Right now, the word is that Brad S. O'Halloran will be installed as Metra chairman at the Metra board's next meeting, Nov. 16.
Of course, that was the word before last Friday's meeting, too, and O'Halloran fell short, with just seven of 11 votes. Eight are needed.
Had this been an old-fashioned political party convention, the voting might have kept on going until someone got that eighth vote. Think of the 1924 Democratic National Convention, with 103 ballots. Or the 1880 Republican National Convention, with 35 ballots. But the Metra board just voted once, then called it a day and went home.
Voting for Larry Huggins, who is acting chairman, were Huggins himself, Don De Graff (appointed by suburban Cook County Board members), William A. Widmer III (appointed by suburban Cook County Board members) and Stanley Rakestraw (Toni Preckwinkle's pick). The others voted for O'Halloran.
Last month, the Regional Transportation Authority board couldn't agree by its Sept. 15 deadline on how to allocate its final dollars among the CTA, Metra and Pace, an issue that finally was resolved last week. That city-suburb friction may have spilled over into the Metra board's vote.
Metra hasn't had a chairperson since Carole Doris stepped down in April of 2011. In the past, the collar counties have had a lock on the elected chairperson job. A bylaws change approved Friday means in the future the chair will rotate between Cook and the collar counties.
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