March 5, 2021

Rob Zako: LTD board can build trust by explaining its decisions

LTD Board President Caitlin Vargas encouraged all board members to adopt the "LTD 50 Years" branding.

LTD Board President Caitlin Vargas encouraged all board members to adopt the "LTD 50 Years" branding.

The LTD board heard one public comment at its regular meeting Jan. 20. It came from Rob Zako, executive director of the local non-profit B.E.S.T.: Better Eugene Springfield Transportation.

Rob looked at two recent public information releases and gave LTD a mixed review. “Don’t Invite COVID, Follow The Four” from Dec. 7 had good, clear messaging, but the Jan. 7 “2021 Winter Service Adjustments” leaves a lot to be desired, he said.

“I read this and it is a lot of bureaucrat-ese. I can see that some changes are being made—It looks like additions are being made. I don’t know what to make out of this. I don’t know what LTD is doing, I’m not sure why, I don’t know what the benefits are, I don’t know what it costs or what money it saves. It’s just a digest of information.

“And so I would say this is an area where LTD — and I’m actually talking about the board: When you make decisions, it’s not enough just to make a decision. You need to be clear with yourselves why you’re deciding something, and then direct your staff to explain that to the public. I think that will go a long way to building trust with the public and support for things you’re doing.”

Later in the regular meeting, the board and Moss Adams auditors praised LTD staff for receiving a clean opinion. They explained that this represented the highest level LTD could achieve in the audits.

The independent outside auditors didn’t find any issues having to do with internal controls, compliance, or LTD’s financial reporting. They offered kudos for all the work the LTD staff performs all year round.

Many public agencies use both internal and external auditors to help safeguard public monies.

The LTD board also recognized its employee of the month, Transit Public Safety Officer Darel Pitmon. Congratulations and thank you Darel!

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