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Preckwinkle picks CTA vet for Metra board

Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says her next pick to served on the Metra board is a retired CTA vice president.

Romayne Brown has more than 30 years of work experience at the CTA, moving up from conductor to vice president of operations, according to a statement from Preckwinkle’s office.

As vice president of the CTA, Brown developed and administered policies and procedures to “ensure the timeliness and safety of rail transit service to more than 500,000 customers daily,” according to the Preckwinkle statement.

“Romayne Brown’s job was to make sure the trains ran safely and on time. Her decades of transportation experience will be a great asset to the Metra board, which needs someone who knows what it takes to operate a mass transit rail line,” Preckwinkle is quoted as saying in the statement.

While at the CTA, Brown also held the titles of superintendent of rail personnel and general manager of rail operations, overseeing functions for the Red, Purple and Yellow lines, according to Preckwinkle.

Brown, a South Side native who has lived in Dolton more than 20 years, retired from the CTA in 2010.

“There are few opportunities that could lure me out of retirement,” Brown said in a statement. “Taking on this new challenge appealed to me. I want to help Metra, one of the largest commuter rail systems in the country, return to its primary focus of providing more than 300,000 passenger trips a day to commuters.”

If Brown’s appointment is approved, she would replace Stanley Rakestraw, who resigned in August. Preckwinkle asked for Rakestraw’s resignation after learning he moved to a downtown Chicago condo after his home in suburban Flossmoor burned down.

Several Metra board members have resigned amid controversy over former Metra CEO Alex Clifford’s $718,000 buyout. Clifford resigned June 21, citing the pressure he was under to make political appointments.

Rakestraw held a seat on the Metra board representing the city’s suburbs.

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