[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | High Speed Rail’s Top 2 Bosses Quit | 01-13-2012
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Intermittent clouds
Intermittent clouds
78°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 30
1984 - NTSB revises probable cause of 1982 "Twilight Zone" deaths after director John Landis appeals [story]


On the heels of the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s  decision to have the rails run through the Antelope Valley and a negative peer review, the agency has lost its CEO and board chief.

At Thursday’s Board of Directors meeting CEO Roelof van Ark   announced his resignation effective two months from now. Board of Directors Chairman Thomas J. Umberg also announced that he’d be stepping down as Chairman, but will remain on the Board.

Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani, an author of the High Speed Rail Bond Proposition 1A, declared her deep respect to both men for “navigating the political turbulence associated with building the nation’s first High-Speed Rail system.”

Although no specific reasons were given, the retirement of van Ark and the stepping down of Umberg closely follow a negative report to the State Legislature from the California High-Speed Rail Peer Group (Group).

The six-member Group is charged with the independent analysis of the planning, engineering and financing, of the project. In their January 3 report on the draft 2012 Business Plan issued by the CHSRA the Group called the project “not financial feasible.”

“The fact the Funding Plan fails to identify any long term funding commitments is a fundamental flaw in the program,” the Group report states.

Van Ark shot back.

“It is unfortunate that the Peer Review Committee has delivered a report to the Legislature that is deeply flawed in its understanding of the Authority’s program and the experience around the world in successfully developing high speed rail,” said van Ark.

Nine days later van Ark had resigned.

Galgiani noted the challenging circumstances van Ark and Umberg faced when attempting to be sensitive and responsive to diverse communities, with varying needs along the 800 miles stretch of the project.

“Mr. Van Ark and Mr. Umberg have worked with stakeholders to address everything from whether “wind speed” from the train will affect bee pollination in agricultural areas, the importance of respecting sacred sites and Native American burial grounds near the Grapevine, the value we place on involving small emerging business enterprises during the engineering and construction contracting process, building the first public private partnership of this scope in California,” Galgiani said.

However, Galgiani is now focused on the future of High-Speed Rail with Governor Jerry Brown. She described Brown as a “vocal supporter” of the project who last year placed two of his top advisors, Dan Richard and Mike Rossi, to the rail board.

“Today represents a turning point for the Governor to put his stamp on the project.  I am pleased that his long-trusted Advisor, Dan Richard, has been chosen to succeed Chair Umberg, and I am confident that Gov. Brown will put his full resources behind the success of High-Speed Rail,” said Galgiani.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

Comments are closed.

SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
Related Content
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Guilty Verdict in Halloween 2011 Murder Case
Jurors found Eric Edwards and Diamonte McGee guilty Thursday in the 2011 Halloween murder in Canyon Country.
Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
COC Warns Students About Fundraiser Scam
College of the Canyons officials warned students recently about fraudulent tickets being sold to a fake comedy show.
Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Mulligan’s Pub Throwing in the (Bar) Towel After 40 Years
Santa Clarita’s Mulligan’s Restaurant and Bar is closing down Friday after more than 40 years.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Perhaps the event’s most exciting exhibition will be its first ever water bottle rocket launching contest, to be held courtesy of the Astronomy and Physics Club (APC), Engineering Club, and the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program.
Nov 7: COC to Host Star Party
Jurors found Eric Edwards and Diamonte McGee guilty Thursday in the 2011 Halloween murder in Canyon Country.
Guilty Verdict in Halloween 2011 Murder Case
The Valencia girls swept Golden Valley in three games. The Vikings are game behind Hart in the Foothill League standings at 7-1. They are 19-5 overall.
SCV Sports Wrapup for Oct. 30
Two free history events at Rancho Camulos Museum in Piru will take place on Nov.8 including a Living History Festival, and a fundraiser.
Rancho Camulos Hosting Festival, Fundraiser
College of the Canyons officials warned students recently about fraudulent tickets being sold to a fake comedy show.
COC Warns Students About Fundraiser Scam
Santa Clarita’s Mulligan’s Restaurant and Bar is closing down Friday after more than 40 years.
Mulligan’s Pub Throwing in the (Bar) Towel After 40 Years
City of Santa Clarita representatives met Thursday to celebrate the completion of the McBean Bridge Widening and Bike Path Project.
City Cuts Ribbon on McBean Bridge, Bike Path
The two teens arrested in connection with the SCV Purge are set to have their cases moved to the Los Angeles County Probation Department.
‘SCV Purge’ Case Handed to Probation Department
Two men were arrested on felony charges Wednesday night for golf course vandalism, after they were allegedly seen riding a dirt bike onto a Valencia Country Club golf course.
Two Arrested on Felony Charges at Valencia Country Club
Defense attorneys for a Castaic woman charged with her father’s murder asked for a mental evaluation before continuing the case.
Defense Asks for Mental Evaluation in Castaic Murder Case
As the weather changes gradually and a colder breeze passes through the Santa Clarita Valley, it becomes clear that the summer season is slowly changing and daylight saving will officially be ending this coming Sunday.
Get Read to ‘Fall Back’ and Adjust Your Clocks
1984 - NTSB revises probable cause of 1982 "Twilight Zone" deaths after director John Landis appeals [story]
With or without a tour, you can visit our very own SCV ghost town, Mentryville. Just head west on Lyons Avenue over Interstate 5 where it becomes Pico Canyon Road. Keep driving until you see the signs for Mentryville. Follow the signs for parking, and don’t forget to pay the $5 fee.
Home Town Ghost Town
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak: The Santa Clarita City Council denied an appeal Tuesday by Einstein Academy to open a charter school in the Valencia Industrial center.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Santa Clarita officials hosted a dedication and ribbon cutting to celebrate the acquisition of a 302-acre property once planned for major housing development.
City Officials Cut the Ribbon on Gateway Ranch Open Space
California Highway Patrol officers have yet to finalize their investigation into a fatal collision that killed a 17-year-old Saugus High student.
CHP Report Still Underway for Fatal Golden Valley Collision
Students from Pico Canyon Elementary School’s sixth grade classes are creating their own “wax museum” in November by posing as historical figures
Pico Canyon Students Hosting Living History Event
If you want to learn more about how you can use social media to increase your visibility and raise awareness about your work, don’t miss the “Getting Social: Art and Social Networking” panel discussion on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Old Town Newhall Library, located at 24500 Main Street.
Artists Invited to Social Media Discussion
Two players from the Foothill League advanced to WSCGA tournament, the second round of the CIF girls golf individual playoffs.
SCV Sports Wrapup for Oct. 29
Family fun things in Santa Clarita to try this weekend, as well as some safe Halloween alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating
Family Friendly Halloween Activities in the SCV
The public can expect minor delays and rolling road and parking lot closures periodically from 2:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to accommodate all races. Detours will be provided for major road closures. Residents are asked to plan ahead to avoid delays.
Road Closures in Effect Sunday for Marathon
Santa Clarita City Council members denied an appeal Tuesday by Einstein Academy to open another charter school location
City Council Denies Einstein Academy Valencia Site
1932 - Highway 99 completed through Weldon Canyon, bypassing Ridge Route [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak: Film contracts between Melody Ranch Motion Picture studio and a production company have forced the City of Santa Clarita to find a new home for the 2015 Cowboy Festival.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, October 28, 2014