High-speed rail director resigns


Mehdi Morshed, the executive director of the California High Speed Rail Authority, is stepping down at the end of March. On Jan. 7, Mr. Morshed, 72, sent his resignation letter to the board of the agency in charge of building a high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

Mr. Morshed has spent the last 11 years heading the rail authority. For much of that time, the high-speed rail project was in danger of being shut down, he said in his letter.

"During the past 11 years, the project was declared dead many times. Annually, we were prepared to close the office," he wrote.

Despite the delays, Mr. Morshed said that there is no doubt in his mind that California will soon have the first state-of-the-art high speed rail service in the nation. The passage of Proposition 1A, the $9 billion bond to fund part of the high-speed rail project, as well as President Barack Obama's support of national high-speed rail projects, will assure the construction of California's rail line, he wrote.

With his goal accomplished, he is stepping down and ending his 46-year career in public service, he said.

"For me, the past 11 years have been filled with frustration and exhilaration. Yet I would not trade it for anything else in this world," Mr. Morshed wrote.

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Like this comment
Posted by Jay Tulock
a resident of another community
on Jan 8, 2010 at 11:59 pm

[Portion removed; disrespectful language] Be on you toes, Peninsula residents, they will now hire a smart and charming [portion removed] who knows how to impress the money bags and have the power to destroy your cities yet. The worst is yet to come.

Jay Tulock, Vacaville

Like this comment
Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jan 11, 2010 at 7:18 am

I agree with Jay Tulock. It is important that the Board, with several overextended lame duck members who have been there far too long, also resign. It's time for a major housecleaning. This project is far, far too important to be left to political hacks to make each and every decision. Every week,new information becomes public that challenges our credulity. This is not about whether HSR is a good or a bad thing. This is about an extremely poorly managed mega-infrastructure project that should be taken out of the hands of self- and project- promoters to be taken over by railroad professionals. Morshed's departure is only the first small step for mankind, so to speak.

Like this comment
Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Jan 12, 2010 at 7:25 pm

The kind of thinking expressed by Turlock and Engel sounds so conspiritorial and not a bit political that it is no wonder that anything has been accomplished except by private money which actually makes San Mateo County Commissions look good while doing nothing except cater to a substantial group of investment "experts" who call themselves "philanthropists".
Well even THEY took a beating with the bank scandals, leaving everyone with their fingers in the golf ball scrubbers and tons of money losses they could never have predicted.
Granted, there are way too many old fellers in San Mateo County, but the dangers are more personal in all these cities of wealth while the Supervisors cannot handle the growth and the fact that most people are really afraid of growth and "outsiders" when they have to make their money back outside of these gilded areas.
Look for a lot of growth outside of this mini paradise.Also, for the loss of a lot of personal fortunes and the glossing up of this golden corridor. So obvious, but I doubt if the voters care to elect money men or women.Greed is losing out to the 21st century.
Even Schwarzenneger in a Sunday interview had to throw in the need for the HSR as a projection of what is needed in California.

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