Town hall meeting held to discuss future of CATS

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It was a time for community leaders and taxpayers alike to share concerns Tuesday night.

"To say there are a lot of frustrated, unhappy and in many instances angry citizens would be an understatement," said Baton Rouge Metro Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards.

Edwards organized a town meeting at Southern University to discuss the current state of the Capital Area Transit System.

"Accountability, accountability, accountability," said Mayor Kip Holden.

CATS management and specifically Board President Isaiah Marshall has come under fire of late for decisions relating to the use of funds in the system and a few questions submitted by taxpayers reflected that concern.

"Are all current CATS board members willing to resign? If not, why not?" read one card.

"I don't believe there's anything I've done as it relates to misconduct in office or not look out for the people looking to ride this system," said Marshall. "I've done none of those things and that's why I continue to serve today."

Other questions centered on meeting guidelines set by groups like Together Baton Rouge.

"What percentage will be met by this year?" was read from another submitted card.

"We are going to go through and put together another report card. I have no problem with accountability for myself or the organization and that's what I'm trying to push here folks," said Interim CATS CEO Robert Mirabito.

CATS leaders explained that many of the problems date back to years before current members joined the board but the prevailing message remained, changes need to be made moving forward.

"If this system does not get back on its feet soon, then the economic consequences for this city, parish and those who depend on the buses to go to work will get worse," said Holden.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.