Saturday, September 09, 2006

Let the County Supervise VTA?—Think Again! 

The Dispatch
JEERS: For the Valley Transportation Authority,

oft-criticized for inefficiency, deservedly, and off track. The latest cause for head shaking: a $511,830 audit. That's right, $511,830 to find out why the organization is inefficient. It's the height of Shakespearean irony. Why is it that the high-priced administrators hired to run VTA can't figure out ways to operate more efficiently? If they can't, fire them, and put together a team that can. This is a taxpayer nightmare. Dissolve the VTA. Put transportation in the hands of county supervisors.

That was what we had when VTA was known as Santa Clara County Transit District, complete with a logo reminiscent of a snail. The supervisors running it discovered that the transit district had a surplus of money and figured they could bilk the district of its underutilized funds by inspecting the maintenance facilities and "fining" them millions of dollars for environmental "violations".

That way they could put all that money in the general county fund and spend it any way they wanted.

Massive cleanup operations followed, involving digging up fuel tanks on all of the fuel islands. It was great. We all had to drive our buses off site for fueling. It was nice overtime, but it was a nightmare that ultimately resulted in a law suit which ended in the formation of the current VTA Board, which consisted largely of the same people, just with new titles and a new name. Oh, and a fancy, custom-designed logo with trademark registration and all. Go figure.