Tuesday, March 24, 2009

At Least the Issue Is Being Talked About

While we were certainly disappointed to read WTOP's article about how the Metro Board publicly backs Metro GM John Catoe, we're happy to see that at least the thought of him stepping down is in the public realm.

That almost every member of Metro's Board said they support him makes is really want to know what is discussed behind closed doors.

We were also flabbergasted by his salary, which is $326,000, as well as a $60,000 annual living allowance. In our view, even if Catoe was doing a good job, that would be an obscene amount of money. In light of Metro's poor performance, it's unconscionable. Even his offer to take a 3 percent pay cut in light of Metro's woes is an insult to us all.

Do you agree with the Board or do you think Metro's leadership should be passed torch to someone who goes beyond providing a clean fa├žade to a fundamentally mismanaged and potentially rotten transit system? It might not solve all of Metro's problems, but it could be the first step in getting the real cleaning done.
Send an email to Lisa Farbstein, Metro's director of public relations, and let her know how you feel. You can also reach Metro's public affairs at 202-962-1051.

Or you could take your concerns directly to Jim Graham, the chairman of Metro's Board of Directors tomorrow during an online chat on GreaterGreaterWashington.

Another site
that shares our views about Metro


Anonymous said...

Here's the deal. Catoe is on his way out at the end of his obscene contract. No one wants to rock the boat further. He'll be gone. Thing is with Metro sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don't.

Anonymous said...

Catoe does have a very difficult job, and if he were merely a few months into his term, I'd be more than happy to cut him some slack, but he's has two years, and from what I can see, he's accomplished very little.

That he's paid that much is crazy!

Anonymous said...

Almost $400,000 in compensation! good grief!

Anonymous said...

Metro is a "make work" program. There are a lot of people there paid more than they could earn elsewhere with similar skills. The fact that he is paid three times what the average BUS DRIVER is paid is no shock at all.

Anonymous said...

This just smells odd

Anonymous said...

This is the first fissure. Why does a story like this even come out? He's on his way out, and everyone is trying to save face.

Anonymous said...

Do you work for WTOP? It's strange that you'd sorta call for catoe to leave and then the next day TOP runs a story saying all's well.

Unsuck DC Metro said...

@Pabob: We are not affiliated with WTOP in any way though we admire the work they do covering Metro. If you haven't already, check out their series "Metro Malfunction."

Anonymous said...

Look, this is a tough transit system to preside over. We all know that. It's got to be an onerous job given all the ass kissing that's got to be done and all of the endemic corruption that anything related to DC seems to have built it.
However, to pay this guy nearly 400 grand is fricking insane. Even if WMATA ran like a German transit system, Catoe or anyone else wouldn't be worth that kind of money.
Huge swaths of DC are suffering and have been for decades, and this WMATA puts a 400 grand price tag on this job? We live in a sick world.

Anonymous said...

I volunteer to do the job for $200K and a $50K living allowance.

I'm a federal attorney and have several years of Board and Bar Association Committee experience. I'm a frequent Metro rider from Shady Grove, and I will respect your constitutional rights and eliminate the policy of random bag searches.

I will also personally lobby Congress and the President for an annual capital funds budget and region wide service enhancements including: a second Potomac River tunnel, a "Beltway" looping line, third and fourth tracks, and extensions beyond the current terminus points.

I will maximize revenue by modifying parking current garages to include housing and retail "urban town centers." I will make Metro a truly 21st Century system.

Support me, Mr. Anonymous.

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