Road to nowhere, fast

Headline: VDOT cuts another 230 jobs. Observation: We’re not cutting fat anymore. Or muscle. We’re digging into bone.
“None of these are easy decisions for us to make,” Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner David Ekern said. “We know that these decisions will impact the public and the lives of our valued professional staff, but we must make the sound business decisions necessary to ensure the long-term viability of Virginia’s transportation system and our department.”

The news release announcing plans already under way to cut the VDOT workforce by 1,450 jobs this year noted a significant shift in the department’s focus. “VDOT will focus its resources on emergency response efforts, maintenance and operations,” the release related, noting cuts made in February by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, which oversees VDOT operations, that slashed $2 billion in funding from the six-year improvement program, delaying or eliminating 808 projects statewide.

Guess it makes sense, then, to cut the staff 15 percent, if we’re not going to be doing more than the bare minimum to keep our as-is inadequate transportation system together with spit and tape. Why not cut it another 15 percent just for fun? Or another 15 percent after that? Because that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? It’s not having a transportation system that gets people to work and gets goods to market. It’s about a line item in a big budget book that we can cut to make people in cheap suits and rayon ties stand a half-inch taller when they talk about how conservative they are.

Memo: Fake Conservatives. To: You Know Who You Are. Message: It ain’t bein’ all that conservative when you see the world crumblin’ down around you and you’re more worried about how much it’s goin’ to cost than actually doin’ somethin’ about it.


– Story by Chris Graham


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