The Las Vegas Railway Express, operators of the X Train coming next summer to connect Sin City with southern California may use a North Las Vegas station to initially terminate their service in Nevada, but there’s no question that their plan for reaching our area is focused ONLY on the Fullerton Metrolink/Amtrak station. The new $174 million ARTIC Train Station under construction in Anaheim will not be receiving this new $100 million privately-funded venture, just as it can’t be expected to see Jerry Brown’s High-Speed Bullet Train — a $100+ BILLION Boondoggle that won’t be funded or completed in our lifetimes as California’s fiscal condition continues to deteriorate and Federal funding for it has evaporated.
Time to Rethink and Reconstitute the OCTA Taxpayers Oversight Committee
A transportation consultant whose company is working on millions of dollars of Orange County projects won appointment this week to an oversight panel charged with protecting taxpayer money on those very same projects. Les Card, the chief executive of Irvine-based LSA Associates, said almost immediately that he would not accept the post and blamed his appointment on a misunderstanding. But the episode exposed a crack in the system that’s meant to safeguard billions of dollars that Orange County taxpayers have invested in transportation.
Hausdorfer/Mittemeier Firm Wins $60M OCTA Project
Irvine-based toll road operator Cofiroute USA has signed a $60 million, five-year contract to provide management services for a 10-mile stretch on the Riverside (91) Freeway once an expansion is completed in 2017. The segment—dubbed the 91 Express Lanes—runs from the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway to the Riverside County line. Construction is set to start late this year and add toll lanes, regular lanes and connectors, along with improving bridges and ramps. Continue reading
Ruh roh! It looks like Lucy Dunn, the President of the Orange County Business Council (OCBC), really blew it when she sent out an email promoting her pal Kris Murray, who is running for re-election to the Anaheim City Council. You see the OCBC accepts taxpayer money and as such they are not allowed to endorse candidates. They have a Political Action Committee that is supposed to do that. But look at what Dunn had to say in her email blast:
From the Desk of Lucy Dunn… Continue reading
I got a call the other day, out of the blue, from a former elected official I had not heard from in quite awhile. She was upset about a post that fingered public affairs consultant Roger Faubel. But we eventually got to talking about Curt Pringle and she was amazed to find out that a lot of conservatives don’t like him. Why wouldn’t they like him, she wondered. Why indeed.
I explained to her that Pringle and his henchmen have become experts at using the system to benefit themselves. She countered that when these people advocate for toll roads, for example, they are just trying to make sure that all of the voters don’t get stuck paying for the new roads we need in order to service Orange County’s new developments. Continue reading
Adam Elmahrek at the union-funded Voice of OC steps up with an excellent story today on the OCTA’s Board unanimous vote to stop a $19+ million subsidy to the LA-centric Metrolink commuter rail system: OCTA Board Withholds Money From Metrolink.
OCTA Director Jeff Lalloway correctly points out the “forensic” audit that’s been called for to investigate the financial malfeasance and plain sloppiness at the Metrolink bureaucracy has not been accomplished — in fact, it’s yet to be approved as the Metrolink “board has decided to finish with the work of external auditor and a financial consultant before starting the forensic audit” per their public affairs spokeshole. Mr. Lalloway has good experience with these forms of audits as he and his Irvine City Council colleagues (the honest ones) on the Great Park Board have called for similar action to investigate the misuse and disappearance of nearly $200 million in Park development funds.