Why I miss Metro board meetings
Michael A. Brown
The Aug. 8 editorial “Who’s minding the Metro?” noted that I missed 52 Metro board meetings since I was appointed an alternate director last year. I take full responsibility for those absences. I pledge to do better and will continue to work closely with other board members to address the critical issues that face our Metro system.
When I assumed public office in January 2009, I took on an aggressive workload, taking every opportunity possible to learn the inner workings of the D.C. Council. I serve on the committees on finance and revenue; aging and community affairs; human services; public service and consumer affairs; and housing and workforce development. I also chaired special committees on statehood and self-determination, and on taxicabs. And I serve on the Board of the Metropolitan Council of Governments.
At the same time I was settling into those roles, I focused on my responsibilities as an alternate Metro board director, conferring with fellow members and staff when absent and participating in non-meeting activities. The regularly scheduled Metro board meetings and emergency meetings sometimes conflicted with my council committee meetings, placing me in the difficult position of choosing between attending hearings on pending legislation or going to Metro board meetings.
Contrary to what the editorial said, I did not intentionally skip meetings. I take offense at the suggestion that I regard my “alternate” status on the board as an “amusing hobby” and a chance to play “hooky.” I take my role as an alternate Metro board director seriously. I will make every effort to better balance and manage my multiple priorities.
The writer is an at-large member of the D.C. Council and an alternate director on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board.
| August 15, 2010; 11:18 PM ET
Categories: D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Metro, transportation
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