Dahlkemper and Schember wipe out board members of EMTA following disastrous meeting

Local News

Erie County and city leaders want a fresh start for the EMTA’s Board of Directors.  It comes in the wake of a feud that can’t be resolved.

There had been confusion on whether or not people had resigned during a meeting last month, now they’re all being asked to resign. 

“…This has been a tumultuous time for the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority.”  That’s how Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper is describing the aftermath since the EMTA’s Board Meeting on August 27th.  It ended with the ousting of the executive director and a board deeply divided over the decision.

Dahlkemper says, “As well-meaning as every person on there is, they probably wouldn’t be able to continue moving this authority forward.”

Mayor Joe Schember says, “We just felt there was too much a history with disagreement in certain areas, and I think it would be very hard to get over that. There was obviously some feelings hurt on both sides through that process.”

So, after talking with board members and others, Schember is asking all of the city’s five appointees on the board to resign.  Dahlkemper is doing the same for the county’s remaining three board members after a fourth person stepped down last month.

The mayor says, “We wanted a board that’s going to work together, compromise, and do what’s needed to help this EMTA.”

One rider, Freda Tepfer, says she already had some concerns about the makeup of the board. Now, she hopes the changes can bring improvements for riders like her. “And hopefully, specially-transit will apply to be members of the board, both to the city and the county. I certainly plan to apply.”

Opportunities that a fresh start could bring are welcomed by EMTA staff.  Interim Executive Director Jeremy Peterson says, “I have to say that it is a very good thing. We are very optimistic. Not only myself, but everyone else at EMTA about the consistency of the new board.”

Both the city and county are accepting resumes of people who would be interested in serving on the board.  You must submit by next Monday, September 17th.  

Those interested in applying can do so by way of city or county, respectively.  To apply for the City of Erie EMTA Board Member position, you can send your resume and cover letter explaining why you want to serve to Mayor Joe Schember at jschember@erie.pa.us and to Chief of Staff Renee Lamis at rlamis@erie.pa.us.

To apply for Erie County EMTA Board Member position, you can send the same items to County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper at countyexecutive@eriecountypa.gov and to Erie County Public Information Officer Kristin Bowers at kbowers@eriecountypa.gov.

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