PBC Commissioner Shelley Vana takes aim at Palm Tran administratorsby Jennifer Sorentrue | October 22nd, 2013
Palm Beach County Commissioner Shelley Vana took aim at top county administrators on Tuesday, criticizing their recommendation that the seven-member commission change a federal grant application to strengthen the county’s position against union complaints.
During Tuesday’s meeting Vana grew frustrated with administrators, who she alleged were not giving her straight answers: “Dancing with the Stars has a few openings,” Vana told several top staffers. “I think some of you…should really apply.”
Vana has been critical of Metro Mobility, the company hired to run the county’s Palm Tran Connection, which provides door-to-door bus service to the county’s most needy residents.
“The bottom line is we need to move forward with getting a new vendor,” Vana said. “That vendor we have now is not capable of doing the job.”
County administrator on Tuesday proposed re-filing for a $14.7 million federal grant. About $1.5 million of that money was proposed to be spent on the door-to-door bus service, but administrators suggested instead using that money for preventive maintenance of its Palm Tran fleet.
The Amalgamated Transit Union has challenged the grant.
The commission voted 6-1, with Vana dissenting, to re-file for the grant.
Several commissioners said they feared losing the grant money.
“My question with this we have dealt with Metro,” Commissioner Priscilla Taylor said. “We are in the process of working this thing out…. I’m missing the point as to why we would even think that way.”
Commissioners are expected to discuss the county’s contract with Metro again next month.