VTA boss laughs off "predictable" Grand Jury report
- Published Sunday, June 27, 2004, in the Palo Alto Daily News
Negative report called "predictable"
By Jean Whitney
Daily News Staff Writer
General Director Peter Cipolla of the financially-troubled Valley
Transportation Authority included a wry cover memo to his board of
directors with a copy of the damning Santa Clara County Civil Grand
Jury report released recently.
The June 18 grand jury report called for the VTA to halt spending
on a $4.2 billion BART-to-San Jose extension and to revamp what it
described as sloppy operation of the transportation agency. But
Cipolla's memo to trustees hinted that there was nothing new in
the grand jury criticisms.
"I'm certain you'll find their conclusions both interesting and
predictable," Cipolla wrote.
"Each year, the Santa Clara County Grand Jury selects VTA as one of
the organizations they seek to look into. And each year, VTA expends
a large number of personnel hours responding to their questions,
providing them with tours of our facilities and projects explaining
the complexities of both. Each year, (the grand jury) concludes this
process with a seemingly negative report about VTA. Their 2004 report
is no exception."
The VTA is required under state law to respond to the report within
60 days. A Civil Grand Jury is a group of 19 county residents
appointed yearly by Superior Court judges to investigate government
operations. State law created the civil grand jury system a century
[BATN: See also:
SCCo. Grand Jury slams VTA, San Jose BART
Letter: SJ Mayor Gonzales wasting public's money (23 Jun 2004)
Grand jury raps BART linkup to San Jose (22 Jun 2004)
Letter: Out-of-control VTA must halt SJ BART (22 Jun 2004)
SCCo. Grand Jury report: halt SJ BART extension (22 Jun 2004)
Letter: VTA acts as if money is no object (22 Jun 2004)
VTA chair brushes off Grand Jury SJ BART criticisms (21 Jun 2004)
Sun King Ron Gon still dreams of BART to SJ (21 Jun 2004)
VTA determined to build BART regardless of cost or utility (20 Jun 2004)
SCCo. Grand Jury: Halt BART to SJ, reform VTA (19 Jun 2004)