Tuesday, April 8, 2014


EDIT: The court case looks like it was taken out of court and settled privately.  This seems to be common knowledge in the community and among former and current Metro employees, but finding it the huge pile of Metro litigation may take me awhile. EDIT EDIT: Part of the story below is the "telephone line" of third party information.  The suit paid out 8 million to Cross Country, but it appears Metro's overall costs were $39 million.  Still trying to find the contractors that were turned away- which looks like it was rolled up in the Mokun suit in 2010.  It is a tangled web, but I will unweave it.  http://www.dowdbennett.com/news/jury-orders-transit-agency-to-pay-the-firms-it-sued/

Hey St. Louis, remember back in 2010 when Metro told you to vote on Prop. A for the half cent sales tax for the buses and trains?

You know, that EXTRA half cent they needed, on top of the quarter cent from the city and half cent from the county that they were ALREADY getting?

Well, that was just a big fat lie.  That bond was not for PUBLIC TRANSIT.  It was for TRANSPORTATION, which includes bridges, roads, and other stuff that Metro has nothing to do with.

Why did Metro agree to pull the wool over your eyes?

To cozy up to the County Executive Officer.  That's the government official that actually controls Metro's checkbook.

Metro needed 42 million dollars a year to operate (they need 62 million now).  That includes the $250,000 a year paid in straight salary to former CEO Robert Baer and current CEO John Nations.  And the private company car costs, and  free membership to Missouri Athletic Club, and all the other perks they get for running Metro transit into the ground. (I don't know, but my estimate that Nations' benefits- including health care, pensions, and other perks like the car cost another $50-78,000 a year.  At least.)

A Metro CEO makes more than Mayor Slay $131,000; Slay's Chief of Staff, $156,000; Governor Nixon, $133,000; or County Executive Office Charlie Dooley, $144,000.  (And all those people are way overpaid for the work they do, too.)

You knew, didn't you, that political ambition is the only reason a man like Nations goes after the CEO position at Metro?  Nations apparently makes no secret of the fact that the ONLY reason he is at Metro is to build his campaign for a seat in the senate.  I have been asking for 2 weeks and found this out, so you folks that have been living here this whole time already knew that.

And let's not forget that the only reason Nations got involved was that the buses to Chesterfield were faltering and all the maids and busboys couldn't get to their jobs.

That 42 million a year figure also includes the $190,000 a year salary that every other person at Metro with a CEO title makes.  (I was right, that firing all the executives would make up that 2.5 million a year they want from their customers in fare increases.)  And the $100,000 a year salary to other executives.

So, back to Prop A and that 42 million a year in basic operating expenses.  See, Metro had gotten some big government grants for train development.  Now, we have already established that Metro really only wants to serve the wealthy, white suburbs and get more of those people to park and ride to Cardinals games.

So they set off for Alton and St. Charles/St. Peters, where the Metrolink was shut down by all the racist white people that live in those areas and went to the Town Hall meetings.  (Not saying all the people in those neighborhoods are racist, but obviously there either weren't enough of them that wanted a Metrolink.)

They had to spend that money or lose it, which is when Richard Gephardt stepped in and the Shrewsbury Metrolink extension was put in.

But you see, Metro hired some minority contractors, apparently mostly for hauling away debris from the construction sites, and when these black men showed up with their trucks to do the job they were hired for THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THEIR JOB.

"Go away, Black Man."

So the contractors fought back with a lawsuit and WON 39 MILLION DOLLARS.

Bye-bye to almost an entire year's operating budget.  The County Executive Office, Charlie Dooley, refused to write Metro another check to cover the loss.

Somehow, the Good Ole Boy Network managed to hide all this from the press, or if it was covered, it was buried.  (I can't find any news coverage of this... YET.)

Metro decided to pressure their existing staff into working overtime, instead of hiring more drivers and Metrolink operators.  (Cheaper to pay overtime than pay for hiring and training, and benefits and pensions, for the new drivers they needed, etc.)

The bus drivers did not want to work more hours.  (I am sure that 40 hours a week driving a Metro bus is about all any sane person can handle!)  So Metro had to cut 24 bus line and 20-30% of Metro's other services (paratransit, special event shuttles, etc).

(People that don't ride public transit- this next part  is about you, too!)

So, along comes Prop A.  Metro hawked it to the public as a "Public Transit" bond, NOT what it really was, that is, a "Transportation" bond, in exchange for some more cash from Mr. Dooley.

At Mr. Dooley's discretion.

(I have not been able to find the text of Prop A, only the marketing propaganda written about it to get voter's to pass it.  This link does not even have the text of the Bond measure, and sites only news articles and opinion pieces. And that is not a mistake.  That is the Good Ole Boy Network in operation.  But if you read it carefully, look at the words "metro" and "Metro" and the vague wording.  This bond was all about "metro" and not very much about "Metro".  Detractors, feel free to prove me wrong by providing me with the ACTUAL BOND LANGUAGE.  OR, MR. DOOLEY, PLEASE PROVIDE THE PUBLIC WITH A BREAKDOWN OF HOW THAT MONEY IS BEING SPENT!)

Now, when Metro went to get all those bus lines back, they re-routed them.  They held Town Hall meetings (how many showed up at each? I would bet less than 40 people at each meeting).  They said "hey how about we run the bus lines this way?" and the people agreed.

Which is how Metro re-routed all the bus lines to the Metrolink, making many people's trips LONGER (I am one of them).

Metro needs to be separated from Bi-State Development Agency.  Metro needs to be about Public Transportation and NOT about CEO senatorial ambitions, and funneling government funds to the Good Ole Boy Network, and acquiring real estate.



EDIT: FROM METRO'S 2009 Report, page 14:

Still going through the report-- but the B.S. about Prop A is actually "hiding right out in the open" in that paragraph.

EDIT: These records are from 2010, and you have to search by individual names, but here it is:

Robert Joseph Baer, CEO, John Nations predecessor: $190,000

Ray Friem: Chief Oper Ofcr-Transit Serv/Chief Operations Officer $174,350.00

Jessica Mefford Miller:  Chief of System planning and development: $86,000.00

Bus driver I knew the name of: $43,784.00

Still looking into these matters: http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2012/05/01/former-metro-ceo-says-dooley-adminstration-meddled-with-metro-contracts/



EDIT: http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2010/04/former_st_louis_mayor_sues_metro_freeman_bosley_jr.php 

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