Metro board member Jeff McKay, who also is a Fairfax County supervisor, said the appointment faces "significant" legal hurdles.
McDonnell announced the appointment of James Dyke Jr. to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, noting that he also would be the state's representative on the Metro board. The news was first reported by the Washington Post.
|Pay higher for new appointee|
|Virginia's new Metro appointee, James Dyke, would be paid more per hour for his service than current Virginia representatives make for an entire meeting.|
|Dyke will earn $65 per hour, said Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation spokeswoman Courtney Moyer. It is not clear how much Dyke would earn annually.|
|"We have not developed a range because we do not know the number of meetings he will need to attend," she said. "However, we will closely monitor the amount of time Mr. Dyke is spending on this effort."|
|By comparison, the four current representatives from Virginia make $50 per meeting. Compensation for Metro board members varies by jurisdiction from nothing for the representatives of D.C. and the federal government to up $75,000 per year for the Prince George's County alternate.|
|Fairfax County Supervisor and Metro alternate Jeff McKay questioned the amount Dyke would get, calling it unprecedented.|
|"We don't get paid jack," McKay said. "It does raise the expectations. Who is he representing?... Is he getting a whole lot of taxpayer money to do what the governor is telling him to do?" - Kytja Weir|
Dyke, a longtime partner with McGuireWoods LLP and a McLean resident, was formerly the state's education secretary under Gov. Doug Wilder. As head of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, he helped lead a task force of business and government leaders last year that called for changing how Metro is governed. He will be paid $65 per hour for service on both boards.
"Mr. Dyke is the best candidate to represent the commonwealth's vision for transit choices in the Northern Virginia region as he has first-hand experience with the transit system in the region; a history of being non-political, serving Virginia under both Democrat and Republican governors; and a clear interest in addressing problems and finding solutions," McDonnell said.
"From NVTC's perspective, this certainly creates a problem," said NVTC Chairman Bill Euille, who is Alexandria's mayor and serves on Metro's board.
Virginia has four seats on the 16-seat board of directors, two of them voting members and two alternates. Maryland and the District also have four seats apiece, and four others are reserved for federal appointees.
Virginia's Metro slots previously have been chosen by the 20-person NVTC. Typically, Virginia's seats are given to two elected Fairfax County officials, one Arlington politician and one elected official from the cities of Falls Church, Fairfax or Alexandria. It's not clear whose seat Dyke would take.
McKay said the NVTC, not the governor, has the authority to make appointments to the Metro board. The NVTC was not formally told of the appointment before the announcement and won't meet until Oct. 6.
Both Euille and McKay praised Dyke as a person, though. "I don't think this is about Jim Dyke," McKay said.
Northern Virginia localities have been battling the governor over Metro board appointments for more than a year. McDonnell had unsuccessfully threatened to withhold $50 million in state funding last year unless the state got to appoint two seats on the board. Then in a surprise move this spring, McDonnell tacked an amendment onto the state budget giving him a single voting seat on Metro's board.