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Topinka takes a “step up”

Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006

JBT was appointed to the RTA board yesterday. I like this quote.

“It is a step up,” maintained Topinka after Cook County suburban commissioners voted her into a spot on the Regional Transportation Authority. “Transportation is no step down. It is what drives this economy.”

More from the Tribune:

“I sat on the Senate Transportation Committee for many years,” Topinka said in a brief interview. “I think it’s a very interesting appointment.”

Topinka has had a long friendship with former Rep. Bill Lipinski (D-Ill.), who headed the House Transportation Committee and who ensured funding for several area mass-transportation projects, including the CTA’s Orange Line to Midway Airport. Lipinski now serves as a transportation lobbyist.

Topinka said it was too early to say how her appointment would affect efforts to make the RTA more Chicago-focused in relation to suburban transportation needs.

“I’m just really new at this and I’m going to look at this all over,” she said.

Crains:

As a former legislator, Ms. Topinka “has knowledge of state government that will be helpful” as lawmakers consider plans to boost RTA funding, said County Commissioner Tony Peraica, one of those who voted to select her for the post. “I wanted someone who would be more actively engaged. I think Judy will be,” Mr. Peraica said.

Meanwhile, Gary Skoien and David Harris are vying for a seat on the Metra board.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

12 Comments
  1. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 10:16 am:

    Only Blagojevich’s supporters would ask, “What is she thinking?”. This question comes from a group of people who simply do not understand public service and dedication.

    What is she thinking? Now we know. She is thinking about doing the best job she can, using the skills and connection she has, to serve Illinois citizens.

    Sorry, if Democrats are too cynical to understand this. Look at their guy. Obviously they wouldn’t understand.


  2. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 10:25 am:

    I’m happy to see that she will be able to continue contributing her experience and skills to state public policy issues. This will be particularly important as the CTA gears up to charge taxpayers statewide for decades of mismanagement, patronage, cronyism, featherbedding and exotic pension sweeteners.

    The CTA is gearing up to ask for lots more money from the state next year, and we can expect the usual sky is falling rhetoric from Daley and the CTA management.

    Maybe JBT can will bring some much-needed perspective to what is certain to be a huge attempted raid on state taxpayers for the benefit of Chicagoans.


  3. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 11:24 am:

    It is nice to see someone with proven skills and experience named to one of these boards. All too often (particularly with the CTA board) the appointees are nothing more than a bunch of political hacks.


  4. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 12:09 pm:

    I’m enthused by this appointment. Judy is from Riverside and the Cook County burbs (especially the close-in ones) tend not to get much concern from the RTA–they’ve tended to be focused on getting service to the new developments way out west and haven’t paid much attention to practical Pace routes that would be beneficial to this area. Especially integrating the Pace bus routes with the CTA bus & els that we have access to.


  5. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 12:21 pm:

    Democrats will appoint Republicans, but they won’t appoint Greens? Makes you question the agenda.


  6. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 1:43 pm:

    She’ll be better than the usual type of appointee to those boards.


  7. - Punky QB - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 1:45 pm:

    What’s she thinking? Too easy.


  8. - anon - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 3:04 pm:

    BJT seems like a good fit. What really got my attention is a Republican commissioner nominating Democrat Orland Hills mayor Kyle Hastings. No secret the Republican commissioner is really a democrat but Hastings and his village board are just coming out from under a credit card misuse story. Hastings seems to always comes out smelling like a rose.


  9. - TedTransfer - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 4:37 pm:

    What’s She Thinking?
    EASY RTA has great health insurance and a pension that vests very quickly. And of course a chance to share all her transportation “plans”


  10. - ANON - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 9:34 pm:

    Hasn’t regional transit changed since she was in the senate? Two words: Golden pillow


  11. - whatever - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 11:03 am:

    I bet she hasn’t taken public transportation in well over a decade while she and her dogs have been driven around in state vehicles.


  12. - Fact check - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 3:20 pm:

    Fedup, you’d better check your facts. I wouldn’t characterize the chairman of a major global consumer products manufacturer, a former CBOT board member, a managing director of a major wall street investment bank, or a leading advocate for people with disabilities that way.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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