Council wants answers about MTA flood response

Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 11:45pm

Metro Transit Authority CEO Paul Ballard has been summoned to the Metro Council to explain his department’s handling of personnel during May’s flood.

In a letter sent Monday, Anna Page, who chairs the council’s Transportation and Aviation Committee, said she called for the meeting after several council members expressed concerns about the actions taken by MTA officials on the weekend of the flood. The meeting is set for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16.

Concerns come in response to a WSMV-Channel 4 report that first aired in July. The report showed unidentified MTA workers who alleged they stood to lose their jobs if they didn’t stay at the department’s Nestor Street administrative offices, even while the building was starting to fill with water. Several employees lost vehicles as a result.

Among council members looking forward to the meeting is Councilman Bo Mitchell, who said, “I just want to ask them a few questions about their safety procedures.”

Ballard, who has agreed to attend the meeting, said he and other MTA officials have already entertained questions about the flood response from council members during previous committee meetings.

“We never received a single complaint or grievance from anybody about anything that occurred on that weekend,” Ballard said. “We know really nothing about allegations. There was a television station that did a story, but we don’t know who they talked to and we don’t know what the allegations are. We’re completely in the dark.”