Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has tapped former alderman Martin Oberman to replace Larry Huggins on the Metra board.
“Marty Oberman has been a leader for reform and accountability in government and a vigilant protector of taxpayer interests throughout his lifetime of service to Chicago and Illinois,” Emanuel said in a press release announcing the pick. “The Metra board needs a new chapter and a fresh start. Marty’s meaningful career and unique talents will best serve the transportation priorities of Chicago’s residents and I am proud to have him serve Chicago. He will be a fantastic addition to the board.”
Oberman, who lives in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, says he does not ride the Metra that often, adding that he is "a bicyclist." Nonetheless, he believes will be an asset to the board considering his forty years of civic services, including 12 years as an alderman representing the city's 43rd ward.
“I am excited to join Mayor Emanuel and take on this challenge to bring new accountability, oversight and transparency to Metra,” said Oberman, who will not take the $15,000 stipend given to Metra board members. “This critical public transit system desperately needs to overcome years of scandal and focus on its role as a key transportation link for the city and the region.”
The Chicago City Council needs to approve the pick, which will be presented at the September 11 meeting. If approved, Oberman's term will run through June 30, 2016.