'Flawed rationale' behind call for GET resignations

Letter to the editor, Bakersfield Californian, August 29, 2014

In response to the Aug. 27 article "City-picked GET board members asked to resign": This is a flawed rationale.

I have been a public transportation advocate for better than two decades and for the past 11 years have served on one of Los Angeles Metro's regional service councils, which have the responsibility for service changes in their regions. Our councils have benefited from the fact that among their appointed members there are those who, like myself, have built up a knowledge base on transit operations, service planning and scheduling, and other related matters. I know Howard Silver from my interaction with him at industry conferences, and he is that type of person. With his three decades of service to GET, he has the experience to know when a proposal is right or wrong, and I find it highly unlikely that the Bakersfield City Council would find a replacement who is anywhere close to qualified in the way Mr. Silver is.

Every governing board of any specialized agency needs to have in its membership someone with the empirical knowledge of that agency's specific purpose. Absent such a "moral compass" the only message sent to the agency's staff is that they can more easily pull the proverbial wool over the board's collective eyes. In my opinion, the removal of Mr. Silver will send precisely that message.

I urge the City Council to rethink their motivations for their proposed action, lest they end up with a worse situation than the one they are reacting to.

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