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@ JimT & @ BeyondDC

There is a serious constitutional issue. The membership of the NVTA consists of one elected official from each of the local governments, which belong to the NVTA region; one state senator; two state delegates; and two members appointed by the Governor.

The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held any public body that exercises "traditional government functions" must comply with the One Person, One Vote standard. This applies to bodies that consist of other elected officials as well. While there is some weighted voting, as I understand it, the combination of state legislators and local officials gives some residents of NoVA more sway than others. For example, Senator Ebbin is a member of the NVTA. His constituents have two representatives to the NVTA. Most others have only one. Since the NVTA appropriates money to projects and issues bonds, it is performing traditional government functions and, therefore, must follow one person, one vote. The addition of gubernatorial appointees makes it even more complicated. Further, I suspect the inclusion of any local representatives elected by district (e.g., Martin E. Nohe, PW County) is also likely unconstitutional since some citizens of the locality don't have a vote.

Re the Smart Growth Community. It is not a major player in Virginia. It doesn't have a seat at the table to the same degree many other interest groups do. The vast majority of Virginians don't have a goal of discouraging the use of motor vehicles. Even the Tysons landowners, who have huge TDM obligations, would rather have more tenants who drive lots of cars than fewer tenants who drive less.

by TMT on Feb 25, 2013 11:34 am • linkreport

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