Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0521
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Full Text of HR0521  98th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The current Regional Transportation Authority
3(RTA) was created in statute by the Illinois General Assembly
4in 1973; and
5    WHEREAS, There were 3 service boards created under the
6umbrella oversight of the RTA; and
7    WHEREAS, One of those service boards, METRA, created in
81983, has the oversight responsibility for operation of the
9commuter rail system throughout the northeast area of Illinois,
10which includes Cook County and its surrounding collar counties,
11making METRA the second-largest commuter rail system in the
12nation; and
13    WHEREAS, The METRA Board of Directors, a board of public
14officials appointed by public officials, is the oversight
15entity for the METRA system operation in conjunction with a
16transit professional who is the METRA Executive Director and
17Chief Executive Officer of METRA; and
18    WHEREAS, The Regional Transportation Authority receives
19hundreds of millions of dollars from various taxpayers sources,
20including monies from the State of Illinois' General Revenue
21Fund, which is funded by State income tax revenues and the



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1State sales tax revenues paid by individuals and corporations
2throughout the State; and
3    WHEREAS, Over $340 million flows from the General Revenue
4Fund to the Public Transportation Fund, which helps fund the
5RTA; and
6    WHEREAS, A significant portion of the Public
7Transportation Fund flows through the RTA to METRA; and
8    WHEREAS, The METRA Board of Directors must approve a budget
9which properly utilizes these public funds; and
10    WHEREAS, System-generated METRA operating revenues
11comprise roughly 52% of METRA's funding; and
12    WHEREAS, The fares that METRA riders pay make up a large
13portion of that 52% of funding; and
14    WHEREAS, Both taxpayers and fare payers who provide so much
15by way of funding to the operation of METRA have a reasonable
16expectation that the dollars they are putting into the system
17will be used in a responsible, efficient, and transparent
18manner; and
19    WHEREAS, The METRA Board of Directors recently entered into



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1an employment termination agreement with the METRA Executive
2Director; and
3    WHEREAS, That employment termination agreement included a
4significant financial sum and other personal benefits to the
5Executive Director for early termination of his contract; and
6    WHEREAS, This termination agreement and the financial sums
7involved are far in excess of what would be considered normal
8when dealing with public monies; and
9    WHEREAS, The contributing factors and deliberations
10leading up to that termination agreement were initially
11withheld from the public by the Chairman and the members of the
12METRA Board of Directors and were released only after separate
13public hearings by the RTA and the Mass Transit Committee of
14the House of Representatives; and
15    WHEREAS, Dealing in secrecy violates the public trust that
16has been placed in the Board of Directors and negates the
17expectation of transparency that the public rightly has when it
18comes to the handling of public dollars; and
19    WHEREAS, All reports indicate that it was the Chairman of
20the METRA Board of Directors who was instrumental in passing
21the termination agreement; therefore, be it



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3the members of the House of Representatives call on the
4Chairman of the METRA Board of Directors to resign his position
5as Chairman and his position on the METRA Board of Directors in
6light of his poor and inappropriate handling of the public
7funds related to the termination agreement entered into by the
8METRA Board with the METRA Executive Director; and be it
10    RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives call on the
11METRA Board of Directors to elect a new Chairman who
12understands the important public role that METRA plays in our
13regional transportation network and who will operate as
14Chairman in a transparent and open manner that restores the
15public trust in the METRA system; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
17presented to the Chairman and each member of the METRA Board of