UPDATE: A reliable source close to what’s going on as officials deal with the Chatsworth train collision informs me that situation over the weekend got so out of hand that the PR agency on retainer for crisis communications for Metrolink couldn’t be reached for two days. The source added: “The mayor knows full well the Metrolink board is screwed up and is determined to fix it. That’s why he sent in Katz, an expert on transportation issues, to clean up the mess once and for all.”.
How many people must die, how bad do things have to get, before we get straight talk from our leaders?
I don’t know about you all but immature as I am for an old man I find it a whole lot easier to deal with bad news if I face the facts with straight talk.
Unfortunately, all we’re getting from our leaders about the Chatsworth train collision is a lot of B.S. You know that’s true when a PR flack gets rebuked for telling the obvious truth and takes the high road and quits in protest because her bosses — ultimately the political leadership of the five counties that run Metrolink — want to manage public perception more than they want to fix the problems that caused the tragedy.
Instead, the head of the MTA board, who just happens to be the mayor of L.A., put his point man on transportation issues, Richard Katz, on the Metrolink board and had his personal flack shamelessly pat him on the back for his courage and leadership.
“The mayor believes that the public deserves answers and the agency
needs changes, and he’s taking the leadership to get it done,” said Villaraigosa spokesman Matt Szabo. “The operational safety of Metrolink must be the paramount concern.”
And Katz added: “We want to make sure that we have every safety tool in the toolbox
working on these lines, particularly when you have freight and commuter
sharing the lines…I think between the five counties we’ll find a way to pay for it.”
Is that any different than the drunken driver who runs down little kids in a crosswalk and promises to go into detox and never do it again? At least the drunk would probably say he’s sorry.
I think the five counties should have found the money a long time ago but safety wasn’t paramount. The problem was known and other communities found the right safety tool in the toolbox — automated systems that stop trains in emergencies like running red lights — years ago.
It’s good the mayor is committed to fixing this problem but how about all the other at-grade rail crossing on MTA trains and on the busway that are dangerous and how about all the other problems we have all over L.A.
The public is fed up with lying and obfuscation from their leaders at every level. It’s time they started acting like public servants and treating the public like adults.
If they really wanted to respect the lives that were lost on that train, they would stop trying to smooth over the political problems they face with carefully chosen words and start speaking the truth about this and every other issue.