You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Metro vote on budget slashing postponed

Board looking to close $74M gap

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

Action on a series of proposed cuts to Metro's budget was postponed Thursday when a newly appointed member of Maryland's delegation to the board said it needed more time to study the plan.

Alvin Nichols, the Prince George's County representative whose appointment was announced March 7, said his lack of familiarity with proposed cuts in service to help balance the $74.2 million budget gap prevented him from voting on what to put on the docket for future public hearings.

"I won't vote on services that I don't know," Mr. Nichols said.

Mr. Nichols is one of three new Maryland residents appointed to the board, along with Artis Hampshire-Cowan and former Rep. Michael D. Barnes.

Mr. Nichols attended the finance committee meeting Thursday with board member Kathy Porter, alternate director from Montgomery County, who joined the board in January.

Mr. Nichols and Ms. Porter were the only Maryland representatives at the table, which also includes appointees from Virginia, the District and the federal government.

"Maryland would be very uncomfortable in recommending service cuts," Ms. Porter said.

The board's timely action is crucial because any service cuts or fare changes require public hearings that need to be scheduled in advance.

To stay on the proposed deadline, Metro board members need to approve any options for public consideration by April 14.

Board Chairman Catherine M. Hudgins suggested the board hold a conference call within a week to move forward with the process.

Metro officials recommended $72.5 million in new spending, but identified $74.2 million in cuts to offset the additional costs. The fiscal 2012 spending plan is $1.5 billion - about $2 million more than fiscal 2011.

Fare increases are not being considered, after Metro bumped Metrorail fares by 18 percent last year.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • The District of Columbia has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    D.C. police quietly prepping for change in law on marijuana

  • D.C. Council member and mayoral candidate David Catania, at large independent, said that although he had some concerns with the city's fiscal 2015 budget, namely the 'yoga tax,' he said issues could be addressed in next year's budget discussions. (Associated Press)

    Council overrides mayor’s veto of fiscal 2015 budget

  • 3 killed, 4 wounded Sunday in three D.C. shootings

  • D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser, one of seven Democrats trying to unseat the incumbent District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray in next week's primary, campaigns on Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, Thursday, March 27, 2014. Loyalists are rallying around the mayor, and few are writing him off. But his troubles have provided an opening for one of his challengers, and D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser appears to be taking advantage. Two polls released a week before the primary showed Bowser in a statistical tie with Gray.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    Crime hits close to home for D.C. mayoral candidate

  • Gray

    D.C. Council to vote on Gray’s budget veto