Metro Releases Results of External Assessment, More Transparency Recommended

METRO today has released the results of an assessment into how it conducts its day-to-day business. While most of the findings are positive, the review identifies one area that may require changes in order to ensure transparency. Wendy Siegle reports.

METRO hired the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski to examine whether the agency’s policies and procedures comply with state laws. The firm had a number of recommendations, some of which METRO has already addressed. Fulbright partner Neil Thomas appeared at METRO’s board meeting today. He says it was difficult to identify exactly how METRO makes its decisions. That’s because a lot of the longer discussions take place during committee meetings. And no one takes minutes of those meetings.

“If at this level, at the board level, you’re making decisions and all you’re doing is rubber stamping what the committee is doing, then the decision is actually being made at the committee level.”

Thomas says it’s a matter of transparency. METRO has four different committees that meet once a month. The meetings are open to the public, but it was only recently that they began posting meeting times online, after a public outcry. Still, Thomas suggests that METRO go a step further and take minutes to have on record. METRO President and CEO George Greanias says the board will seriously consider it.

“There’s an awful lot of issues, so it’s partly a question of keeping it open and transparent. Also, what’s the most efficient way to accomplish that.”

METRO also discussed its budget. Its fiscal year begins October 1.