An apology from the UTA Board of Trustees.

The Utah Transit Authority Board of Trustees would like to apologize to the public, elected officials and the news media for any perceived wrongdoing that may have occurred in extending the new appointments of chief executive officer, general manager and president of government resources.

Our purpose behind this action is the best interest of the agency and the people within our six-county service area. We believe that this is the right time to make organizational changes that will best enable UTA to work through its challenges and opportunities and position the agency for future improvement and growth.

The authority given to the UTA board of trustees includes the selection of designated UTA officers. As we proceeded with this management transition, discussions about the professional competence of the individuals involved took place in a closed session of the UTA board. We had no ill intent and believe our actions to have been legal, appropriate and reasonable. In the spirit of openness, we would also like to disclose that this closed discussion was not recorded as allowed by state statute.

We regret the manner in which the subsequent business of the board was conducted in the open session. We should have been more clear in describing the process and the assignment given to the executive committee in regard to succession planning. The board is required to finalize these appointments through official action in an open meeting, and a resolution is anticipated for our next board meeting on April 28. However, the new positions will not become official until May 11, when recently passed legislation allowing the board to use the new titles is effective. Our April 8 announcement incorrectly indicated that the positions were effective immediately, when in fact the affected employees have only been asked to act in their new roles, subject to final board approval.

As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we recognize our responsibility to conduct UTA board business in a transparent matter. While some matters will always require discretion in order to successfully transact the business of the agency, we are committed to performing our duties in an honorable and open manner as entrusted to us by the public.

Larry Ellertson is chairman of the Utah Transit Authority Board of Trustees.


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