ShareThis Page

Disrespecting PAT board

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

When someone is appointed to the board of an organization, one would hope that whoever is making the appointment was doing so because he/she believes the person being appointed is intelligent, thoughtful, has good judgment and will be able to make sound decisions. This premise is evidently not true for our Allegheny County chief executive, Rich Fitzgerald.

Just as he did with the county Health Department and appears likely to do with the Parks & Recreation Commission, Fitzgerald is forcing his appointees to the Port Authority of Allegheny County board to fire the executive director, Steve Bland.

The principal duties of a board of any organization are to set policy, approve goals and objectives, oversee strategic planning and, most importantly, hire and fire the CEO. If Fitzgerald intends to make these decisions himself, why bother to have an independent authority or commission? Just turn the functions over to county departments reporting to the county executive.

In the case of Bland, Fitzgerald's decision is questionable. Bland is a highly respected transit professional who has one of the more challenging positions in the public transit industry.

The Port Authority's lack of dedicated funding, onerous union contracts and the area's tough terrain make his job extremely difficult. He has made significant progress by streamlining service, cutting overhead and introducing innovative technology. Finding another transit executive of his caliber will not be easy.

The Port Authority board, chaired by Jack Brooks, a former labor leader and one of the most capable executives in our region, should make the decision regarding the Port Authority's leadership. To do otherwise is to disrespect the citizens who volunteer as board members of the Port Authority and the many other county authorities and commissions.

Jim Roddey


The writer, a Republican who was Allegheny County's first elected chief executive, is a former Port Authority board member and chairman.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.