I am writing in response to a letter that appeared last week in the Chicago Sun-Times that was submitted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's appointees to the RTA board. I hope to interject some common sense and perspective.
The Chicago appointees continue to read from their prepared script that says that the CTA should be allocated more and more of the region's money and at the same time they tell the public to trust them that the CTA is run perfectly and needs no oversight. Certainly their excessive bonding, budget woes and numerous operational problems suggest they need greater oversight. What surprised me about the letter by the five board appointees is that these same members have attended dozens of RTA board meetings and have never expressed such strong disdain for an agency they lead.
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The RTA staff is nationally recognized for innovations in technology, financial oversight and creative planning. I believe greater authority must be given to the RTA to ensure it can perform its role, and I appreciate the chairman's thoughtful proposals.
I should point out I have never seen a proposal by any of the city board members that does anything other than to give more money to the CTA. This is not a proposal but a recipe for disaster. If my colleagues don't see the value of the RTA, and aren't willing to be the leaders this public transit system needs, they should step aside to make room for new directors who care about mass transit and value the RTA's role in the region. I would also suggest we find members from the city who will meet their fiduciary duty to serve on a regional board with regional goals.
It's time we work together to serve the millions of riders the system serves every day.