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Opinion

Readers React: Consultants are getting paid for a bullet train we may never get? Outrageous

At the San Joaquin River in Fresno, crews are installing metal decking over the river, concrete supe
A segment of the California bullet train is under construction in Fresno in February 2019.
(California High-Speed Rail Authority)

To the editor: Based on the L.A. Times’ reporting, millions of dollars have been paid out to private consulting firms before any tangible service has begun on California’s high-speed rail system.

All this money will be returned to us when this boondoggle train to nowhere finally bites the dust, right?

Beth Anderson, San Diego

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To the editor: It is hard to believe that the bullet train project is even worse off than we thought.

One piece of information that caught my attention was in the list of consultants. There, taking in millions of dollars, are two of the so-called big four accounting firms, KPMG and Ernst & Young.

We’ve read all along that the High-Speed Rail Authority was doing a disastrously poor job of contract compliance for the billions of dollars being paid out. For CPA firms, of which I was once a proud member, this is Accounting 101.

Both firms are the only consultants indicated as “financial advisor.”

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Warren Larson, Sunland

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To the editor: As a neophyte executive in Orange County government, I quickly realized that county employees were easier to manage and keep on task and were more cost effective than contractors. Still, there was a not-subtle push for us to privatize.

I was mystified by this until a veteran board executive assistant pointed out the obvious: “It’s a way to recirculate public funds into campaign money.”

Sanford Weimer, Los Angeles

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