Metra is another step closer to getting its board of directors back on track.
At the latest DuPage County Board Meeting, members confirmed Naperville resident John Zediker’s appointment to the county’s vacant seat.
“Representing the county as a whole, we have 86,000 residents and tens of thousands that get on that train every single day,” said Zediker. “I want to be their voice and they are getting the best value they can and that Metra is the agency it can be.”
Zediker brings a mix of both private and public experience to the table, having served on the county board from 2009 to 2012, working as director of Naperville’s Transportation, Engineering and Development department from 2001 to 2002, and acting as chief operating officer at real estate consulting firm Ruettiger, Toneli and Associates.
He will be filling the seat of Paul Darley, who resigned in July amidst a scandal, after the former CEO, Alex Clifford, was given a large severance package following his accusations of political tampering at the agency.
With this appointment, the Metra board of directors is up to eight members, with three seats left to be filled in the coming weeks.
“We have so much going for us as a state that our citizens deserve the best public agencies they can be,” said Zediker. “Metra definitely has its challenges ahead but I want to be a part of the solution, I want to make Metra better.”
Although support of Zediker’s appointment was strong, members Laurie Nowak and Elizabeth Chaplin simply voted “present.”
Although they supported Zediker as a qualified candidate, both said a lack of transparency and information on the other 29 applicants kept them from voting yes.
Despite the criticism, Cronin stood behind his decision.
“There is no one person that can go in there and wave a magic wand over this operation, but he will certainly be a very strong advocate for us, a very effective advocate at a time of crisis,” said Chairman Cronin.
Zeidker plans to donate his $15,000 annual stipend to charity. His first official day on the job is Friday, September 20.
With the appointment, Zediker is one of two Naperville residents on the board. Acting chairman, Jack Partelow, represents Will County.
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