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Re: “The House That AC Transit Bought

I would thoroughly encourage East Bay Express to delve even further into the operations and finances of AC Transit.

Hundreds of thousands of operational dollars were spent in political lobbying and marketing efforts for the sheer promotion of measures B and C which support a half cent sales tax. This is in violation of governmental dollars.

They maintained for many years a project manager in Belgium (a relocate from the bay area for who they paid per diem while living abroad for several years) along with all associated living expenses, forwarded office phone calls in excess of thousands of dollars monthly; all done with the reported purpose of 'overseeing the construction of almost 100 Van Hool buses which were purchased outside of the standard Buy America act and open bid procedure.

Repeated management and senior Union leadership (Local 192 - ATU - President at the time, Christine Zook) trips to Belgium.

Perhaps the author overlooked the vacations and meetings held between the Director of Marketing (at the time) and the Paris RATP. Which, upon completion of these meetings, and an escorted visit by a delegate from the RATP, a negotiated buy-lease back agreement for a multi-million dollar Van Hool bus acquisition was executed to 'save precious district funds' provided for non-US ownership of every brand new bus that AC Transit purchased in the past ten years. All of the Van Hool buses were purchased BEHIND CLOSED DOORS in a meeting in Belgium, which was an afterthought to a failed attempt to entice Mercedes-Benz in Germany to participate in the fuel cell program. If they hadn't coerced Van Hool into custom building the Fuel Cell Chasis in Belgium and then fitting with FC systems crafted in San Diego, they would have lost 17 million dollars in grant monies from the Department of Energy. The 17 million in grant funds acquired, pales in comparison to what has already been expended or will be before this program WILL FAIL.

Finally, the general ethical behavior of the 10th floor at 1600 Franklin Street - Oakland, CA - including the elected representatives to the Board of Directors (save a sparing few over the ten years I have been affiliated with the District) is one of amoral and corrupt ambition which does not serve the public which has entrusted it so dearly with a primary necessity - transportation. With a service planning group more focussed on kissing Berkeley's (UC primarily - because their leadership lives near to it and/or are alumnists) have re-prioritized the concept of economic justice overlooking the true need of the citizentry in the hopes to purchase appealing but restricted coaches for the 'ideal' customer so that 38 year old lawyers who live in Berkeley but work in San Francisco, will choose to get on a bus rather than drive their beemers to the office - yeah - that'll happen.

You started the ball rolling East Bay Express - but this won't stop it - in anyway shape or form - so get to work, and dig deeper.

Posted by J on 03/18/2008 at 6:49 PM

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