Q&A with Roger Edwards, candidate for RTD Board of Directors, District H

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Residence: Highlands Ranch

Campaign website: RepresentTheDistrict.com 

What makes you the best choice for this office?

Experience differentiates me from the other two candidates. I am the only candidate that has a career in transportation and logistics. I have attained certification as a Six Sigma Green Belt. My training in modern methods of management, such as Six Sigma and continuous quality improvement, saved my company millions by improving process and eliminating waste and re-work. RTD is in desperate circumstances; change must occur. Six Sigma management practices harness the energy of the whole organization to adopt the necessary change to achieve sustainable service.

If you're elected, what single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

My goal for RTD is excellence in public policy. As a nonpartisan office, there is a significant opportunity to focus on public transportation without partisan politics. Breaking down barriers created by bureaucracy and management silos will allow RTD to move to a sustainable level of service that benefits the organization and those depending on public transportation. RTD must establish continuity of purpose and a redefined mission statement to adapt to the economic environment of the foreseeable future.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

The responsibility of the board of directors is to provide governance for RTD staff. RTD management counsels board members to not get involved in management. Directors must know what governance looks like. Without experience, the board can be steamrolled by staff. We are now seeing the cumulative result from not providing experienced and knowledgeable oversight of RTD staff. The governor recently appointed a select committee of experts and political representatives to look into all things RTD, a profound rebuke of the director's responsibilities.

Given the light rail R Line's low ridership compared to other RTD light rail routes, what, if anything, should be done about the R Line?

A piecemeal or Band-Aid approach to address functional organizational failures will not provide a solution that guarantees RTD's future. Each operational element must be examined and measured against a defined set of performance standards, standards that are dictated by the revenue streams from riders, taxes and government subsidies. The goodwill of taxpayers must be protected and value demonstrated in the eyes of the public. The R Line is part of the puzzle. The RTD system must be viewed in the context of the mission of RTD, to provide public transportation access. 

In light of the pandemic's effect on tax revenue, how will you work to address RTD's budget shortage?

When budgets tighten, you can do several things, cut expenditures, work smarter or charge more. At the top of the list should be working smarter. Modern methods of management can save many millions; I have experience in implementing these kinds of changes. RTD has 72 pages of organizational charts; “rightsizing” the management team is the current buzzword used by CEO candidates. Raising the sales tax should be a nonstarter; the public will not stand for it. Raising light rail fares should be on the table. Increase ridership by offering more service value.

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