The Chicago Transit Board said at its monthly meeting today that it will open up meetings to public comment. The action, initiated by Chairman Carole L. Brown, is designed to give Chicago Transit Authority customers more direct access to the board.
?We are very interested in what our customers and the general public have to say about the CTA," said Chairman Brown. ?The public comments we received during our budget process improved the final product and this forum will provide an additional way for people to give us input. It will also let us, as a board, stay current on customer concerns."
Beginning next month, 15 minutes will be set aside for public comment at the beginning of each board meeting, immediately following roll call. Those wishing to address the board should contact Gregory Longhini, Assistant Secretary of the Board, Chicago Transit Authority, P.O. Box 3555, Chicago, IL 60654-0555 by letter, 312-321-0394 by fax, or firstname.lastname@example.org by e-mail. Individuals should contact Mr. Longhini no more than seven days before the board meeting and be prepared to give their names, addresses, phone numbers and subject of their comments. Board meetings are held monthly in the CTA boardroom on the 7th Floor of the Merchandise Mart Plaza. The 2004 board meeting schedule will be set on December 10 and available on the CTA web site later this month.
To allow a variety of people to comment, individuals will be permitted to address the board only once within a six month period. Speakers also will be required to sign a document stating they are neither representing a company nor are they an employee of a company that has submitted a bid to do business with the CTA within the past year.
The board anticipates comments from up to five people at each meeting, giving speakers three minutes apiece to address the group. If there are fewer than five persons wishing to speak, the speakers may be allotted more time.
Speakers will be selected on a first come, first served basis. Those requesting time after the slots have been filled will be given the opportunity to submit written comments that will be distributed to the board at the meeting. Speakers may also provide written comments. Additionally, the CTA welcomes comments on its Customer Service line at 1-888-YOUR-CTA.
In addition to allowing public comment at Chicago Transit Board meetings, the board will hold Citizen Advisory Board meetings in neighborhoods served by the CTA. The Citizen's Advisory Board is a 12-member panel of community leaders appointed by the Chicago Transit Board to collect feedback from the public and make recommendations to the board.
Other agencies that currently invite public comment include Metra, Pace, the Board of Education, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), the Chicago Park District and the Cook County Board.
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