by Sam Hieb
Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston is the type of guy to have his hands in a little bit of everything, but who know he was a “consultant” for Transdev, the private company handling the Greensboro Transit Authority’s bus system. Not one to let his influence go unused and unoticed, Alston had a little conversation with GTA board as the new contract was coming up for bid. As a result, the board tossed the contract and is starting over.
Here’s the background:
during a special meeting March 15, GTA board chairman Richard Bryson read a statement saying he twice met with Alston in the middle of the process, according to a transcript of the meeting.
It wasn’t clear from the transcript what prompted Bryson to read that statement.
Bryson, also a member of the committee that evaluated the bids, said “each meeting was at the request of Mr. Alston.”
Bryson said they talked about Transdev’s “service-related deficiencies and to encourage Transdev to get its ‘stuff’ together and to improve the service levels.”
One meeting included a “brief reference by Mr. Alston to give Transdev the opportunity to show their improvement in service and delivery by extending the existing contract,” the transcript reports Bryson saying.
Bryson said he didn’t know such contact was barred, but that it didn’t influence his consideration.
Interesting the comments beneath the N&R focus on the legality of Alston’s contact with GTA board members –which is prohibited—but the real story is what Alston was telling them—apparently ‘we screwed up but give us another chance cause we got out **** together now.’ And apparently board members bought it because they (initially) unanimously approved Transdev’s bid. But exactly what were the “service related service deficiencies” Bryson discussed with Alston? That’s the bigger question.