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Dodging Raindrops at DART

Meet the latest installment in Get to Know a DART Executive Staff Member: Sharon Leary, who's the vice president of finance.

A bit more detail on the big reorganization at Dallas Area Rapid Transit: Save for planning director Doug Allen, the only other person to actually lose a job out of the whole billion-dollar budget bobble at DART was Gloria Dixon, an African-American woman who was in charge of minority contracting. She’s gone.

Huh?

Gary Thomas, the CEO, decides not to tell the board about a billion-dollar budget-buster for a year. He stays. Doug Allen, a second-level guy, takes a fall instead. And the lady in charge of MWBE gets axed?

Sharon Leary, the chief financial officer when all of this happened, is no longer in that position, but Leary, a white lady, has been allowed to move to the post of vice president for finance. She gets bounced, in other words, but she keeps her money. Bet Dixon would liked that deal.

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Jerry Franklin, vice president of “executive affairs” (we’d love to know more) has taken over “governmental affairs” (we’d like to know less) from Janie Pena.

Morgan Lyons, the top spokesperson for DART, no longer reports to Sue Baumann, vice president for marketing and communications, but now reports directly to president, executive director and cat-with-nine-lives Gary Thomas.

I say it’s all confirmation of my original take on this -- a deal to give the suburbs first dibs on the construction budget, screw Dallas and let Thomas keep his job. It’s all about lobbying and public relations, and the payoff for Dallas will be minority contracts instead of rail lines.

In a democracy, we make our own destiny. --Jim Schutze

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