Another scathing editorial in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opin ... 0224.story" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Strong language for The Trib.
Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI
Tadman wrote:The Alex Clifford memo is out:As I wrote to Rep. Mell the allegations are deplorable and yet not surprising in the least. Mr. Clifford was brought in to "clean up Dodge" and is being run off on a rail for doing just that.
http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/153453 ... share=true" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It's a good read. Nothing but the best from our Chicago/Illinois pols...
Tadman wrote:While the management was obviously looking out for themselves first, they also ran a fine railroad. A railroad that had little of the science fair experiment seen at other commuter roads. We could have the problem of LIRR, being run by political appointees, or NJT, having PL42's barfing all over the road. We don't, and that's a testament to our leadership despite their other problems.I'm inclined to agree, but the cynic in me says that it's more a testament to Metra's conservative, and at times, rigid operating philosophy. You know, "We're just a mom and pop gallery car railroad that operates nothing but 645 engines. We've finally got around to having bathrooms on our electric district cars, and we're thinking about installing wi-fi (whatever that is.). Please know that our schedules are only to be taken seriously during rush hours. Off-peak or weekends, the trains get there when they get there. But don't forget that weekend pass, only 7 bucks!" That's Metra in a nutshell, more or less. With Clifford's ouster, I've given up on ever seeing "real" reform at Metra, unless politics are removed, which would be impossible. And privatizing it isn't the way to go either, that would get messy in a hurry. We'll simply have to live with an imperfect commuter railroad that does a decent job of moving folks around, and hope that the other problems don't get in the way too often...
Tadman wrote:Multiple news outlets are reporting that Brad O'Halloran, Metra chairman and the "bad boy" of the Alex Clifford saga, has resigned.That's exactly who has resigned! The entire lot of them are political appointiees, some of who don't even live in the counties they "represent". Clifford seemed to be the only check on these hacks (save for Schaffer) and he was dismissed because of it. What the board hoped would be a quiet matter has blown up into a full blown expose into how things really work in Chicago and Illinois. The Chicago Tribune has shown the Bobby Rush "protest" to be nothing but a shakedown, one Clifford wouldn't acquiesce to. Meanwhile all you hear Madigan say is he did nothing illegal. Well, there's a far leap from leagality and ethics.
I think it's the right thing to do given that the agency obviously has problems with patronage and interest conflicts. I'm a bit scared, though, that O'Halloran is the last of Metra's "camelot days" management after Pagano's death. While the management was obviously looking out for themselves first, they also ran a fine railroad. A railroad that had little of the science fair experiment seen at other commuter roads. We could have the problem of LIRR, being run by political appointees, or NJT, having PL42's barfing all over the road. We don't, and that's a testament to our leadership despite their other problems.