Ever since "the Old Man" (the first Daley Chicago
Mayor) exerted his powerful political will and almost
single-handedly created the RTA in 1973, mass transit
in the Chicagoland area has been beset with many trials,
fueled in part by the 47 board members at all four transit
agencies, CTA, Metra, Pace, RTA. The RTA itself
is a toothless tiger, exhibiting almost zero oversight;
the too-large number of board members spread out
between the agencies spells doom for any cogent,
practical policy formation OR accountability.
Scandals and tragedies (Pagano's suicide after his
theft of unearned vacation monies became public
knowledge) abound; entrenched Democratic
and Republican hacks make self-serving, stupid or
delayed decisions affecting millions in Northern
Illinois. The latest pricey poaching from the public
kitty involves transit pension fund "conferences" held
around the U.S. at expensive locations, like
Las Vegas and Honolulu, neither known as a
location for modestly-priced ANYTHING.
No one books a conference in Honolulu OR
Vegas to save money (-!). The "rigorous"
meetings of CTA pension officials across the
country cost taxpayers and the cash-strapped
agency a cool $60,000 beginning in 2010, not
revealed until the BGA sued for the spent
amounts and venues. (See Chicago Sun-Times,
August 24, 2014)
Hold your conferences in CHICAGO, CTA,
locus of all CTA policies, programs, etc. Find
a reasonably-priced place there, and BOOK it.
You will also have at your convenient disposal
The University of Chicago, Northwestern University,
et al., repositories of much-required information for
proper policy formation.
P.S. to CTA retirement plan and healthcare trust
pension officials: Find funding for your vacations
elsewhere! Taxpayers have better things to finance
besides YOUR good times.