Friday’s Globe and Mail included an advertisement (page B15, upper right) for the position of “Project Director — Electrification Study” at Metrolinx. The text of the ad is currently available on the Metrolinx website.
The ad intrigues (no, I am not applying) for its clear acknowledgement that this will be a highly visible, politically charged role requiring active engagement of all parties and mediation between competing views of what should be recommended.
The acid test will be whether the Project Director will be free to question existing assumptions and public stances taken by Metrolinx, GO and their political masters.
I wrote at some length earlier with advice to the Community Advisory Committee, and I commend that post not just to the new Project Director, but to applicants who might incorporate questions for the interview team.
If there is any disappointment in the ad, it is that “while transportation expertise is an important asset, it is not a condition of the position”. This can be a double-edged sword in that the old boys’ club of transportation project managers includes many who will avoid rocking the boat, but a new face (at least to transportation) needs to know the difference between solid technical and political advice and self-serving hogwash.
The position commences in September 2009, and I will be fascinated to see who is selected. That choice will tell us much about how seriously Metrolinx and Queen’s Park take the electrification study.