Metro Off Track

If you live in Houston, you are probably aware that Metro is a mess.  Recently, there has been: a standoff between Mayor Parker and board chairman David Wolff, doubts about funding new lines, criticism over a $2.6 billion bond, a criminal investigation about paper shredding, firing of members, Metro President and CEO Frank Wilson allegedly using Metro funds for an inappropriate relationship with his chief of staff, and the recent crash between a Metro bus and the light rail.  Did I get it all?

There is no doubt that Mayor Parker needed to tread cautiously in her appointment of five new Metro board members.  Her choices, which require City Council approval, are (from

Gilbert Garcia – an investment banker and Parker transition team co-chairman.  If approved, Garcia will serve as chairman of the Metro board.
Christof Spieler – an engineer, blogger and transportation analyst for the Citizens’ Transportation Coalition
Dwight E. Jefferson – a lawyer
Carrin S. Patman – a lawyer
Allen Dale Watson – an engineer

If her new members can’t turn Metro around soon, people will begin to wonder if they want to keep Mayor Parker around much longer.  Many people know that Mayor Parker and Houston City Council cannot change everything that is wrong with Metro.  Metro has their own board and their own process and procedures.  But I don’t think that many people care and will associate Metro’s problems with Mayor Parker’s administration, especially if her board picks don’t get Metro on the right track.


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