Wed, Apr

A Letter to METRO's Stephanie Wiggins - CEO, Sharon Gookin - Deputy CEO, and Nicole Englund - Chief of Staff


GUEST LETTER - Washington's Birthday week-end should be a time of reflection and recognizing how smart the writers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights were---not to mention Washington was a two term President who knew not to run for a third term--as to the other guy, not only would he not have admitted he chopped down the cherry tree--he would have denied there was a cherry tree--but enough about the conundrum our country finds itself in--(if there is a debate, they could hold it on a porch on rocking chairs---and no noise--I'm 80----LOL)-----before this three day week-end meant auto and mattress sales-----our Founding Fathers  had a strong belief in individual rights, individual initiative, citizen advocacy and independence from government intrusion and overreach----a marketplace of free ideas, serious discussions--like a  rowdy family with warts and all--in other words a democratic republic.  A great vision--and the accomplishments of our country and its citizens are remarkable. I have no interest in forgetting our past--we should learn from our mistakes but not ignore them or make believe they never existed. You only learn from making mistakes--otherwise you wouldn't make them.


How does this have anything to do with Metro?  Because Metro is the antithesis of what our Founding Fathers had in mind. It operates as a secret, inept, unresponsive, untruthful, and disingenuous quasi-governmental institution.  The ad below is accurate. In the last two years, Metro has antagonized, disrespected and been unresponsive to the following communities--Chinatown, Lawndale, Sherman Oaks and Bel Air--not to mention not being able to keep buses and trains safe for the riding public. There may be other communities---but these readily come to mind. One question we should ask--and maybe have a contest with a prize for whoever wins----who will Metro antagonize this year? Contest details to follow. This happens because until recently, it has had little to no oversight or nor has it been held to any accountability. Where has the Taxpayer Oversight Committee been the last 20 years?-- Forest Lawn?

When I think of the people we have interacted with at Metro, I think of the great line from Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles--and I paraphrase...These are people of the Bureaucracy--the common clay of bureaucratic organizations--you know---morons!! They publish bogus surveys filled with mistruths and outright lies and have no real interest in what the public thinks (not sure how you can say you have public outreach when you admit you ignore the public--that's a new one on me--but it is Catch-22). In our request for information, they produced basically all redacted emails----we will go back to court to get them to be transparent--and if that fails, we will appeal. As I have written before, we are not going away---and their version of the law and public transparency--can be found on StonewallandDelay.com.  One simple fact --that they can't bring themselves to admit or tell the public  that 13 miles of tunnels will cost a minimum $26B without delays (they admitted to me that they did not expect the cost per mile in 2026 would be less than $2 billion a mile--and it would probably take 15 years to build--so in light of their prior history of never building any project on time or on budget in the last 25 years--the real cost of tunneling will be north of $35 billion and  would not be finished before 2045 at the earliest--and that of course assumes no earthquakes or litigation). The truth is that this project is about providing  and keeping jobs for Metro's employees---and the excuse to spend all of this money is that it will save the public 12 minutes in riding time---do the math. Really???!!! The advocates for this solution should remember that their heads are not neck ornaments. One last point---if the tunnel is really 90 feet below ground and won't impact anyone's life on the surface -- the obvious place for it is under the 405---but the weak-kneed, spineless, and inept leadership of Metro is afraid to deal with CalTrans....and that's another fact.  

The three people who this is written to are the so-called executive leaders of Metro. In the old days, with the results they have produced, they would have been tar and feathered and run out of town on a rail---where is a rail when you need it??----we don't do that today--but the truth is you can find their lack of accomplishments on abysmal.com

I could go on--but you get the point. At some point accountability and competence will prevail. The citizens of Los Angeles deserve that--starting now. 

(Fred Rosen is a retired businessman who resides in Los Angeles.)