How RCL stole $140,000 from taxpayers

A business is entitled to a profit

-Rochester City Lines (RCL) General Manager Dan Holter

A business works smart and works hard to earn a profit.

Business owner Michael Wojcik

Notice a difference.

At the special meeting on December 22, 2011 the city council met to pay Dan Holter his $140,000 in taxpayer ransom.  The city approved a horrible 6 month contract by a 4-2 margin.  Everyone on the city council was disgusted by the contract and looked forward to awarding a new contract through open competition beginning July 1, 2012.  In addition, the taxpayers of Rochester will be funding a 3% across the board increase for RCL (our staff is getting 1% increases).  To the extent that is legally permissible we will consider this experience in evaluating RCL for future competitive contracts.

As much as Dan Holter is to blame for this fiasco I place a similar amount of blame on city staff for allowing us to be in a situation where a majority of the council felt we had no choice but to give into Holter’s demands.  The question is why we had not negotiated with another company so as to have some leverage with RCL.  A review of the entire process and transit operations is probably in order.

After the meeting Holter was stopped from making some statements by his own staff.  I wasn’t there, but others were.  I wish he had gone on.  He also wanted to blame me for some of this and claims that I have been non-responsive.  I did meet with Holter and other took his concerns back to transit staff.  The problem has always been that he tends to make these silly statements like he owns the transit system.  The taxpayers own the buses, streets, bus stops.  RCL owns the RCL name and the garage where some buses are currently stored. We waste a bunch of staff time to debunk these statements time and time again.  It was also suggested that the service would have continued to operate regardless if we had approved the contract.  We were not made aware of this.

My advice to a bus driver at RCL that I spoke with after the meeting is that you further organize and perhaps make your own bid for the contract beginning in July as an employee owned bus company.  I hate to see innocent victims to another’s greed.

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