"Top business leaders have come out against the city holding a referendum on a light-rail project, arguing it's a decision the City Council should make.
"It's a complex subject, but it's not above your pay grade," Jim Flinchum, board president of the Virginia Beach division of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, told the City Council last week. "This is your job."
The comments mark the unofficial start to a debate sure to rage for at least a year while Hampton Roads Transit, the region's transportation agency, carries out its light-rail feasibility study.
In 1999, Beach residents derailed light rail 56 to 44 percent in a referendum. City referendums are nonbinding, but the City Council used it to guide its 1999 decision."