elected official of the jurisdiction whose autonomy was being challenged, which may ALSO have been part of his motivation. I think the WaPo had some problems with what Davis did as well. My point in quoting Connolly was to show that my reaction was shared by others, not to "command assent"
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:17 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,371,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Davis certainly had a legal and constitutional right to vote as he did. That does not change the fact that it was using federal funding to impose a specific requirement on a specific project (whether or not one happens to like that requirement) - a requirement there is no evidence that Davis thinks or thought should be applied nationally. I am not sure how his vote on the metro station at Dulles has anything to do with that.
The MWAA vote was brought up only to show that while no longer in public office, Davis is still in public service, and is still casting votes and influencing decisions that are of signficance to those living in NoVa. There were otherwise federalism overtones raised earlier when states have no role in determining the level or purposes of federal funding. The statement that The provisions of Sections A through F above notwithstanding, no funds made available under this Act shall be used for purposes of ______ would be a garden-variety provision of many, many pieces of legislation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Connolly WAS about to run for congress himself, thats true. He was ALSO the chief elected official of the jurisdiction whose autonomy was being challenged...
Congressman...Chairman of the County Board...I think the former actually has rank here. And the autonomy being challenged was not an autonomy at all, but the authority of WMATA -- an institution existing under federal aegis -- to conduct business without oversight and in whatever manner it pleased.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
...which may ALSO have been part of his motivation. I think the WaPo had some problems with what Davis did as well. My point in quoting Connolly was to show that my reaction was shared by others, not to "command assent"
I don't question the existence or even the propriety of other opinions, just how fully reflective they might have been in light of the facts.
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