Erie County Council Help EMTA 'Stay Static', Extends Terms for some EMTA Board Members
(ERIE. P.A. - WICU/WSEE/CW)-The Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority is moving forward on several plans, almost a year after its entire board of directors was forced to resign.
And on Tuesday night, the organization received a boost in order to keep working on those plans. Erie County Council unanimously agreed to extend the terms for four of the board’s nine current members.
"They've managed to do some positive things in a short amount of time.” Erie County Councilman Andre Horton said “They deserve it."
Horton serves as a county liaison to the EMTA.
- Ashley Lawson (Expires Oct. 2020)
- Dave Robinson (Expires Oct. 2021)
- Tom Bly (Expires Oct. 2022)
- Lyn Twillie-Darby (Oct. 2023)
These four were recommended by Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper last year, and appointed to shortened terms in October 2018. The other five board members were recommended by Erie Mayor Joe Schember. Their terms were not discussed.
- Gyan Ghising, of Erie, owner of My Way Bar & Grill.
- Rick Griffith, of Erie, president/owner of Rick Griffith Properties.
- Jessica Molczan, of Erie, advocacy specialist at Voices for Independence and a rider.
- George Willis, of Erie, retired as senior vice president at Urban Engineers.
- Ben Wilson, of Millcreek Township, Workforce Development Services Division Manager at GECAC.
According to EMTA CEO Jeremy Peterson, the move to approve the terms will provide the EMTA with consistent leadership, something he says, has been a problem in the past.
Last year, Schember and Dahlkemper asked all members of the previous board to resign. For months, the organization had been plagued by what Peterson says was “a lack of transparency” and “political battles.”
"It definitely bled outside the organization." Peterson said
But since being appointed to their positions, Peterson has praised the board for what he says, is an improvement in transparency, and communication with riders.
Our board has been moving forward, moving the company forward as an organization. Something we haven't had in a very long time." Said Peterson
Peterson himself, was named permanent CEO by this current board in April. He had previously served in an interim role.
The EMTA is currently in the middle of multimillion-dollar facilities plan along their property along East 14 and French Streets.
The board is also dealing with ongoing talks between Millcreek Township Supervisors over a reduction in funding.
And Peterson says having that steady group, will help the organization in the long run.
“And [help us] stay static." he said
Peterson says the facilities plan is expected to be complete by January 2020.