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Monday, April 06, 2009

Mark D. Obenshain Slams VDOT

The press release

Obenshain Questions VDOT Bonuses

Calls Half Million in Bonuses and Raises

Another Case of Misplaced Priorities

HARRISONBURG—Today, Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) questioned the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)'s decision to provide over half a million dollars in raises and one-time bonuses in 2008.

“Like most Virginians, I was troubled to learn that, in a time of economic distress, the Virginia Department of Transportation paid out over $200,000 in one-time bonuses and a further $300,000 in pay raises,” said Obenshain. “To offer these bonuses and raises while the Department is curtailing essential services and laying off employees is foolish and counterproductive.”

Averaging over $4,100 for each recipient of a raise, $585 per one-time bonus, and $4,400 apiece on fourteen signing bonuses for new workers during a round of layoffs, only seven of the agency's 357 bonuses were awarded to those taking on new responsibilities or acquiring new training. “If we are so desperate as to ask many Virginians to forego having their roads cleared in winter, is it too much to ask that VDOT employees who are not taking on additional responsibilities forego a bonus this year?” asked Obenshain.

“With dramatic cuts to road maintenance and the closure of rest areas looming, fiscal responsibility is not just a good idea – it is absolutely essential,” said Obenshain. “VDOT should focus its resources on ensuring the upkeep of roads across the Commonwealth, not handing out bonuses.”

“I am grateful to my colleague, Sen. Ryan McDougle, for uncovering these payments,” said Obenshain. Senator McDougle (R-Hanover) first identified the bonuses, calling the policy irresponsible during a sustained climate of economic decline.

Obenshain has been at the forefront of the effort to ensure that VDOT's most vital priorities, especially those directly pertaining to safety, do not suffer while wasteful or unnecessary spending remains in the Department's budget. Renewing his call for an outside audit of VDOT, Obenshain recently launched, a website permitting Virginians to take a stand for fiscal responsibility and to report wasteful spending they have witnessed.

Senator Obenshain represents the twenty-sixth district in the Virginia Senate. The district includes the city of Harrisonburg and the counties of Warren, Shenandoah, Page, Rappahannock and Rockingham (part).

Thunderous Applause! A shovel handle broke one time and the man propped on it fell and knocked over the 10 other VDOTERS watching.....

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Comments on "Mark D. Obenshain Slams VDOT"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:29 PM) : 

Let's see. The amount of the total bonuses would pave exactly how many miles of new roadway or repave an existing road or fill how many potholes or clear how much snow? Oh, yes. Do you really think that an audit of VDOT will uncover that much money? If so, then the VDOT folks are really doing a good job of hiding those millions of dollars! Perhaps they invested it with Madoff! Bosun


Blogger Carl Kilo said ... (6:43 PM) : 

I know of complete paving schedules in my area that never reach half a million bucks.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:38 AM) : 

OK, so let's multiply that amount by the 93 other counties where VDOT repaves the roads. In one locality the documented cost $8 million to expand one mile of secondary road from two to four lanes. Not done by VDOT but the efficient private sector.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:32 AM) : 

That would fix a lot of pot holes and mow a lot of grass, buy a lot of signs, fix equipment, etc.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:17 AM) : 

LOL yall are silly. They are calling
them bonuses but it is not entirely

Yes the money would go a long ways
to some road improvement depending
on how you hash it, but the bottom
line is - and what you all do not know is that VDOT is leaner than it
has ever been and if your a licensed engineer working for the department you will be sought after especially if you have a few years under your belt.....wait this is a bash VDOT blog, not a lets look at the big picture. FYI I did not receive a bonus nor have I gotten a raise in almost two years and yes I work for VDOT.


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