The Washington Post reports that the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission voted 12-4 last night to hire Doug Allen as the new CEO of the Virginia Railway Express at a “base salary of $230,000, with $30,000 for moving expenses for the first year, as well as $30,000 in deferred compensation that continues through the life of the contract” and free health insurance.
The four dissenters were Dels. Rich Anderson and Jackson Miller, Stafford County BOCS Chairman Susan Stimpson, and Spotsylvania County Supervisor Benjamin Pitts. While none of them disputed Allen’s competency, Anderson questioned such a high salary being awarded during these tight budgetary times for state and local governments.
Stimpson said that VRE’s hiring process was flawed. “I think the debate wasn’t rigorous enough,” she said. “Over candidates, over salary . . . the majority shut down attempts at discussion. We can’t just rubber-stamp because we want a unanimous vote.”
Word is that PWC Brentsville Dist. Supervisor Wally Covington is the one who moved to shut down consideration of additional candidates, which apparently included someone who has even more experience than Mr. Allen, but was willing to work for a lower salary. Prince William has the largest voting bloc on the commission with 6 seats. All 6 of them are members of the BOCS — the only two supervisors not on the commission are Chairman Corey Stewart (who actually serves as an alternate for the county to the PRTC) and Gainesville Dist. Supervisor Pete Candland.
It is particularly telling that the two members of the House of Delegates who serve on the commission both hail from PWC and voted against this deal. As a long-time VRE rider and a PWC taxpayer, my personal thanks go out to Anderson, Miller, Stimpson and Pitts. As to the others on the commission, I have no use for any of them.
The full list of PRTC Commissioners can be viewed here.