Valley Metro CEO Accused Of Electioneering

Valley Metro Accused Of Spending Taxpayer Money to Mislead Voters on Prop 105

valley metro

Phoenix – Valley Metro was put on notice by the grassroots group supporting Proposition 105, Building a Better Phoenix, that use of taxpayer dollars to oppose the August measure violates state law.

The group sent a letter regarding Valley Metro CEO, Scott Smith, and his apparent campaigning against the passage of Proposition 105 at various events. The group alleges that his actions are in violation of Arizona law.

Arizona law broadly directs that any public agency of the state:

“shall not spend or use public resources to influence an election,” a proscription that encompasses not only cash outlays but also the compensated time of “personnel and any other thing of value of the public entity.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-192(A).

Susan Gudino, Treasurer of the Building a Better Phoenix campaign stated, “We believe Mr. Smith’s conscription of taxpayer resources to advance his political preferences not only violates Arizona law, but also subverts the organizational missions of the agencies he leads and grossly abuses the public trust.”

The group also accuses Valley Metro of spreading “falsehoods by telling Phoenix citizens that Proposition 105 was poorly drafted and will potentially eliminate funding for the maintenance of existing light rail lines.”

“The ridiculous claim that Prop 105 would end funding for existing light rail lines was tested in the lawsuit filed by the Association of General Contractors last spring,” Gudino said. “Despite the fact that the Arizona Supreme Court reviewed the measure and concluded that the Prop 105 language is 100% accurate, Valley Metro continues to spread this false claim in a desperate attempt to force light rail into South Phoenix.”

3 Comments

  1. Sounds like Scott Smith is padding his resume, he’ll fit right in at Pima county government.

    The Oracle

  2. Proposition 105

    The proposition 105 is the outcome of the gross failure of the governmental transportation agencies, primarily the ADOT, Phoenix Valley Metro, Maricopa DOT, MAG, at all of the city transportation departments to deliver a comprehensive and effective transportation system for this Valley.

    Yes, the citizens of this Valley approved all of the necessary funding for the comprehensive transportation, not knowing about the completely wrong design and the development of the transportation system right from the start some 40 years ago. Two of very first Valley Metro CEO’s knew it, when the first light rail section was built, and you have proceeded anyway. Recently, the Phoenix City Council approved yet another, so far the most wasteful and very ineffective extension in the South Phoenix. This one billion dollar, five mile section, being built against the will of the citizens in this part of the City. This is an investment of $100,000 per each estimated passenger, reducing the Central Avenue traffic to only two lanes (one in each direction), while not reducing the traffic flow using it, and still running buses along the way.

    While I was serving on several transit research project panels of the Transportation Research Board, the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C., a Mass Transit Administration representative approach me stating to me how wrong the light rail transit development in Phoenix is; this was some 15 years ago. He was the one monitoring this “New Starts” projects, that what they called them. What a hypocrisy, what an irresponsibly of all of those who knew it then, too.

    Finally, the public has found out about being severely failed by you. Damage has been done, there is no real return on these investments, just the continuing tax burden of the millions of dollars needed for the operating costs. Even if someone would start the new transit development the right way, you have lost your credibility and any future support.

    Nothing I ever enjoyed more during my nearly 60 year transportation professional career than the light rail design and operations, which I was very much part of at one of best transit systems in Europe. I am constantly trying to apply this experience in this beautiful Phoenix Valley. Unfortunately, meeting only with the disdain and ignorance of the politicians, and of course all of you. I am very disappointed with many of you who I had the opportunity to work with and you still do not understand any of the very basics of the multimodal transit system development, although, you do not have any opportunity for learn about it.

    There are nearly hundreds of my articles, several presentations on the “Effective Design of Transit Operations”, the real “Application of ITS in Transit Operations”, and comments, which are available to you, unless you again prefer to listen to politicians, innovation visionaries, and self proclaimed expert transit evangelists.

    The major irony of all is in this statement::

    “The mission of the Arizona Transit Association (AzTA) is to provide leadership in the funding, advocacy, and education for public transportation services throughout Arizona”

    Someone in one these transportation agencies needs to find enough ambition to start learning about the proper transit design and transit operations management, primarily (maybe only) abroad, and only than take the leadership in this field. Meanwhile, stop all of the waste of funding until someone gets his/her act together.

    Very much YES on the proposition 105 !!! Long overdue.

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