WASHINGTON -- After months of saying the commonwealth should play more of a role in the oversight of Metro, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) made an appointment to the D.C. area transit agency's board of directors on Friday. James Dyke, Jr., a respected Northern Virginia attorney at the firm McGuire Woods. Dyke served as Virginia's secretary of education under then-Gov. Douglas Wilder (D) and as a domestic policy adviser to then-Vice President Walter Mondale (D).
Dyke, who lives in Reston, has been a prominent member of Northern Virginia business community for years, serving as chairman of both the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Washington Board of Trade, which has called for a major restructuring of Metro's governance.
Since taking office in 2010, McDonnell has been battling Northern Virginia leaders to get an appointee of his own on the Metro board. In April, the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates granted the governor the authority to make such a board appointment through a budget amendment.
As The Washington Post reports, McDonnell's new appointment means that the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission will have to give up one of its seats on the Metro board. "Somebody would have to step off as a voting member because [the governor] clearly wants to appoint someone who would have a vote to WMATA," Mort Downey, a federal principal member of Metro’s board, told the Post.