The High Cost Of Metro Congratulating Itself

Last month, Metro had a big ol' ceremony to mark the groundbreaking on two new light-rail lines.

Union Station was the scene, and a life-size mock version of a light-rail train was included, as this picture from Metro's blog shows:

To the accompaniment of music that was a lame cross between the Terminator soundtrack, the 1812 Overture and a bad `80s hair band, a curtain was dropped, confetti exploded and steam climbed dramatically as the life-size model appeared. (You can watch almost 30 minutes of the mind-numbing speeches, and the dramatic climax, here if you dare.) Other, smaller ceremonies took place along the North and Southeast corridors.

How much did all this cost? About $83,000.

That's all Metro will admit to, answering an Open Records Act request for "Whatever expenditures Metro approved in regards to the July 13 ceremonies." Some costs, obviously, could be absorbed into regular budgets and not need special approval, such as some of the security provided. And if the ceremonies cost more than planned, perhaps some of those bills haven't come in yet.

The actual total approved by Metro was $82,904.26. No breakdown was provided to us, although we guess we can put in another records request and wait 10 days.

Eighty-three thousand bucks seems like a whole lot of money to spend congratulating yourself, but then again we're not in the transportation business. Maybe that's how they -- ha-ha!! -- roll.

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