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Comment by Jennifer on Thursday

Hi Richard,  When I discover a news item that's not on the feed, I post it as a status.

This aspect of railfanning (politics, suits, tax/elections) isn't my forte, tbh.  Indeed the constant money crisis that bedevils any transportation initiative in the north bay is the background noise I became accustomed to when I lived there.  It's part of the game, I guess and I think it's a shame to put people through it endlessly.  That is to say that, seemingly no matter what solution they come up with, within 18 months Mansurian or another suit will be making the same dire speech, due to some unforeseen circumstance.  That manner of operating makes people fight for crumbs, I guess, and it pisses me off.  I do agree with your idea that the organization could use better public representation.  As far as the money problem, I wonder if it is a "feature not a bug", I guess; a permanent irritant to keep people on edge.  It's tiresome.

I've been living in Chicago for nearly a year now and Metra has its share of crisis as well, but keeps on going somehow.  Hmm, come to think of it, perhaps having one organization running all the trains is better than numerous locals (SMART, ACE, JPBX, BART & Amtrak)  all with their own admins?  I dunno.

Wishing you the best in your dealings with the powers-that-be and with your endeavors in the north bay.  Thank you for your insight into the workings of SMART and its board.

Comment by Richard C. Brand on Thursday

Oh Jennifer-

As now a resident and Friend of SMART, this is so painful to read once again.  While the SMART GM Mansourian could most likely lead a successful march on the Casbaah, he has zero people skills and almost the same political saavy.  There is a local group, Friends of SMART that has offered to help him with outreach but he resists their efforts.  Someone on this w-site once chided me while I was living on the Peninsula for criticizing him for his outreach ability.

Now I live here and observing him many times at SMART Board meetings, my critique is correct.  He is the wrong guy to be the public lead for SMART.  I plan to connect with the Board chair Gary Phillips to recommend they appoint a seasoned PR trained person to reach out to the voters to support this much needed tax vote.  Otherwise SMART will wither and die and with it the New NWP.

Richard from Santa Rosa

Comment by John Roth on Thursday
When is the sales tax renewal going to be on the ballot?

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