Board wants Kaine to veto SPSA bill

Published 8:06 am Saturday, March 7, 2009

ISLE OF WIGHT—Supervisors here want Gov. Tim Kaine to veto a bill that would give the governor authority to appoint board members to the Southeastern Public Service Authority.

“The bill sent a message that if the governor makes that appointment, then who does that board report to, the jurisdiction or the governor?” said Chairman James Brown during a Thursday night Board of Supervisors meeting. “If the board doesn’t work, who is to blame, the jurisdiction or the governor?”

Members of the board expressed concern with the recent passage of Virginia House Bill 1872, which the House and Senate approved unanimously. The bill, sponsored by Delegate John A. Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake), gives the governor the authority to appoint SPSA board members. The governor would choose one name per list of three nominees provided by each SPSA member locality. The nominees cannot include elected officials.

Supervisor Stan Clark made a motion for the board to write a letter to Kaine asking him to veto the bill, with the concern that it would take elected representation off the board. Clark also called for the board to communicate with area legislators and get them together to discuss how to proceed with the SPSA matter. Both motions carried with no objections.

Transportation projects also dominated discussions.

Kristin Mazur, county engineer, reported to the board that the Hampton Roads Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will receive $41 million from the federal stimulus package; Isle of Wight’s portion would be approximately $813,000.

Since the money allocated to the Hampton Roads MPO was based on a per-capita calculation, Windsor and Smithfield have requested 8 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of Isle of Wight’s portion, said Supervisor Stan Clark. Approximately $585,000 would remain for county use.

Based on a list provided by county engineering staff of transportation projects eligible for stimulus funding, the board voted to direct staff to send a letter to the MPO designating funding to Route 460 flooding prevention, Route 10, a church project in Smithfield and Windsor sidewalk repair.

The board also discussed whether it would give the projects to VDOT to manage or manage them through local officers, but no decision was made.