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NCTD Chief Answers Questions About Agency Turnover

The bottom line does not want to be disagreed with. You make make your pitch, then he tells you how it's going to happen. He doesn't want input, he wants a yes man.

Several things are missing from the narrative on Tucker. The first is some kind of detailing of Tucker's work at other agencies, namely in Santa Clara at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, in Virginia at the Virginia Department of Rail and Transportation. It would probably be hard to get anyone on the record, but at least some background on what he did at those agencies would be instructive.

Second, Tucker is an axe man. His primary role in coming to NCTD was to get rid of the bus drivers and their pensions, as well as a lot of other longtime employees. That's a separate story with a separate narrative but the important thing to remember is axe men rarely make good leaders. Why, because if you can come in and get rid of people who've had good jobs for a longtime and not feel bad about doing it, you probably have the type of personality that also doesn't prevent you from using that same philosophy against people who work for you.

Tucker has remained an axe man, cutting people before they can retire on their full pension. This has happened to several longtime employees in the last year. Only 2 people I know of have retired out of NCTD in the last 2-3 years. Several people managed to get the 2% at 5 years retirement, but I'm sure he's watching that as well.

So why would you expect anything different from Tucker? Blaming other people for his failures in oversight is a hallmark of his tenure at NCTD. He spent the whole weekend of the Sprinter shutdown blaming contractors and anyone else available instead of leading. The staff did a great job stepping into the breach during this time. If it wasn't for the then head of safety, I'm not sure they could have gotten the Sprinter online that quickly. Tucker had no role in that, it was all the head of safety.

In short, Tucker has no leadership skills, especially with managers. A lot of managers run wild until it gets bad enough that Tucker has to axe them. On the other side of the coin, he's gotten rid of several managers like the head of administration for refusing to get rid of employees or disagreeing with him at the wrong time.

I'd love to know the grant program employees that were let go because the program was ending. The only one I could make out via the employee list was Mobility Management, which did have a limited run. Unfortunately, Bill Horn is Tucker's main supporter and he was just re-elected. Horn, Mark Packard and Mark Gallo are the only current board members with a lot of tenure. They are "in" with Tucker, so there's not point contacting them. Your only hope is probably Aguilera in Vista and Kranz in Encinitas. Contact these two even if you don't live in those cities and demand accountability on the turnover at NCTD..

July 7, 2014 at 12:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )