Sunday's lead by The Virginian-Pravda was an editorial calling for the Virginia Beach City Council to rescind the 1999 Resolution withdrawing from light rail. http://hamptonroads.com/2008/07/righting-wrong-light-rail
The "logic" is like Hugo Chavez's argument that his election as President of Venezuela "justified" his attempted coup d'etat as an army officer. No, the 1999 proposal was over $69 million per mile. The national benchmark for light rail is $40 million per mile. Given the outrageous cost, it's unlikely we could have received Federal funding for something that looked like that.
There have been a number of changes since 1999 that now make a strong case for light rail: Town Center has been built, downtown Norfolk rejuvenated, gasoline prices have more than doubled, the Strategic Growth Areas (SGAs) along the Norfolk Southern Corridor have been added to Virginia Beach's Comprehensive Plan, greenfields for development have dwindled, urban redevelopment is planned for the Resort Area, etc. In addition, Norfolk has a Federally-funded Starter Line (who thought that would happen?) and Portsmouth is planning for light rail through the proposed second tube for the Midtown Tunnel. None of that existed in 1999, when Virginia Beach voters rightfully killed an out-of-control plan.
If you read the comments section of the story, you'll see remarks by Deaniacs demanding a referendum:
1. It has little to do with light rail and nothing to do with the consent of the governed. It's about resuscitating the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA), which is on life support. The VBTA was only able to muster Moss and Shuler as Council candidates, and killing light rail is the only issue looming that could revive the cult. Therefore, they can't say "light rail" without using the word "referendum".
2. The VBTA's own "Transportation Plan" from earlier this year covers light rail, setting a referendum threshold for any Transportation project at $2 billion. Since light rail for Virginia Beach would be about one-quarter of that, by their own parameter it doesn't require a referendum.
Maybe they should read their own documents before making stupid statements....