The Bergen Record is reporting that NJ Transit Executive Director and notorious fuckup Jim Weinstein is not long for his post.
Weinstein, 67, now appears to be on his way out. His faithfulness may not have been enough to overcome a series of high-profile failures that occurred under his watch, most notably, the agency’s ill-fated decision to abandon nearly 400 railcars and locomotives in flood-prone rail yards during Superstorm Sandy and its clumsy handling of Super Bowl transportation. Thousands of football fans were stranded at MetLife Stadium for hours because NJ Transit was unprepared for the 33,000 football fans that overwhelmed the system.
He is expected to be replaced by Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim, a former senior vice president at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s capital construction program who is currently executive director at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
His pending departure comes amid growing dissatisfaction among NJ Transit employees, who complain of low morale and favoritism in the upper ranks; tensions with Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson, who, as chairman of NJ Transit’s board, is Weinstein’s boss; and a commuter rail and bus system so plagued with breakdowns that some customers have told the board it’s no longer reliable.
It seems as though interpersonal politics, and not any kind of accountability for how badly NJ Transit has screwed the pooch under his watch, is the main reason for Weinstein’s departure. That’s a real pity. You’d think that, if there were ever a time that called for the establishment of command responsibility for a public official, it would be failure to protect almost half a billion dollars in public assets from a storm that was accurately predicted several days out. But no, the only thing that gets you fired in Chris Christie’s New Jersey is being no longer useful to Chris Christie. And as we know, Governor Christie is a classic windshield perspective politician with no use for transit in any form.
God help us all.