In an attempt to "restore trust in Northeastern Illinois public transit", Gov. Pat Quinn signed an Executive Order today to create an independent task force to analyze and revamp the mass transit system in Northeastern Illinois.
The 15-member panel includes former U.S. Attorney General for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald and includes professionals from the transit, government and finance sectors. The group will be tasked with providing "recommendations to root out waste, fraud and abuse, and overhaul" the transit system. The task force is born in the wake of the ongoing Metra patronage scandal that has resulted in the resignation of four of the transit system's board members, with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle now calling for the resignation of a fifth member.
“It’s clear that the mass transit system in northeastern Illinois is not working for taxpayers,” Quinn said. “This task force is a step forward to make our transit system worthy of the public’s trust. Their recommendations will be valuable as we work in both the veto and spring sessions to reform mass transit in northeastern Illinois.”
The task force is expected to provide recommendations to lawmakers that will be voted on during the fall and veto sessions, according to the governor's office. They have a deadline fo January 31, 2014 to turn in a final report on ways to overhaul the Northeastern Illinois region's mass transit system.
The members of the task force are:
Co-Chair George Ranney Jr. is President and CEO of Metropolis
Strategies. A graduate of Harvard College and the University of Chicago
Law School, he served as Deputy State Budget Director under Governor
Richard B. Ogilvie and was the chairman of the task force which led to
the creation of the Regional Transportation Authority. A trustee of the
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation from 1991 to 2005 and an
emeritus trustee at the University of Chicago, George Ranney is the
former Chair and Chief Executive of Prairie Holdings Corporation, the
firm which developed Prairie Crossing, a nationally recognized
conservation community in north suburban Grayslake. He has served in
various capacities for Inland Steel Industries, include Vice President
for Raw Materials and General Counsel. In addition, Mr. Ranney is senior
counsel to Mayer Brown LLP. He has worked for a number of civic and
non-profit organizations including Chicago Public Television (WTTW) and
the Field Foundation of Illinois and lives in Grayslake.
Co-Chair Ann L. Schneider is
Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation. She has more
than 25 years of service with the State of Illinois, including nearly
eight with the Illinois Department of Transportation as its Chief Fiscal
Officer and Chief Operating Officer. She is the chair of AASHTO’s
Standing Committee on Rail Transportation (SCORT) and CMAP’s Policy
Committee. She is a member of the AASHTO Sustainable Transportation:
Energy, Infrastructure and Climate Solutions (STEICS) Steering
Committee, and as Secretary, she sits on AASHTO’s Board of Directors.
In June 2013, she was named chair of the U.S. Department of
Transportation National Freight Advisory Committee. Secretary Schneider
has a Master’s of Public Administration and has completed her
coursework, all but dissertation, for a Doctorate of Public
Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She lives
Carole L. Brown is currently a Managing
Director at Barclay’s Capital. For more than six years, Brown served as
Chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority Board, a position she held
through September 2009. A native of Baltimore and a 1986 graduate of
Harvard University, she went on to attend Northwestern University’s
Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where she received a Master’s in
Management in 1989. She lives in Chicago.
Patrick Fitzgerald is
the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
whose impressive work prosecuting governmental corruption has protected
the public interest. As a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher
& Flom LLP and Affiliates, he serves as an experienced investigator
whose practice focuses on internal investigations, government
enforcement matters and civil litigation. Fitzgerald has received
numerous honors for his more than 20 years in public service including
the Justice John Paul Stevens Award from the Chicago Bar Association. He
was previously named “Lawyer of the Year” by The National Law Journal. A
graduate of Amherst College, he holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
He lives in Chicago.
Robert W. Guy is the Illinois State
Legislative Director for the United Transportation Union (UTU). Guy
graduated from Western Illinois University in 1991 with a Bachelor of
Arts degree in broadcast journalism. In 1996 he was elected UTU #234’s
Local Legislative Representative and was reelected in 1999 and 2003,
becoming State Director in 2009, where he has focused on expanding
Amtrak service, working on safety legislation, and other issues. He
lives in Springfield.
Adrienne M. Holloway is an Assistant
Professor of Political Science at DePaul University’s School of Public
Service. She has more than 10 years of experience in the housing and
community development industries. Dr. Holloway received her Ph.D. from
Northern Illinois University, her Master’s in Public Administration from
Baruch College, City University of New York and her B.S. in Psychology
from Fordham University. She serves on the Aurora Hispanic Heritage
Board. She lives in Aurora.
Sylvia Jenkins is President of
Moraine Valley Community College, the second largest community college
in Illinois. She earned a Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies
specializing in Community College Leadership from Colorado State
University, a Master’s of Library Science from State University of New
York at Albany and a B.S. in English Education from Grambling State
University. She lives in Chicago.
Nick Palmer is the Chief
of Staff for Will County Executive Larry Walsh and oversees all the
departments under the executive branch of county government. In one of
the fastest growing counties in the state, Palmer has pushed for greater
transparency of county government and greater accountability of
taxpayer dollars. Palmer serves as chairman of the Will County
Integrated Criminal Justice Ad-Hoc Committee and initiated a Coordinated
Paratransit effort in eastern Will County. He has advocated for
expansion of transit services to underserved areas of Will County. He
lives in Bolingbrook.
Tony Paulauski is the Executive
Director of The Arc of Illinois, a grassroots organization that
advocates on behalf of individuals with disabilities and their families.
Paulauski, a native Chicagoan, also serves on numerous boards and
committees including the Governor’s Disability Services Committee. He
was appointed Chairman of the Pace Blue Ribbon Committee on Paratransit.
He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, where he majored in
Special Education. He lives in Tinley Park.
Raul Raymundo is
the Executive Director of the Resurrection Project, an organization
dedicated to creating healthy communities through organizing, education
and community development. He is currently a member of the Executive
Council of Chicago’s Metropolis 2020. Raymundo also serves on several
boards, including Chicago Metropolitan Development Association and WBEZ
91.5 FM Public Radio. He is a resident of Chicago.
Robert G. Reiter, Jr. is
the Secretary-Treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL). He is
a third-generation member of the International Union of Operating
Engineers Local 150 and previously served as an organizer, business
representative and field attorney responsible for negotiating collective
bargaining agreements. He holds a juris doctor from the Chicago-Kent
College of Law. He is a resident of Orland Park.
Ashish Sen is
a member of the Chicago Transit Authority Board of Directors and served
as Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for the U.S.
Department of Transportation. He served as Director of the Urban
Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he
also held positions as Professor of Urban Planning, Professor of
Mathematics, Professor of Statistics, and Professor of Computer Science.
He is a resident of Chicago.
Don Tantillo is a retired
high school teacher and debate coach who worked at Wheeling High School
in Northwest Suburban District 214 for 30 years. He grew up in Chicago
and earned an undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University and
a Master’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University. Tantillo was
honored in 1992 at the White House as one of two outstanding teachers
from Illinois. Tantillo drove a CTA bus while earning his college
education. He lives in McHenry.
Kathryn Tholin is CEO of
Center for Neighborhood Technology, where she directs and oversees CNT’s
research, demonstration and policy development. Tholin has more than 25
years of experience in program management, policy development, and
research on a wide range of community development, environmental and
energy issues. She is also a founder and board member of the Chicago
Community Loan Fund. She lives in Chicago.
Sonia Walwyn is a
Vice President of Duff & Phelps, LLC, and a member of the tax
services group with over 25 years experience assisting clients in
maximizing their overall savings and business efficiency across all
industry sectors. She earned an LLM in taxation from Villanova School of
Law in 2000 and a J.D. from Dickinson School of Law in 1988, and holds a
B.S. in accounting from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. She
lives in Naperville.