Joseph Rose of The Oregonian is reporting that several members of the Oregon Legislature are now calling for Secretary of State Kate Brown’s office to conduct an independent “emergency” audit of TriMet, and have amended HB3316, originally introduced to change how the agency’s board of directors is chosen, to require that this be done (and removing language from the bill concerning the TriMet board). The bill appears to have broad support within the House, and Governor Kitzhaber has indicated it would be signed if it reached his desk (he had previously threatened to veto any bills taking away his authority to appoint the TriMet board).
TriMet, in a statement, stated that GM Neil McFarlane and other senior managers would cooperate fully with any audits that were ordered.
Previously, Portland Transport suggested that an audit would be a good idea. When we broached the subject with McFarlane during our annual interview series, he stated he was “certainly open to it”, but questioned whether such an exercise would reveal anything that couldn’t be discovered from public records.