Criteria for Appointment of WMATA Board Members from Maryland
Testimony to the Maryland Senate
March 11, 2011
Senate Bill 323 proposes specific criteria for appointing members to the WMATA board from Maryland. While the Action Committee for Transit (ACT) has no disagreement with the bill’s provisions to require regular attendance and periodic ridership by board members, we disagree that only "experts" should serve on the board and that elected officials should be prohibited..
ACT sees much value in the role of elected officials serving on the WMATA board. Local officials are more responsive to riders and more directly aware of the actual issues on the ground. Elected officials participate directly in land use decisions and therefore are in a position to guide the discussions about activity centers near Metro stations. And if WMATA is well governed, local leaders will have more faith in it, raising the likelihood of more funding for Metro.
ACT believes the Maryland legislature should strip the prohibition of elected officials serving on the WMATA board from the proposed bill entirely.