The headline is right: TriMet does need new, strong leadership (TriMet needs strong leadership, new vigor, March 1). The problem is the governor will never, ever make it happen.
We need a board of directors that isn't a lapdog to the general manager, who supposedly works for the board. We need a board that actually represents the public, that works for the public and most importantly, acts in the public's interest.
The board isn't there to self-preserve TriMet at any cost, regardless of what the citizens think. The board (seems) more interested in padding their resume with light-rail lines they built, rather than saying that they oversaw an effective form of government that provides safe, reliable service.
The number of bus lines axed, or the average age of a bus, doesn't get noticed by many, so the board doesn't care about little details like that.
But when you're dealing with real people who have real places and real commitments -- those things do matter when I can't get to work because my bus is on the side of the road or the buses are always crowded because they run less frequently despite there being more people wanting to ride.
Our Legislature is no better -- they could have easily changed ORS 267 to require a public vote of the board, but instead they acted on their own special interests. They, too, would rather take credit for building light-rail lines, not actually serving the public.