Tobolski Urges Illinois General Assembly to Make Stricter Qualifications for Metra Board Directors

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessCook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski (D-McCook) is calling on the Illinois General Assembly to make the qualifications to be a Metra Board Director more stringent in a resolution that he will be proposing at the next board meeting. “Right now a dog could be appointed to serve on the Metra Board,” Tobolski said. “That needs to change.”

The Illinois Code vests authority in the suburban members of the Cook County Board and the Cook County Board President to appoint five directors to the METRA Board. However the only criterion that the Code sets forth for the appointment of a director is that they reside in the suburbs.
“Public confidence in the METRA Board of Directors is at an all-time low and therefore more accountability measures need to be put in place,” said Tobolski. The Metropolitan Rail Board (METRA) is responsible for overseeing a $713 million budget and operating one of the largest metropolitan rail systems in the country. Recent scandals involving Alex Clifford’s separation agreement have rocked the METRA Board and caused the resignation of the METRA Board Chairman and several Directors.

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