By Paul Dyson, RailPAC President
I have to say that after many weeks of preparation I was very gratified to see an almost full room, nearly three hundred people with all three organizations well represented. We have a lot of dual members, which is great, as we need national and regional support groups.
Having set the program (only finalized less than a week before the event) it became obvious that weâ€™d have to keep on â€œrun eightâ€ to get through the day and to give each speaker a reasonable amount of time. The sacrificial lamb therefore was questions and answers, and time for general debate about our objectives for the year, threats to services, opportunities for expansion and all the other topics we would have loved to spend more time on. For this I apologize. It broke my heart to have to keep cutting off the Q & A, as this is your meeting, not mine. I hope you agree that the quality of the speakers and presentations made up for the lack of audience participation. Iâ€™m glad that many of you were able to talk to Mr. Kummant and others during the break periods.
Weâ€™re aiming to do more members meetings in the fall that will feature a much smaller formal program with much more time for member input. Ideas for venues, speakers and topics, together with volunteers to help organize the events will be most welcome. I want to try and stage an event in the Central Valley, probably Fresno, as well as northern and southern California.
To those of you that supported the event, a big thank you. We have many challenges in the year ahead and we need more active members and more financial support so that we can step up our level of campaigning. The Board meets at the end of April to set our course for the year ahead. Please give us your support to build passenger rail service in California.