Cartoon courtesy: www.savagechickens.com
This is another installment a recent series (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4) of posts exploring the mismanagement, and outright theft, at the transit authority.
What is most disturbing to me about this is how an expanded "at will" policy--meaning some high-level employees can be fired at any time, with or without cause--does not appear to be enforced.
It all seems like another hollow PR move.
Take, for example, the case of Metro's assistant GM for planning, Nat Bottigheimer. He admitted credit card fraud happened in his department. He was "admonished," but he's still employed. Another top manager was allowed to quietly "retire" after his involvement was discovered. No one was prosecuted.
But that was the planning department. Here's the view from a Metro consultant with ties to the revenue department:
Management at Metro is a joke.Other items:
This is even more upsetting because GM Richard Sarles implemented a policy in which more senior management officials are employed at will.
But the policy is not enforced.
Under the watch of the ostensibly "at will" assistant treasurer, someone fundamentally responsible for the safekeeping of Metro's cash, nearly half a million dollars was stolen over years.
Was the assistant treasurer fired? No. He was allowed to quietly retire. They even held a retirement party.
Take a look at the department he ran.
There are safes in the revenue building which haven't had the combinations changed in years.
Keys to very sensitive areas have been lost, but the locks have not been changed.
These are the locks that protect the money!
Employees were allowed to switch shifts to work with friends/co-criminals.
Sensitive information that should be compartmentalized is not.
At Metro, there aren't any safeguards in place.
The revenue building is filled with obsolete equipment--some of which is so old they can't get parts for them and have to make them themselves.
Other organizations that deal with large amounts of cash would never allow these kinds of things to happen.
I think it all boils down to people in senior management. They're afraid to make waves, and their bosses are afraid to make waves.
The management style is "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."
That leads to people getting into positions they are not qualified for.
They just want to stay in, retire quietly and collect their pensions.
They're all concerned about their own little fiefdom, and they'll dump their problems on anyone.
I think this is crazy, and I'm embarrassed.
It could be such a much better system.
I do see some signs that Metro is bringing in outsiders, which I hope will weaken the good old boy network that's running the place now.
Metro doesn't know what to do with convict bus driver (Examiner)