Our globe-trotting chairman of the all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors, Scott York (R-Often At Large), has received some no doubt unwelcome attention from the Washington Post this past weekend for his latest international fact-finding mission, reported here two weeks ago.
Joining York for his weeklong trip to Turkey October 25 to November 3 were Virginia’s outgoing transportation secretary and fellow big booster of the developer-friendly “BiCounty Parkway” (aka Outer Beltway, Western Bypass, TriCounty Parkway etc etc) Sean Connaughton, as well as two other local officials who serve with York on the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, which gets to divvy up some of the road-building loot for the region and whose power was the basis for York’s heavy-handed threats against the Leesburg Town Council when it tried to go on record opposing the BiCounty Parkway project as a wasteful boondoggle, which it is.
Per usual, York did not think it worth telling the people who pay his salary where he was going or why. Asked why the taxpayers ought to subsidize York’s penchant for global travel, York hastened to explain that it was all free, since the money came from a slush fund he oversees in the Northern Virginia Regional Commission that is raised through “corporate or charitable donations.”
Yes, what more fitting object of charity is there than sending Scott York and co. on trips to Germany (multiple times), Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey?
We hope all of you will remember the Northern Virginia Regional Commission’s world travel slush fund for local officials as you’re thinking of the neediest this holiday season and preparing to make your annual contributions to good causes.
York’s fellow travelers explained in the Post story that it is very, very important for them to go on such trips in order to be better and more dedicated public servants and “make the lives of Northern Virginia residents better.” The director of the regional commission said that among the very important things the delegation did was to study “traffic circles.” They also had a free day for shopping.
It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
And we all can all be grateful that we have such self-sacrificing public officials who spurn such easy, cushy alternatives as driving a few miles to Maryland to see what they’re doing with “traffic circles” (several centuries ahead of Loudoun County) and road design there, and instead undertake an arduous 9,000 miles trek, just to serve us better.
Meanwhile, it would be nice if SOME intrepid investigative reporter in our local press, such as it is, would find out who is actually donating to this slush fund so York can see the world on company time, and perhaps even ask Chairman York to cite a single “fact” he has found on his trips, or any specific example of how they have produced one concrete benefit to us folks back home.