Berman Introduces Legislation to Reform Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors

Thursday, February 18, 2021

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) introduced AB 1091, legislation to reform the governance structure of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Consistent with the findings of a 2019 Civil Grand Jury Report, AB 1091 would reduce the size of the VTA Board and replace the elected Board of Directors with appointed members of the public.

“VTA provides essential public transit options that help get Santa Clara County’s two million residents to and from work, school, and home,” said Assemblymember Marc Berman. “However, three Civil Grand Jury Reports over the last 20 years have concluded that VTA’s governance structure is a root cause of the agency’s poor performance and is in need of structural reform. Taxpayers, transit riders, and VTA staff deserve a Board of Directors that have the interest and ability to dedicate the time necessary to provide appropriate oversight and meet our region’s complex transportation needs.”

According to the 2019 Civil Grand Jury Report, the VTA Board suffers from a lack of experience and continuity. VTA is currently composed of an 18-member board with 12 voting members, all of whom are current elected officials in Santa Clara County. The directors often have inadequate time to devote to the policymaking and oversight duties of VTA due to their primary focus on the demands of their elected positions. The Grand Jury Report recommended legislation to improve the governance structure of VTA, notably including appointed directors who are not currently serving as elected officials and have relevant transportation expertise.

AB 1091 would reduce the size of the VTA board from 12 voting members to 9 voting members: 5 members appointed by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, 2 members appointed by the City of San José, and 2 members appointed by the remaining cities in Santa Clara County. The appointed directors would be members of the public and would serve four-year terms. Relevant skill sets including professional experience in the transportation sector, accounting or finance, infrastructure or project management, and executive management would be represented on the board.

 

Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 319-2024