arrogance; lawbreaking ways reason public doesn't trust government
Elected officials and the so called "leaders" of our area, that have been scratching their heads over the defeat of the Road Referendum, need only look at the pure arrogance and defiance of the law exhibited by HRPDC's Art Collins in his refusal to open a public meeting to the taxpayers, if they want to know why the voters distrust government. Collins, the self appointed tyrant of taxes, has once again shown his arrogance and contempt for the taxpayers of Hampton Roads.
A public meeting in which public policy decisions are made, under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, by law, is to be open the public. Apparently Collins feels he is above the law and kept not only the public, but the press out of this important meeting.
Collins who has been the head cheerleader for tolls and increased taxes on Hampton Roads citizens has a history of lawless activity, when it comes to obeying Freedom of Information dictates. Every initiative that Collins has pushed to increase taxes on citizens has been a miserable failure and maybe its time for elected officials to look for a replacement that understands that public policy means exactly that.......the public has a right to see, hear and participate in Public Policy. How many more failures before they start looking for a responsible replacement for this tyrannical despot of bureaucracy? Under Collins, the HRPDC has been impudent in bringing forth any practical solutions to area transportation problems. His unwillingness to open the process to the public or press has ingrained a distrust of the purpose and operation of the state and federally mandated operation we know as the HRPDC and MPO. While Collins repeatedly calls for increased taxes, he has never called on state officials to fix the waste and mis-management in VDOT as a means to raise money for needed road improvements.
Its time to replace Collins with someone who understands that the taxpayers pay his salary, pay for his building, pay for his staff and that he isn't an independent unaccountable loose canon who can do what he damn well pleases. Its time to make his answerable to those who pay his way.
Even more surprising was Virginia Beach City Manager Jim Spore's role in this illegal meeting. Spore who has hidden behind the FOIA on more than one occasion when using it against city employees, should have known first hand that what Collins was doing, was wrong and illegal.
Maybe strengthening of the FOIA by local legislators that calls for jail time for violators would alleviate the cavalier attitude by people like Collins and Spore to violate the law.
Until local elected officials find new leadership for the HRPDC and MPO, they can bank on the fact that voters will not trust anything that comes out of the advisory body and will vote NO on anything it suggests. Wake up elected officials, the emperor has no clothes and the public knows it now. Get rid of Collins and you might win some respect back, but its going to take someone of integrity and honesty that obeys the law and respects the taxpayers to get it. For every day that Collins continues to run the HRPDC, its just another day farther from the goal of fixing our transportation needs in our region. Is he really worth it?
PM - Chesapeake