BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - For the first time, we're hearing from the now former chairwoman of the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority after she suddenly resigned last week.
"The one message is fight and ask questions," Tameka Wren, former BJCTA chair said.
Tameka Wren says that's what she was trying to do before she resigned last week after her fourth meeting as chairwoman of BJCTA. The questions were over an increase in funding for the BJCTA from the city after a reassessment of money it took to run the transit and meet service hours requested by the city.
Wren says a contract for the increase from $10.8 million over $15 million was never signed by the city even though Wren says both parties supposedly agreed to it verbally.
"There were a lot of questions regarding this discrepancy with the city and why they had not paid and we could not get straight answers," Wren said.
Wren was also hoping to run an audit on the board's operating expenses but she says board members would never agree to it. She also felt like the board couldn't come together to make decisions and that's just one of the reasons she decided to call it quits.
"I do think that there are true issues around governance that I felt were important and I held them to a level 10 but other individuals looked at the same issues and didn't have that same sense of urgency around it and didn't view it as greatly as I did," Wren said.
Now that she's off the board, Wren hopes BJCTA board members can put differences aside and move public transportation forward.
"I think we need to keep our focus on the end game. The end game is improving the life of our citizens. It's also to being good stewards over the money that we're responsible for. This is taxpayer's money," Wren said.
After she left, Wren sent in recommendations to the city for future board members.
Those include sessions on ethics from the attorney general's office. She says people need to know what will cause you "to wear orange and stripes not by choice".
In a statement, Barbara Murdock, the Executive Director of the Transit Authority thanks Wren for her service as the system prepares for the grand opening of the intermodal facility later this month.