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McDonnell's Bid To Change Metro Board Fails Again

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By Bob McDonnell

The attempts of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to appoint his representatives to the Metro Board of Directors have, once again, been blocked.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission is the local group that appoints Virginia's representatives on the board. Earlier this summer, McDonnell threatened to withhold millions of dollars in funding for the board if the commission didn’t give him the authority to appoint board members.

The commission refused, and McDonnell eventually backed off his threat.

But he's still lobbying to change the make up of Metro's leadership. However, last night the transportation commission turned him down again.

Thelma Drake, McDonnell's director of rail and public transit, says that was a mistake because Virginia now contributes tens of millions of dollars to the board's budget.

"It's time to say, Virginia needs to have some oversight over that type of expenditure," Drake says.

Other members of the commission say the board's leaders need to be locally accountable to be more responsive to its riders.

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