Thursday, March 7, 2013

Portland Streetcar leader gets Obama Promotion

Chandra Brown was just appointed to be the U.S. Commerce Department's deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing.  That's good for her, but United Streetcar, the company she was just head of (as President since 2007 and CEO since January), has delivered one streetcar to Portland and it's not even in operation.  That's the payback for the city that basically sponsored them existing as a division of Oregon Iron Works.  Right now there is a backorder of the entire set Portland was expecting to open their Eastside Loop with.

Even worse for Tucson, AZ is that they're waiting for a set of streetcars as well.  These aren't some crazy new design that's never been tested either.  These are a Czech design that's been used successfully, but apparently it's a little tougher to use licensed blueprints than it might sound.

I have to wonder how a company that hasn't actually delivered anything they promised gets promoted to a cabinet appointment?  How does a company with such a failing record end up with their CEO getting this kind of promotion?

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