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Nominee to the RTA Removed by Mayor Johnson

A couple of weeks ago, the Council Transportation Committee voted 14-2 to move forward with the Mayor's appointment of Ira Acree to the RTA board. At the time, I assumed the appointment would easily move ahead with only two votes in opposition (including my own) (Mayor Johnson's pick for transit board advances despite not knowing of looming $730 million shortfall-CBS2). I didn't know the Mayor pulled his appointment until this Wednesday's Council meeting and was as stunned as most people that the Mayor lost the majority of votes in a few days. 

My questions for the appointee (and for this Mayor) were the same: what are your goals for the issues we face, and what is your vision for the modern public transportation system we need? The Mayor has not yet laid out a clear vision for our City’s public transit agencies, but I assumed his administration would prepare their nominee for the Council vote. 

Both the RTA and CTA have serious needs. From improving day-to-day operations on our trains and buses to addressing the impending fiscal cliff and finding funding for our citywide and regional transportation agencies, this moment begs for strong leadership and proactive governance on this issue. There are many people working in public policy or have relevant expertise that could be tapped to effectively represent Chicago’s interests on the RTA and work to address these issues for riders and taxpayers. 

This City simply needs leaders with the fiscal and strategic experience to run City Hall and a well functioning public transportation system. 


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