City of Glendale Councilmember Ara Najarian became the new Chair of the Metro Board of Directors at Metro’s annual State of the Agency event on Thursday morning. Najarian succeeds outgoing Board Chair Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis.
Video of the event is above. If you ride Metro — and thank you if you do! — or you’re interested in trying Metro, please give it a look. There’s a ton of info on big topics that are important to people, namely safety and our future projects.
“I am honored to be selected and I am looking forward to leading the Metro Board over the coming year,” said Najarian. “We have a great number of exciting projects and initiatives coming to fruition in the coming year that will include the opening of both the Regional Connector Transit Project and the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line. In addition, I look forward to continuing to strengthen our commitment to public safety, growing ridership back to pre-pandemic levels, continuing to improve the customer experience and delivering more countywide, regionally integrated projects.”
Najarian, during his first Chairmanship of the agency in 2014, was instrumental in beginning construction and shepherding in the Regional Connector and now as the current Board Chair he will have come full circle from start to finish of this vital transportation project with its opening later this year.
A practicing attorney, Najarian has served on Glendale’s City Council since 2005 and has held the position as Mayor of the City of Glendale four times during his tenure. He also serves as the Chair of Metrolink’s Board of Directors and is a member and past Chair of the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments and past Chair of the Glendale Housing Authority and Glendale Redevelopment Agency.
“I’m excited to work closely with Director Najarian in the coming year,” said Stephanie N. Wiggins, CEO of Metro. “As both the Chair of Metro and Metrolink, Director Najarian will bring a unique perspective to the many mobility challenges facing our region. It’s really important for our region that the Metro and Metrolink partnership be strong. Many of our customers take both systems, and I look forward to working with Chair Najarian to strengthen that partnership in the interest of all Angelenos.”
In approving the appointment of Najarian as new Board Chair, the Metro Board also voted to appoint Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker as the First Vice Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn as the Second Vice Chair.
As Metro’s new Board Chair, Najarian has appointed Chairs and Vice Chairs on six Metro Board Committees. They are:
•Finance, Budget and Audit Committee: Chair will be L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger with L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell as Vice Chair.
•Planning and Programming Committee: Chair will be Glendale Councilmember Ara Najarian with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as Vice Chair.
•Operations, Safety, and Customer Experience Committee: Chair will be L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell with Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval as Vice Chair.
•Construction Committee: Chair will be Whittier City Councilmember Fernando Dutra with L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn as Vice Chair.
•Executive Management Committee: Chair will be Glendale Councilmember Ara Najarian with L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn as Vice Chair.
•2028 Olympics Committee: Chair will be L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis with Glendale Councilmember Ara Najarian as Vice Chair.
The 13-member Board of Directors is comprised of the five Los Angeles County Supervisors, four members appointed by the Los Angeles County City Selection Committee, the Mayor of Los Angeles and three members appointed by the Mayor. The position of Board Chair rotates between the three groups. Najarian’s term as Chair runs from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.
More photos from the State of the Agency are available for download here.
And, finally, if you were on the Alameda Street side of Union Station on Thursday morning, you may have seen Metro’s new Art Bus — coming soon to a street near you! Here’s a sneak peak at the exterior: