History assigns blame for potholes

Published 10:11 pm Thursday, March 28, 2013

To the editor:

Potholes! Who’s to blame?

Well, around 2009, the General Assembly told the Virginia Department of Transportation to have a workforce of around 7,000 people. At the time, VDOT had a workforce of about 10,000 workers and no complaints about potholes.

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VDOT followed the instructions of the General Assembly and reduced the workforce to 7,000. The workload was still the same, so VDOT turned to private companies to do the work it could not do because of the reduction of its workforce.

When VDOT, the expert on road maintenance, was in charge of interstate maintenance, there were no pothole complaints. After VDOT cut its workforce and hired private companies to do road maintenance, the chaos on I-264 resulted.

It seems the General Assembly cannot do its own job, much less manage the complex transportation department. Perhaps the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission should compare the operation of VDOT before and after the workforce reduction and see which program saved taxpayers more money.

So who’s to blame? Dennis Heuer from VDOT became the scapegoat. Of course, we all know the politicians in Richmond are seldom wrong. And if the commonwealth’s employees fail to get in line with the status quo, they’re likely to be seeking new employment.

So who really should get the blame?

Dr. Alvin W. Anderson