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Change at Metra

Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

After the recent revelations about the severance deal between Metra and former CEO Alex Clifford, I appreciate state Rep. Jack Franks’ ongoing efforts to bring transparency and accountability to the suburban rail provider.

Metra is paying Mr. Clifford almost three times what he is contractually owed to leave his position early and doing so under the cloak of a confidentiality agreement. Franks is working to protect taxpayers by demanding hearings into Metra’s practices, and immediate reforms to make them more accountable.

It is enough of an insult to taxpayers when organizations such as Metra are found to be spending our tax dollars so carelessly. It is even more galling that this organization can hide the details of how it spends our very limited resources behind a legal firewall. Alex Clifford was hired to clean up Metra after years of malfeasance. How many more times will we be let down before we demand wholesale change at Metra?

Franks is right to push for greater accountability by requiring the election of Metra’s Board of Directors. I encourage Franks to continue to investigate and push for real change at Metra.

Ron Eck Jr.

Woodstock

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