by John Q. Murray
Public trust is eroded by the revolving door between government and industry.
Officials leaving public service often accept lucrative jobs with the very companies they were once charged with overseeing. The public can’t help but wonder: Were their votes and decisions based on the public interest, or their own private interests?
Right here in Eugene in the past year, residents watched two highly-placed decision-makers—a board member and the general manager—leave the Lane Transit District for executive positions in private industry.
Southeast Neighbor Linda Duggan reported to the NLC this month that Rep. Peter DeFazio may have a fix for that revolving door. He told Linda that the LTD board should be elected rather than appointed by the governor: “He had tried to get that, when it was set up, to be elected positions rather than appointed, but he didn’t get it through. But he definitely supports it being an elected position rather than appointed.”
In the spirit of solutions-based journalism, we asked Rep. DeFazio’s office to share any advice they might offer for citizens interested in transforming the transit agency: “Rep. DeFazio has said in the past that he would like to see LTD’s Board of Directors elected by the people, rather than appointed by the governor. Can you tell us more about that idea?”
The answer: “If these positions were to become elected, it would be up to state senators, representatives, and the governor to make that change… I think you should reach out to folks at the state level.”
As shared at the Neighborhood Leaders Council Transportation meeting Apr. 28, Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office offers an election-year roadmap for citizens.
Contact John Q. Murray by email or phone (541) 632-3692.