In some news that has been flying under the radar, it seems as if Tri Delta Transit, the public bus agency in East Contra Costa County, sent eight of its 11 board members plus three staffers to the Big Easy for the yearly national transit conference at a cost to taxpayers of $21,250. (A ninth board member, Mary Erbez, paid her own way.)
I have no problem with Tri Delta Transit attending the conference, but do so responsibly—especially at a time when they are complaining about funding and discussions are occurring about reducing available routes and raising fares on our seniors.
Could not one or two attend and report back to the rest of the board? This was nothing more than a paid vacation on the taxpayers backs while they complain about available funding.
It was not a good week for Oakley City Council members Carol Rios and Kevin Romick, who both voted to guarantee City Manager Bryan Montgomery a $170,000 equity in a house worth less than the mortgage on the taxpayers dime as well as attend the New Orleans trip on the tax payers dime. Is something not wrong with this picture? Both seem to be taking advantage of the taxpayer with little regret.
In the Contra Costa Times, Romick did concede this was “overkill” but claimed he got a lot of the trip due to viewing eBART cars and talk security cameras. Mr. Romick, have you not heard of GoToMeeting? If you want to look at the eBART cars, they are similar to SF Muni or the current BART cars.
I give major kudos to Mary Erbez for doing the right thing and paying her own way. To the rest of you, I urge you to do the right thing and repay the money or we will work to replace you. It’s that simple. You cannot keep taking advantage of the public trust.
The local breakdown is as follows:
- Tri Delta Transit – 11 attended
- County Connection – 5 attended
- BART – 13 attended (9 employees, 4 elected directors)
- Wheels – 1 attended
Vorderbrueggen: East Bay transit agencies send dozens to the Big Easy on the taxpayers’ dime
By Lisa Vorderbrueggen