When Metro’s board of directors convenes on Thursday to make one of its most important decisions – voting for a new general manager – at least one of the 14 board seats will be empty.
Prince George’s County has yet to choose a replacement for Marcell Solomon. But the county has ordered him not to attend any more Metro meetings after a Washington Examiner analysis showed he missed more than half the meetings in an 18-month period.
Instead, a county staffer will sit in the audience to stay up to date with Metro happenings, said Theresa Dozier, a spokeswoman for the county executive. County officials are still interviewing a replacement, she said. But, of course, that county staffer won’t be able to vote on making Richard Sarles the new head of the agency.
Besides the empty seat, the board dais will have lots of new faces. The Metro board has had extensive turnover in the past few weeks after the board came under fire.
Here’s who has left already:
- Arlington County Board member Christopher Zimmerman, who had a 13-year tenure on Metro's board.
- Jim Graham, the Ward 1 D.C. Councilman, who didn’t get reappointed after more than a decade.
- Gordon Linton, a former Federal Transit administrator, who asked not to have his term renewed.
- Neil Albert, who left his D.C. city administrator job when Mayor Vincent Gray took office.
Their replacements all showed up to committee meetings on Jan. 13 and to private interviews with the three finalists for the general manager position. But Thursday will be their first full meeting with actual voting rights:
- D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells, who is taking over Graham’s seat.
- D.C. appointee Tom Downs, the mayor’s pick who served on the board when the transit agency was first starting and later headed Amtrak.
- Arlington County Board member and teacher Mary Hynes, who is taking Christopher Zimmerman’s spot.
- Kathy Porter, a former Takoma Park mayor, is taking Linton’s slot.
A few seats are still in the mix, though. Elizabeth Hewlett, who represents Maryland for Prince George’s County, has asked to step down. It is not clear if D.C. Councilman Michael Brown and D.C. appointee Tony Giancola will continue to serve.