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Old 06-14-2011, 10:21 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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"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."

WMATA is under an affirmative obligation to make sure developments built mostly on other property, but to which it sells a modest parcel, are developed using a particular form of stakeholder input? That hardly sounds like "WMATA conducting business without oversight" and more like WMATA deferring to the local planning authorities. Davis used the WMATA parcel as a hook to stop something Fairfax County was allowing, that the neighbors didnt like, not to stop WMATA from doing something egregious.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:23 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Congressman...Chairman of the County Board...I think the former actually has rank here. .
I am not sure what that means - that Connollys role as a would be congressional candidate necessarily trumped his role as Chairman in determining his motivation, or that that congressmans opinions should outweigh those of county board chairs in all things. Could you clarify what you mean by "has rank"?
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:34 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,287,460 times
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
WMATA is under an affirmative obligation to make sure developments built mostly on other property, but to which it sells a modest parcel, are developed using a particular form of stakeholder input? That hardly sounds like "WMATA conducting business without oversight" and more like WMATA deferring to the local planning authorities. Davis used the WMATA parcel as a hook to stop something Fairfax County was allowing, that the neighbors didnt like, not to stop WMATA from doing something egregious.
If Davis had meant to halt the Metro West project by blocking Metro's sale of a small but key parcel of land to developers, he certainly would not have removed the language that imposed that block as soon as Metro agreed to hold public hearings on the sale at which the views of opponents could be aired and heard. As suggested earlier, there is no evident reason to take Davis' actions as being other than a way to show voters in what would be tough re-election battles that he would indeed boldly go to bat for them, while not causing any actual damage to either WMATA or Metro West at all. If you think Davis might have gotten a giggle or two along the way out of a gee-this-is-really-going-to-tick-off-Gerry-Connolly sort of notion, that might well have been true, but it wouldn't have had material relevance to anything.

Last edited by saganista; 06-14-2011 at 10:54 AM..
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:40 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,743 posts, read 10,651,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
If Davis had meant to halt the Metro West project by blocking Metro's sale of a small but key parcel of land to developers, he certainly would not have removed the language that imposed that block as soon as Metro agreed to hold public heraings on the sale at which the views of opponents could be aired and heard. As suggested earlier, there is no evident reason to take Davis' actions as being other than a way to show voters in what would be tough re-election battles that he would indeed boldly go to bat for them, while not causing any actual damage to either WMATA or Metro West at all.

A. Whether he was trying to block the sale, or just using his power to block the sale to impose process reforms on THIS particular site (which is what I meant by "stop something Fairfax is doing" sorry my wording was unclear - what I meant was that the PROCESS, which you say is all Davis objected to, was Fairfax's responsibility, not WMATA's), does not alter what I said, which is that its silly to imply that WMATA was somehow doing as it pleased, and ignoring proper oversight.
B. Its quite possible Davis stepped back and accepted compromise, because of some the backlash his actions created. Thats speculation, but no more cynical than attributing Connollys position to his planned race for congress.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:01 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,287,460 times
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
I am not sure what that means - that Connollys role as a would be congressional candidate necessarily trumped his role as Chairman in determining his motivation, or that that congressmans opinions should outweigh those of county board chairs in all things. Could you clarify what you mean by "has rank"?
Davis was a US Congressman representing constituents of the district in which the project was located. Connolly was Chairman of the county board for the county in which the project was located. Federal office is generally taken as being a higher level than county office, even if the county in question has a larger population than the Congressional district in question.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,743 posts, read 10,651,774 times
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Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Davis was a US Congressman representing constituents of the district in which the project was located. Connolly was Chairman of the county board for the county in which the project was located. Federal office is generally taken as being a higher level than county office, even if the county in question has a larger population than the Congressional district in question.

yes, so? what does that have to do with anything we have been discussing?
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:25 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,287,460 times
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
A. Whether he was trying to block the sale, or just using his power to block the sale to impose process reforms on THIS particular site (which is what I meant by "stop something Fairfax is doing" sorry my wording was unclear - what I meant was that the PROCESS, which you say is all Davis objected to, was Fairfax's responsibility, not WMATA's), does not alter what I said, which is that its silly to imply that WMATA was somehow doing as it pleased, and ignoring proper oversight.
This wasn't some matter of eminent domain on the part of the County. It was a straight commercial sale involving, as usual, two parties, one of which was WMATA. By the nature of the institution amd its funding, WMATA's operations are subject to the review and oversight of Congress. It was not so much in this case that WMATA was seeking to evade such oversight as that Davis -- at the pleading of supposedly aggrieved constituents -- chose to exercise it. There was in any case no autonomy to violate here, as neither WMATA nor Pulte actually has any to start out with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
B. Its quite possible Davis stepped back and accepted compromise, because of some the backlash his actions created. Thats speculation, but no more cynical than attributing Connollys position to his planned race for congress.
It's quite theoretically possible. Lots of things are. Pulte thugs could have drugged Davis, for example, or threatened his family with harm. There is nothing meanwhile mysterious about Connolly's position. He would have preferred to see the sale proceed without stopping off to give a soap box to some chowderheads. It's not an unreasonable position. Neither was Davis's.

Last edited by saganista; 06-14-2011 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:50 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,287,460 times
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
yes, so? what does that have to do with anything we have been discussing?
Well, you asked me to explain what I meant by someone's having rank here. I attempted to do that.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,743 posts, read 10,651,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
. It was not so much in this case that WMATA was seeking to evade such oversight as that Davis -- at the pleading of supposedly aggrieved constituents -- chose to exercise it..

Okay, I read this

"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."

to imply that WMATA was acting in an unreasonable manner. I now think we are in agreement that it was not. I am not sure how the disposition of WMATA property by a BUYER from WMATA can be considered "WMATA operations" - but theres no requirement that congress be reasonable.

Actually I dont think it was WMATA's autonomy that was challenged, but Fairfax county's. Usually its the responsibility of local govts to make decisions about local zoning and planning issues, INCLUDING process issues. its not the responsibility of sellers of property to developers to do that.

In this case Congresman Davis (whether actually motivated by process concerns or by substantive concerns) used the fact that a WMATA parcel was involved to assert federal power over a traditional local function, a function that he generally is content to leave a local function. I see that as heavy handed.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:56 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,743 posts, read 10,651,774 times
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Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Well, you asked me to explain what I meant by someone's having rank here. I attempted to do that.

So it was just an aside ? I misread you then.
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