Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: Audit Blasts UTA, Says It Gave Millions in Sweetheart Deals - Updated

Another reason we need this newspaper in our lives. Every day

Via Holly Mullen:

When clean air efforts and mass transit become a social class issue: Balancing UTA big salaries and profits (and sneakily) on the backs of the poor and working class--who have had bus routes continually cut and fares steadily raised.
Thanks to Lee Davidson, and The Salt Lake Tribune. Another reason we need this newspaper in our lives. Every day.

Update 8/28/14 7:10 a.m.:  Utah official are reeling from yesterday's state audit reporting:
The Trib reports that Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross is letting UTA management have it with both barrels:
[Weiler] tweeted online Wednesday, "I have two questions about the UTA audit: Who’s getting fired and who’s going to jail?"
He said in an interview that was not just a light-hearted tweet. "After all is said and done, we still have $1.7 million in taxpayer funds" not repaid from the questionable $10 million deal, and continued controversy over high pay and bonuses. "I don’t know how you turn a blind eye to that."
"You know, I still can't wrap my head around the fact that nobody ... and I mean NOBODY ... at UTA understands or comprehends the term Conflict of Interest," remarks one Trib reader.

UTA watchdog Chris Stout, of the Utah Transit Riders Union (UTRU) minces no words, and issues a call for strong citizen action:
One of the issues I raised at the meeting -- which was overlooked because of the sensational $10 million paid for a garage never built, $2.9 billion in unfunded maintenance costs, the debt to build the rail system and the decimation of the bus system in order to fund the rail service was the fact that customer satisfaction is essentially non-existent. The performance audit recommended that UTA begin "routine and consistent" customer satisfaction surveys that are taken to the highest level of UTA (the Board of Trustees). Myself or other members of UTRU will be attending these board meetings to personally deliver messages of customer satisfaction -- or in most cases, customer dissatisfaction. I encourage you to visit our website to get on our email list and/or visit and like our Facebook page.  Our next membership meeting will be in September and all are encouraged to attend.
Update 8/29/14 9:00 a.m.:  There's more politica blowback concerning this story, as Governor Herbert thinks UTA has already fixed most of the problems highlighted by a legislative audit raising questions about the organization's business practices; but Senator Todd Weiler will ask the State Attorney General's office to initiate a criminal investigation.
“I’m representing my constituents, and they’re angry and they want heads to roll,” Weiler said.

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle WCF Readers.

1 comment:

blackrulon said...

This is the same UTA that changes or cancels route and resists adding Sunday service because of the cost of operation?

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