The Virginian-Pravda beat me up with the story http://hamptonroads.com/2008/06/gov-kaine-pushes-transportation-plan-virginia-beach-town-hall-meeting Then, the reporter didn't have to take Route 20 across town afterwards to get home.
Sitting in the second row on the left side were Eileen Levandoski of VBDems.org, Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) Transportation Chairman Reid Greenmun, HR Transit Ideas Michael Ragsdale, and I. (Ragsdale met Mike Barrett on Monday, then Greenmun on Tuesday.)
Statistic Of The Night: Transportation Spending As A Percentage Of Personal Income. Nationwide the average is 1.29%, but Virginia is only 1.10%.
In was the third Town Hall Meeting I've attended held by Governor Kaine, but he has yet to call on me at question time. I wanted to ask him why the Northern Virginia Package has Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Metro money, but the Hampton Roads Package has zero mass transit money.
Governor Kaine gave two reasons for using a Sales Tax increase for Transportation rather than the Gasoline Tax. One, gas prices are already high. Two, many legislators oppose using the Gasoline Tax, so depending on it could kill the entire plan.
Humorous moments of the night:
1. When the slide came up for the three components of the Plan, pictured was Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) Bus 921. The hitch is that it's an Orion, the oldest of the forty-foot models in HRT's Southside fleet. (Rustbucket!)
2. After all his whining online the past few days, I offered Reid a box of Kleenex after the meeting was over. (He grinned and turned them down.)
Personally, I could support Governor Kaine's Plan if a regional Gasoline Tax replaced the regional Sales Tax in the Hampton Roads Package.