“We’re pretty confident in the safety aspects of it,” Cline says. “You know I’m a licensed engineer, one of the things I want to make sure we do is protect the public we’re doing a job with.”
When Duty Calls
“There are very few places you get to lead an 800-person organization, like as a battalion commander,” Cline says of his military experience. “There’s something to getting over being able to stand in front of a group of people and being able to speak intelligently. You get a real chance to learn how to do that in the military environment.”
And while Cline is overseas, there is an interim CEO in place. A former city manager, Jim Witt had the job for a period of time before Cline came to DCTA. “We actually worked together when he was the city manager at Capelle and I was the public works director in Irving,” Cline says. “We worked on some things together and so I knew him from before and again, from the staff and board’s perspective, we’re real fortunate that he’s coming back to help out during this time period.
“This whole military thing, it’s part of what we need to do,” Cline states. “It is difficult and I’d love to see construction happen and opening day and all of that, but when duty calls, you’ve got to go take care of it.”
Regarding the opening of the A Train, he knows everything is in place to get done. “Between the board, the staff and Mr. Witt that’s filling in for me, I don’t think we’re going to miss a beat,” he says. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in the folks here; everybody’s got a job to do. As of next week, mine will be to go take care of some Army business. I’ll go take care of that, then come back and get on with running a railroad.”