Yesterday, Amtrak’s board of directors fired Amtrak president David Gunn.
Here’s something unusual about this firing. David Gunn actually was the best thing to happen to Amtrak in years. He improved the physical condition of the railroad’s equipment, raised ridership, cut costs, and even ended this year with a net surplus despite a crippling brake problem on Amtrak’s high-speed Acela equipment that took the entire fleet out of commision for most of the summer.
The Amtrak board knew this too, and even testified to that fact before Congress a few months ago.
The board, though, is made up of Bush appointees. You might remember that Bush’s budget proposal contained a plan to bankrupt Amtrak as a way of “reforming” it. That failed to pass Congress, and David Gunn failed to be incompetant.
So you have the odd case of firing David Gunn for improving things on the railroad.
Yikes. I will be so glad when this administration is gone.