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Metra's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

By Jon Graef in News on Aug 3, 2013 6:40PM


Metra -- the embattled commuter rail system which shouldn't be confused with Ventra, which began its surely-headed-for-clusterfuck rollout this week -- has had a week worthy of Judith Viorst's classic children's story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

How bad? Just a mere day after Metra Board of Directors Chairman Brad O’Halloran resigned because of the ongoing scandals involving patronage hires at the rail agency and the buyout of ex-CEO Alex Clifford’s contract, another Metra Board member, plush-toy/diaper knockoff Larry Huggins, resigned as well.

Why will Metra no longer receive any Huggins? Mayor Rahm Emanuel, that's why.

Per NBC 5:

“I spoke with Larry today and we both agreed that he will step down from the Metra board. Larry has a lifetime of service to our city and its neighborhoods,” Emanuel said in a statement. “His decision to leave the Metra board demonstrates his commitment and will allow the agency to begin a new chapter.”

Huggins is the fourth board member to resign. How many members are there on Metra's board at this time? Seven.

How many members are needed to hire a CEO or to elect a permanent chairman?



According to the Trib:

Metra currently is being run by two deputy executive directors, Alex Wiggins and Don Orseno, though some contend that state law requires the agency to have a sole chief executive officer. The Regional Transportation Authority Act, which governs local mass transit, specifically charges Metra's CEO with a host of personnel, spending and operational powers.

What's next in this lawless post-Huggins hellhole? 'S'all good in Metra's hood, according to...the people usually in charge of saying such things.

Metra's staff will continue to work with our board members and focus on our agency's mission to provide the riders and taxpayers of Northeast Illinois with high-quality, safe, affordable and reliable commuter rail service," the statement read. "Our customers should expect no change.

That is, until the next board member resigns. But hey! Nothing's consistent but change itself, right?

That, and political patronage.