SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Metra not invited to first Metra committee meeting?

Wednesday, Sep 4, 2013

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* The set-up…

Gov. Pat Quinn appointed the 15-member group after weeks of controversy at Metra over the $871,000 severance package awarded to ousted CEO Alex Clifford and the allegations Clifford raised of political interference at the agency….Quinn asked the group to develop ways to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse at the CTA, Metra and Pace, as well as the oversight agency, the Regional Transportation Authority, and to streamline overall system operations.

This part struck me as somewhat odd…

The meeting was awkward because the elephant in the room was not in the room at all. Metra officials were not invited to attend, and Acting Executive Director Don Orseno spent most of the session standing in a hallway outside. When he finally entered and took a seat in the back, no one on the commission took public note that anyone from Metra was even in attendance.

I find the best parties are the ones where the guest of honor isn’t included, too.

* The Sun-Times editorial board is not amused by this whole process…

The task force’s deadline for initial recommendations is before the Oct. 22 fall Legislature’ session , with a final report due Jan. 31. Finding a politically viable solution that’s eluded us until now is tall order for a panel just beginning its work.

However, the board is encouraged by a reform proposal that would combine Metra with the RTA, CTA, and Pace into one entity. The theory is doing so would save administrative costs and improve the intergovernmental cooperation to address capital needs. There’s also this…

Quinn said Tuesday during the task force’s first meeting that the four agencies use 16 different appointing authorities to name 47 board members who are paid $10,000 to $50,000 each.

Task force background materials go even further, saying “the rationale for payments to multiple board members should be examined.’’

The materials also note that transit board members are not required to have “background checks, experience or knowledge of transit systems.’’ Once appointed, “it can be difficult to remove a board member even when there is just cause,’’ the informational packet for task force members says.

We certainly wouldn’t want that to happen.

* Meanwhile, Greg Hinz was on the ball when it came to a ruling in the RTA’s lawsuit against businesses opening satellite offices in an attempt to dodge paying sales taxes…

A Cook County Circuit Court judge dismissed large portions of a suit by the Regional Transportation Authority against exurban Channahon and Kankakee Aug. 30 in a dispute over sales tax collection. But other counts in the $100-million damage suit remain alive, pending a decision in a related case before the Illinois Supreme Court.

In hjs decision, Judge Peter Flynn said the suit, which also includes Chicago and Cook County as plaintiffs, is incorrect as a matter of law in some instances, but said other charges can be refiled with more substantiation of specific incidents.

* Related…

* Editorial: What will it take to oust the Metra board holdouts?

* Editorial: Damage control at Metra

* Franks Wants Special Session to Fire Metra Board, Hire Emergency Manager

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        

  1. - low level - Wednesday, Sep 4, 13 @ 8:15 am:

    Great - Framks has another issue he can grandstand on. Just what we needed.

  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 4, 13 @ 8:17 am:

    I find it hard to believe that suburban lawmakers will go along with rolling Metra and PACE into one entity with the CTA.

    That might seem the most logical and efficient thing to do, but logic and efficiency had nothing to do with the current setup. It was all about regionalism.

    Under one operating entity, the interests of Chicago transit riders will inevitably dominate because that’s where the lion’s share of transit riders are.

    Those empty PACE buses tooling around in the far suburbs will go the way of the do-do.

  3. - David P. Graf - Wednesday, Sep 4, 13 @ 8:28 am:

    Consolidation won’t work because suburban voters don’t want their tax dollars to help transit riders who reside in Chicago.

  4. - Niles Township - Wednesday, Sep 4, 13 @ 8:50 am:

    I think Metra shouldn’t be invited frankly. I’d like to see a solution imposed from the outside on RTA, Metra, CTA and Pace that consiidates, eliminates and reinvigorates where appropriate. I’d like to see real transporation experts involved. Of course, the likelihood of that is zero.

  5. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Sep 4, 13 @ 9:25 am:

    47 board members get paid somewhere around $1.2M, have no requirement for “background checks, experience or knowledge of transit systems” and can rationalize a healthy severence package for an ousted CEO. Apparently fiscal and operational management skill is not a high priority. Where do I apply for that part-time job?

  6. - Anon. - Wednesday, Sep 4, 13 @ 9:48 am:

    ==Where do I apply for that part-time job?==

    If you have to ask, you don’t meet the most important qualification.

  7. - Seriously? - Wednesday, Sep 4, 13 @ 10:25 am:

    “The materials also note that transit board members are not required to have `background checks, experience or knowledge of transit systems.’”

    You mean, guys like Frank Zuccarelli? Quinn has no shame. None.

  8. - Just Me - Wednesday, Sep 4, 13 @ 12:42 pm:

    It doesn’t bother me that there isn’t a requirement that board members have transit experience. Board members are political jobs, and just like you don’t require someone to be an expert in education to be on a school board, or an expert in municipal law to be an alderman, you don’t necessarily need to be an expert in transit to serve on its Board. That is why you hire experts to work on the staff. THE BOARD’S RESPONSIBILITY IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE NEEDS OF THEIR CONSTITUENCY ARE BEING ADDRESSED BY THE PROFESSIONAL STAFF.

    Just my two cents.

  9. - Riding taxpayer - Wednesday, Sep 4, 13 @ 1:21 pm:

    How did back to back scandals at Metra turn into a stampede to consolidate all the transit agencies? If the problems are at Metra, maybe folks should be focused on, oh I don’t know, maybe Metra? Rather than the entire transportation network of Northeastern Illinois!?

  10. - George Swimmer - Wednesday, Sep 4, 13 @ 10:59 pm:

    What a great opportunity. I see Metra as a much safer, better run, less in the news commuter railroad. For nearly 2 decades I have worked with some of Metra’s employees, locomotive engineers, conductors, directors of safety, through my involvement with the DuPage Railroad Safety Council. They too want a railroad they can take pride in. I am a licensed CPA, have many insurance and securities licenses, a former Marine, etc. It is now over 2 weeks since I applied to be a Metra Board member because I believe I can help bring about positive change. I have yet to hear a word from DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin’s office where I submitted my application. I am a fairly new Facebook user, but hear that it is a powerful tool. Can it help in my quest to be a Metra Board member?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* File this under "Stuff I didn't know"
* Question of the day
* From the mouths of babes
* You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows
* Unclear on the concept
* *** LIVE COVERAGE *** Gov. Rauner press conference
* Zopp whacked as she prepares to air TV ads
* *** UPDATED x1 - Not exactly limo levels *** Should voter registration be easier or tougher?
* Rate the Alvarez kick-off video
* Face facts and stop playing the victim
* Joe Tybor
* Poll: Majority of Southern Illinois voters disapprove of Rauner
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* VLC gets updated with simplified permissions and tons of speed tweaks
* Angry Birds 2 and Angry Birds Pop Halloween-ified in new update
* You can get the Huawei Watch’s wireless charging cradle from the Google Store
* HTC teases the “next evolution of the One” for October 20
* Sony Xperia Z5 in Mobile Store for Europe, some 007 promos
* CloudPlayer now has support for Android Wear, Android Auto and AllPlay
* Google praises its partnership with LG for Nexus smartphones

* The 10 best White Sox games of 2015
* Curtain rises on prospect-packed Fall League
* Podcast: Pitchers and Catchers review
* Chase Utley's takeout "slide" could be the tipping point
* First White Sox bench coach candidate emerges
* Hahn feels White Sox fanbase's frustration
* Sox to rely on improvement of core in 2016


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Governor Bruce Rauner wants to sell James R. Th.....
* Is Illinois ready to sell James R. Thompson Cen.....
* Sneed: Thompson blames Quinn for building's sal.....
* Illinois: Governor Seeks to Auction State Gover.....
* Governor wants to auction state offices in Chic.....
* Rauner wants to sell Thompson Center - OurQuadC.....

* Gov wants to auction state offices in Chicago
* Thompson Center architect says facility should be repurposed
* School won't comply with order regarding transgender student
* McHenry teachers union approves contract to end strike
* EXCHANGE: Churches work together to preserve historic home
* Public can see Stanley Cup in Millennium Park on Wednesday
* Coalition urges Illinois communities to plant oak trees
* Automatic Illinois voter registration expected in committee
* $5M grant to ISU will aid young people in Champaign County
* Former reporter and Illinois Supreme Court spokesman dies

* Chicago-based Thompson Center jobs could move to Springfield
* Chicago-based jobs could move to Springfield
* Rauner wants to sell state's Thompson Center in downtown Chicago
* Thompson laments decline of building, but says decision to sell isn't his
* Newest state senator backs Rauner's Turnaround Agenda
* Judge: Class-action status allowed in deaf inmates' lawsuit
* WSEC-TV's CapitolView: The continuing state budget impasse
* NightReach program's impact hampered by state budget impasse
* FOIA issue of emails on private devices goes back to court
* State criticized for approach to problem gambling

* AB InBev may have to give up the world's best-selling beer to seal SABMiller deal
* Why Playboy needs Facebook more than it needs porn
* Playboy needs Facebook more than it needs porn
* Feds order rare probe into soaring downstate electricity prices
* Big 3 airlines flexing their political muscle in Washington

* Sneed: Thompson blames Quinn for building’s sale
* County prosecutor Anita Alvarez announces re-election bid
* Automatic voter registration bill could add 2.3 million voters
* Mihalopoulos: In change of heart, Rahm returns Latino PAC’s money
* Byrd-Bennett: Top educator now high-profile felon
* Cullerton joins campaign to bring back CTA’s No. 11 Lincoln Ave. bus
* Brown: Byrd-Bennett should save the apology, tell the truth about CPS corruption
* Blackhawks fans get emotional over picture of Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya with Stanley Cup rings
* Blackhawks fourth-liners embrace shutdown role
* Claypool outlines steps to prevent another Byrd-Bennett scandal

* Police: Suspects crash car after shooting 2 men in Bronzeville
* Milwaukee gun shop ordered to pay nearly $6 million to injured cops
* Tinley Park water meter report criticized as 'propaganda'
* Torture victim likely to be freed Wednesday after years in prison
* Swelling around eye still a problem for Derrick Rose's return to Bulls
* On to NLCS: Cubs finish off Cardinals at Wrigley Field
* Counterfeit Cubs tickets burn some fans
* Amtrak train arrives in Chicago after hitting 'heavy vehicle'
* Rauner wants Thompson Center auctioned off; sale would boost state, experts say

* Chicago-based Thompson Center jobs could move to Springfield
* Rauner wants to sell state's Thompson Center in downtown Chicago
* Thompson laments decline of building, but says decision to sell isn't his
* Newest state senator backs Rauner's Turnaround Agenda
* Judge: Class-action status allowed in deaf inmates' lawsuit
* Kathleen Parker: Don't do it, Paul Ryan
* WSEC-TV's CapitolView: The continuing state budget impasse
* NightReach program's impact hampered by state budget impasse
* FOIA issue of emails on private devices goes back to court
* Scott Gauvin: Citizens need more say in CWLP's future

* Cubs Win!!! Cubs Win!!!
* Six hours of negotiations, no new deal for Clifford-Jacobs workers
* SportsTalk 10-13-15
* Street closures listing
* Prosecutor: Accused 'increasingly angry' about being in jail
* On The Town: Oct. 4, 2015
* Salaita Book Talk
* 10-13-15 News-Gazette Prep Sports Podcast
* Illinois Women's Barketball 2015-16
* Illinois Women's Basketball 2015-16

* Rose back with Chicago Bulls, but still limited
* Vintage history ride to benefit cancer support in Naperville
* Howard returns to US, but Costa Rica wins 1-0
* Lake County police assist in capture of Wisconsin murder suspect
* Chicago Cubs advance to NLCS with 6-4 win over Cards

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Proposed bill could decrease college textb......
* Will the Senate Take Action to Combat Risi......

* Oswego Businessman To Run Against Kirk In ......

* Watching Hillary, Bernie, Lincoln, Jim & Marty
* Status Check: 4800 N. Clark Close To Completion
* Oswego Businessman To Run Against Kirk In Senate Primary
* Police Chief McCarthy says "There's no magic solution" to ending Chicago violence
* Breaking: McHenry teachers and board reach a tentative agreement.
* Now & Then, Wilson & Clifton
* I can die a happy man. Tom Morello retweeted my cartoon, Tony at the Red Line.
* Environmentalists Take Aim At Morgan Stanley Over Coal Industry Financing
* Poll: Rauner's Disapproval Rating At 50 Percent Among Southern Illinois Voters
* Schakowsky Introduces Bill To Make Renewable Energy Tax Credit Permanent

* Illinois Lottery Seeks Industry Feedback in Search for New Manager - Posts Request for Information in initial search for new private partner
* Board’s New Rules Will Reduce Risk of Tire Fires and Disease-Carrying Mosquitos
* Illinois Hosts Inaugural Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Aims to increase health care access through multi-state physician licensure program
* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller