Sheila Haney
Executive Director, Lima Allen County RTA
Sheila Haney Executive Director, Lima Allen County RTA

First, I want to thank the voters of Allen County for your support and confidence in the RTA with your vote to create designated funding for our public transportation services. Your affirmation of the importance of our services is testimony to what I have always believed about the people of our community; you are caring and willing to help your fellow residents. Thank you for understanding the value of the service we bring to Allen County residents and businesses.

Now, I pledge to you, that I will do everything in my power to make sure that we are good stewards of your investment in the Allen County RTA.  We have put a plan together that will fulfill our campaign promises to you. While the funds generated from the new sales tax will not come into our account until the beginning of the 2020 year, we will work this year to improve staffing by hiring needed, additional drivers, increasing our safety training and putting systems and staff in place to be ready to implement expanded services in 2020.

It is my promise that we will continue to provide safe and reliable service to our community.  In 2020 we will bring back the routes for job access. We will bring back the evening service for the second and third shifters along with the Saturday Services.  We will continue to monitor, survey and plan for additional service that our community demands.  With complete transparency, we will make all finance reports available to the public.

When I took this position five years ago it did not take me long to realize how important the needs for public transportation in this community were, and the staff and myself have made many sacrifices in order to continue to provide the services during such a long-term financial crisis. RTA has been struggling for many years here in Allen County and past executive directors stressed their concerns of no designated funding to the Board of Trustees over 15 years ago, but the can continued to be kicked down the road year after year until the reduction in Federal Grants hit ACRTA hard in 2016. It was my mission to provide this community with the most efficient and safest service possible, but this would not be possible without additional revenue due to continued increase in expenses along with the continued decreases and lack of stability for Federal and State grant funding.

I am humbled by the dedicated RTA staff members who were willing to assist through this difficult journey with no health benefits, no raises and not even new uniforms for 2-3 years. In spite of that, they came to work everyday with a positive attitude to do their job and to do it well for the community.

I will extend the invitation that I provided during the Levy; if anyone has questions or concerns, please call or come into the office to have that discussion. I want to thank the folks that did take me up on that offer and did make that visit to our terminal. I understand you cannot make an informed decision if you do not know the answer, so I want all information to be available to you.

This has been a long journey for many of us; but the passion for what we do for our community is the reason we are still here today.

Shelia Haney

Executive Director, Lima Allen County RTA