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Posted at 11:18 PM ET, 08/15/2010

Why I miss Metro board meetings

By washingtonpost.com editors

Michael A. Brown
Washington

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.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | August 15, 2010; 11:18 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Metro, transportation  
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Comments

Let's never forget that Michael Brown is a lifelong Democrat who blatantly lied about his political affiliation to steal a council seat reserved for minority parties. So no one should ever be surprised or disappointed by anything this malevolent, self-serving operator does or fails to do.

Posted by: HenryPotter | August 16, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Brown,

if you have too many committee positions that affect your ability to do the WMATA Board work, there is something you can do:

1. Lessen your commitments
2. Resign from the WMATA Board

Otherwise, you are being purposefully dishonest.

Posted by: Greent | August 16, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Or, in other words: "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH"

Posted by: jiji1 | August 17, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Either start coming to meetings or quit the board! I recommend quitting; if you really cared about Metro you would have made it a higher priority than your other commitments.

Posted by: bokamba | August 17, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I concur with Greent - Mr. Brown, if you have too many obligations to fulfill them all, you need to reduce them. Please resign your post on the WMATA Board. Metro has too many problems for you not to devote the needed time - a part-time parent is a no-time parent, and Metro needs as much help as it can get right now!

Posted by: TheBorg | August 18, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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