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UTA Board Elects New Chairman

Garrett via Wikimedia Commons

David Burton, the former presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formally elected chairman of the Utah Transit Authority board yesterday.  He told reporters that a recent legislative audit criticizing the agency is a no longer a concern.

The audit, released in August criticized UTA for sweetheart deals, excessive pay and bonuses for top executives and insufficient service that disproportionately impacts the poor. But Burton says the concerns highlighted in the audit, have already been addressed.

“The audit’s dead and died and gone to heaven,” Burton said.

He said UTA plans to better meet the needs of riders. Many have complained to the agency about service cuts and limited hours of operation.

“We’re going to continue the great traditions that have been established and improve that just as revenues allow us to do,” Burton said. “Hopefully we’re going to be more efficient, using the funds that we already have.”

Christopher Stout is an advocate for transit riders. At Wednesday’s board meeting, he told reporters that he’s cautiously optimistic about Burton’s leadership, saying he’s seen no evidence that the culture of the organization is changing.

“Mr. Burton has to make a focus on customer service,” Stout said. “That was one of the things that was brought out in the audit is that UTA doesn’t really know what their customers want or what they need.”

Burton replaces State Representative Greg Hughes, who served as UTA board chairman for four years. 

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