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Daley reshuffles management lineup with new CTA president

As was widely rumored, Richard Rodriguez was named Thursday to head the CTA.

As usual, Mayor Daley tapped one of his top "cabinet" member in moving Rodriguez from aviation commissioner to lead the nation's second-largest transit system, which faces deficit spending this year and equipment headaches.

At least naysayers can't whine that the 38-year-old Rodriguez doesn't have transportation experience!

Rodriguez spent less than a year as aviation chief. Before that he managed all construction projects for O'Hare and Midway, and the city building department prior to the airport gig. That was a tough job because he worked to bring the construction and permits department back together again.

Rodriguez will need to stay tough under the weight of the budget and equipment problems already looming as the 800-pound gorilla in the corner of his office at Lake and Clinton.

Plus, Daley expects him to prepare the CTA for the hoped-for 2016 Olympics bid.

So Rich, here's wishing you the best of luck in a pressure-cooker job. We look forward to you continuing a great dialog and open communication with your customers.

Perhaps "Coffee with Rich" is on the near horizon.

Comments

He was known at the buildings department for NEVER coming out of his office and letting a high-school graduate with no construction experience/expertise run the department charged with the oversight with all building in Chicago.

I'm still so disappointed about losing Ron. Argh. Grumble. Whine!

Maybe Rich will see this as an opportunity to change the reputation Jim mentions... and continue the Coffee outreach sessions. Simple public communications moves like that could do a lot to keep up the momentum so recently built. Well, that and not screwing up the transit system. ...He doesn't have a yellow jacket, perchance, does he? :)

Anyways, is it about time for a spring Tattler meetup? What are you guys thinking?

One of the talking heads on NBC morning news said the only thing she knew about Rodriguez is that he never smiles. Unfortunately, Jim's right about the inspector thing. I feel really bad for those who work at CTA and believe in what they're doing and just want to do a good job. Ironic that Daley complained that city workers are clock watchers without any motivation to do anything. Maybe it's because we know we'll have to enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done since being promoted is out of the question. All the while we watch those with little experience and all the connections get the big jobs.

Sabrina, I wholeheartely endorse implementing the transit-oriented drinking initiative I proposed in December after the Santa Train pub crawl.

Another crushing blow to already record low moral. He's a tool.

I wish Daley's motivation to improve the CTA was for the citizens that live and work in Chicago everyday. The olympics would only be two weeks, and pretty much a pain for all those who live here. Does the IOC or other olympic stakeholders vote in elections in Chicago, no. Problem is Daley has never even come close to losing a reelection and therefore no reason to be accountable to the citizens of this city.

Don't get me wrong Daley has done some good things, and some not so good things. In the end though competition is motivation.

One more ?- I know that Dorval Carter was the acting CTA president, but was there every any thought to making him the heir to Huberman? I mean he had considerable experience at the CTA and transit. Again I guess this goes back to Daley wanting to appoint his cronies and not being held accountable. At least Daley will be happy.

From the Trib: "Rodriguez, 38, said he wasn't ready to talk about the direction he would take the CTA, nor was he familiar enough to comment on the transit agency's latest budget crisis or equipment problems that have sidelined more than 200 CTA buses."

Yee hah! That inspires huge amounts of confidence. Pretty sad since he's only known for, oh gosh, about three weeks that he's the annointed one. It's called being a professional and doing your homework, Richard.

[I know that Dorval Carter was the acting CTA president, but was there every any thought to making him the heir to Huberman?]

For what it's worth, Carter said when he got the temp gig that he wasn't interested in the job on a permanent basis.

"Don't get me wrong Daley has done some good things, and some not so good things. In the end though competition is motivation."

Sometimes, competition is not a motivation. Competition can cause you to not do anything to rock the boat. If you have nobody challenging you, you can accomplish whatever you want, and often times more radical ideas get through.

I'm not excited about the new guy, but I'm willing to give him a chance. Hopefully he can give a good interview or speech in the next month once he gets brought up to speed. I'd like to hear some of his priorities, other than fixing the budget.

And in related news, the Illinois House is bringing up a bill to nix the free rides for seniors. They think it has a good chance of passing this time, as well as in the Senate, since it is associated with Blago.

Martha quoted: "...nor was he familiar enough to comment on the transit agency's latest budget crisis or equipment problems that have sidelined more than 200 CTA buses."

*facepalm* We're doomed. How does anyone take transit in this city and not get familiar enough with the latest budget crisis, or the articulated busses being hosed? Argh. I take back my optimism from earlier.

Maybe Daley should appoint a quorum of Tattler readers to run the CTA in our spare time. Sounds like we're better informed and prepared to take over, and we're better looking besides!

Martha -- let's do it! Though I've forgotten the specifics so you'll have to remind me. Must be the beer. :)

In spite of what was quoted in the Sun-Times, Dorval Carter NEVER said he was not interested in the job as President of the CTA. That information was PLANTED in the Sun-Times on the day he was approved by the CTA board. Fact is, there is no one more qualified to run the CTA than Dorval Carter.
Mum

"I feel really bad for those who work at CTA and believe in what they're doing and just want to do a good job."

There were once a lot of dedicated transit professionals at CTA, some of whom I was acquainted with personally. A lot of them were suffering at CTA since late 2004, due to the ongoing threats of budget crises, service cuts, and layoffs. Working in that kind of environment wasn't inspiring or rewarding, but many of them held on in hopes that things would get better.

When Ron H. came on board, his performance management style and seeming unwillingness to show earnest faith to those professionals who had stuck it out was the last straw for a lot of those folks, so a lot of them left. Though Ron H. did a lot for CTA that looked good, it came at great expense to CTA's internal resources, so perhaps for his own good he coincidentally left at the right time.

It makes me really angry to see things written that are half truths (lies). Dorval Carter has shown his dedication to the CTA and yet he was not offered the position and the paper totally lied (imagine that)? Absolutely ridiculous! Just remember you cannot always believe what is written or what comes out of mouths of politicians. Shame on you Mayor Daley.

It makes me really angry to see things written that are half truths (lies). Dorval Carter has shown his dedication to the CTA and yet he was not offered the position and the paper totally lied (imagine that)? Absolutely ridiculous! Just remember you cannot always believe what is written or what comes out of mouths of politicians. Shame on you Mayor Daley.

"When Ron H. came on board, his performance management style and seeming unwillingness to show earnest faith to those professionals who had stuck it out was the last straw for a lot of those folks, so a lot of them left. Though Ron H. did a lot for CTA that looked good, it came at great expense to CTA's internal resources, so perhaps for his own good he coincidentally left at the right time."

Proof, citation, evidence? New management and styles tend to shake things up. Sometimes good people leave, sometimes bad. You offer no proof these people weren't bad holdovers, or any evidence of anything except your opinion and a bold accusation.

"Martha -- let's do it! Though I've forgotten the specifics so you'll have to remind me. Must be the beer. :)"

I can't find my post from December, but the gist of it is that the Santa Train and dodging the Wrigleyville santa infestation was fun and I thought we might want to try to replicate it without the Santa Train or the santas. The idea was to go to transit-themed bars, but after the Red Line Tap (Morse) and the Blue Line (Damen), thematic opportunities seem to be few and far between. I'm sure no one would object to some field research. If all else fails, we can ride around the back of the #22 with 40-ouncers in paper bags. :P

As long as Daley believes that you don't need relevant experience to effectively manage a big department, we will continue to see Chicago lose ground.

Dorval Carter was a bit too much of a numbers man for me, BUT he understood what was behind the numbers. He knew which numbers were important, and he knew which numbers were easily manipulated. But he isn't a political ass-kisser, so he had no chance of keeping the top job.

So now we have a new CTA President who doesn't know a NABI from a New Flyer (and probably wonders what happened to Old Flyer). We've got someone who doesn't know how tranist systems operate, so how can he possibly know what a best practice is?

So he's a professional manager. Big deal. That's like saying someone is a professional politician. They need to have an area of expertise. Management skills are secondary skills, not primary skills.

I'm just so disgusted with Daley. But of course he wouldn't understand the whole concept of how department heads need to know what they're doing. He fell into his job by birth-right with is even worse.

It's time for a new mayor. That's what it's time for.

Exactly- How can you manage something that you don't know a thing about. Thats why Dorval would have been a better candidate. Daley can do whatever he wants, make no mistake it is no democracy under Daley.

My mind bristles with the possible ways to describe the play of words on the first name of our new CTA Prez and the naming of the equivalent of the "Coffee with Ron" that we had...too many possibilities...brain shutting down.....lol.

KevinB

How can the mayor justify naming someone who knows nothing about the CTA, has not served in any capacity with the agency, and readily admits his ignorance?! What an injustice this is for the capable, highly qualified Dorval Carter, who has years of experience nationally in transportation, and has performed outstandingly with the CTA throughout his long and illustrious tenure. Seems to be another example of the "good ole boy" network being alive and well. Cronyism has trumped professionalism!

[In spite of what was quoted in the Sun-Times, Dorval Carter NEVER said he was not interested in the job as President of the CTA. That information was PLANTED in the Sun-Times on the day he was approved by the CTA board.]

It appears that this is probably correct; my mistake.

I believe I was actually remembering an ABC7 report from the day Carter was appointed, which as I recall said point blank that Carter was not interested, as opposed to the more weasally Sun-Times report that attributed this to "sources."

But in fairness to ABC7, I might be misremembering that. At any rate, I can't find an actual quote by Carter about his interest either way.

Of course, it wouldn't be too difficult for either the Sun-Times or ABC7 to call up Dorvel Carter and ask him if the reports are correct that he wasn't interested. If he gives a vague response or none at all it almost certainly means that he is interested. And if that occurs it either should be reported or they should not report any anonomous off-the-record or background comments about this in the first place. That is just basic journalism that needs to occur if one is one has minimal standards and/or isn't lazy. But unfortunetely, there is a lot of mediocore journalism that occurs every day. And the newspapers don't seem to realize that this is a major reason why they are in financial trouble.

If that is how ABC7 reported this it reminds me of a time a few years ago when they stated that Mayor Daley "has not deciding whether to seek re-elecion". I sent them an e-mail congratulating them on having a reporter with psychic powers who can apparently see into people's minds. But this would have been worse because people could have assumed they were basing their report on something.

Unbelievable! I just found out that Pat Quinn is OPPOSSED to elimanating the senior free ride program: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=6681667 Jesus! And I was actually starting to like the guy. What a moron. Does he actually think that this is going to impress votors? Didn't he notice that Blagojevich's stunt backfired and esposed him even more that he already was as a horrific political oppertunist who is absolutely reckless with taxpayer dollers. Everyone needs to e-mail or phone the governor's office IMMEDIETELY and tell him that this is completely unacceptable. Every doller that is wasted on this is a doller that everyone else needs to pay in fares or taxes to fund the system. Or it is a doller that cannot be used to expand service. There is absolutely no excuse for this. The region's economy depends on a good mass transit system. It is absolutely inexcusable for any money to be wasted on this.

If this is how Quinn treats our public dollers we are going to have a very long two years. And the state will end up behind the rest of the country when the economy starts to recover.

Oops. I meant to say decided, not "deciding" in that earlier post.

I'm opposed to taking the free rides back. I didn't like it when it was implemented, I didn't like the way it was put in place, but I dislike taking things back from people once they have whatever it is.

Sabrina, Martha,

We could join up with the Snuggie Pub Crawl:

http://www.snuggiepubcrawl.com/

OK. I will finally respond to something on this weblog. 3=)>
More of you should view my reviews on Yelp [http://snipurl.com/yelp1 ]. You probably would notice that most of my reviews end with a section labelled "Transit options:" But maybe some of you would not.
There are scores of taverns located close to "L" stations. Now that it has finally been reconstructed, the Irving Park | Lincoln | Damen area near the Brown Line "L"'s Irving Park station has at least five taverns with quality beers.
There are even good bars at the end of the Green Line "L" in Oak Park and Forest Park.
To see how it can be done, investigate the members of the BeerMapping forum who are planning its 4th Annual CTA Pub Crawl [http://beermapping.com/forum/index.php?topic=1772.0 ].

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