A second vacancy opened on the California High-Speed Rail Authority board Thursday morning with the resignation of union official Russ Burns.
Burns' resignation was announced less than an hour before the authority meeting in Sacramento. He notified the board's chairman, Dan Richard, in a letter dated Monday.
Burns is the business manager of Operating Engineers Local 3 and a vice president of the International Union of Operating Engineers. He was appointed to the authority board several years ago by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.
Burns' resignation creates a second vacancy on the nine-member board. Matt Toledo of Los Angeles stepped down at the end of 2011, creating a vacancy yet to be filled by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The agency's vice chairman, Tom Richards of Fresno, announced Burns' decision at the start of the board meeting. Richards said Burns "is needing to turn his time and his efforts toward the administration of Local 3. We will miss him."
The authority is expected to consider approving an agreement with Caltrans to handle a $226 million, 2.5-mile project to relocate a stretch of Highway 99 through Fresno to make way for high-speed train tracks.
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