Monday, November 16, 2009

Metro, Redskins Have a Lot in Common

You wouldn't think the Redskins and Metro would have much in common, but there are some surprising similarities.

They both perennially underachieve.

The both have widely derided general managers.

They both scour the nation for overpriced "stars" who end up under performing.

They both love to utilize consultants for things they should do themselves.

They both overcharge their customers.

They both have inept, insulated and intractable management that only acts when the ship is sinking.

Even then, that reaction is usually nothing more than to shuffle the deck chairs and pray somehow, some way things will get better.

Take this eerie parallel.

A few weeks back, the Redskins, in a bizarre move, stripped "head" coach Jim Zorn of his play calling duties, leaving him with a very unclear job description and a generous salary.

And now Metro, with questions about its safety swirling around, has Jim Zorned its chief safety officer.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that:

Alexa Dupigny-Samuels [Metro's safety chief] will keep her title and duties but will be supervised by Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn, [Metro Board Chair Jim] Graham said. She would consult with Taborn "before key decisions are made," he said. "If she makes decisions or writes letters or communicates something, she needs to tell the chief, 'Here is what I'm thinking of doing.' "

Why not fire her if she needs this much help? If Metro has no confidence left in her abilities, get rid of her, and use her salary to hire someone who knows what they're doing. Don't create another bureaucratic layer that's not likely to make any difference or might make things worse.

We're starting to think dumb is spelled M-E-T-R-O. Good grief.

With the Skins, all the folly is often laughable, but with Metro, it's tragic.

What is more worrisome about this new management structure is the Metro Police will have more on their plate when they can't seem to handle some of their core duties such as maintaining a sense of safety--more on that in a coming post. They also aren't much better at following their own rules, apparently, and they're buying those ridiculous T3s that actually prompted the wife of a Metro cop to write us out of concern for her husband's safety.

But let's get back to the safety practices at Metro, which are indisputably in need of re-evaluation. Is this "fix" really the best Metro could come up with? Will the still amorphous federal oversight proposed by the Obama administration keep Metro from making these cosmetic changes and bring real reform in how Metro operates?

And Frankly, Dupigny-Samuels only got her job in February, so it seems unlikely she would have had that much effect on Metro's overall safety, no matter how well or poorly she performed.

She not only got Zorned, but she got sort of Schottenheimered as well.

Other items:
Obama administraton proposes federal oversight of transit (WaPo)
Examiner's take
Metro, union rack up legal bills (Examiner)


Anonymous said...

If we riders can't get rid of Catoe, what makes you think Taborn can be rid of the unsafe safety person?

Anonymous said...

Where's Dr. Who when ya need him?

Anonymous said...

Tytpical Catoe move. He brings in his cronies. When thigs go bad because they are clueless, he hides 'em

He did the same thing when he moved his Central Control guy to training after June 22. They get big bucks and the employees get nothing.

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