Monday, February 27, 2012

Then there is the CHAMPION of CHAMPIONS!

SP Red Electric

McFarlane is flat out being dishonest with the public and is pitting people against people to suit his own personal agenda. His background is in building light rail lines and other mega-projects like the Convention Center; he has ZERO experience in actual day-to-day operations of anything, and right now he's protecting his babies (specifically WES and MAX but also the Portland Streetcar) - and willing to sacrifice anything to get his way.
Never mind that TriMet consistently refuses to address many of my 24 specific ways TriMet could cut its budget.
Never mind that TriMet need make only TWO CUTS to balance its budget (before the recent ruling against TriMet for negotiating in bad faith) - cut WES, and cut the Portland Streetcar subsidy.
Those two cuts would actually put TriMet $1 million into the black...and there's 22 other things TriMet could do that would put TriMet on very solid financial footing for years to come.
However, those conflict with Neil McFarlane's dream of being an empire builder...he wants to build big because he is bought and paid for by the light rail special interests...TriMet used to be a transit agency; now it's a corporate welfare agency that just happens to provide a small amount of public transit. That's clearly evident by the fact McFarlane is willing to sacrifice service before other internal cuts - cuts that would have ZERO impact to the public.
Why does TriMet need a Capital Projects department with 127 employees and a payroll of $10.3 million? These folks do NOTHING but plan new light rail lines - they do not a single thing for day-to-day operations. The immediate termination of these 127 engineers would not affect one person's bus or MAX commute.
Why does TriMet need an I.T. department of 50 employees and a payroll of $4.8 million? 13 programmers, and 14 software engineers? For WHAT? And SEVEN Manager IIs whom make between $97K and $144K a year?
Or how about TriMet's "Marketing" Department of 35 employees who make a total of $2.5 million a year...what do they market? When's the last time you saw a TriMet advertisement on TV for a bus line? (And, that doesn't count the amount of work TriMet contracts out to external vendors for advertising!!)
Or the $2.2 million in labor expense for the Streetcar - which isn't even a TriMet function, but is owned and operated by the City of Portland. (And, TriMet shares in the operating expense of the Streetcar - the city of Portland isn't paying TriMet for the labor.)
For other cost-cutting suggestions may I suggest:

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