High-Speed Rail

Union leader leaving high-speed rail board

Construction union leader Robert Balgenorth resigned from the California High-Speed Rail Authority's board, creating a third vacancy among the board's nine positions. Balgenorth's departure was announced by the agency Friday afternoon.

Balgenorth, who is president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council, was appointed to the high-speed rail board in March 2011 by the state Senate's Rules Committee.

In his resignation letter dated Thursday, Balgenorth said extensive travel plans upon his retirement from the trades council later this month will keep him away from many of the rail board's meetings.

Two other seats on the board remain unfilled. Matthew Toledo, a Los Angeles businessman who was appointed in late 2010 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, stepped down at the end of 2011.

And Russ Burns, business manager for the Operating Engineers Union Local 3 in Sacramento and a 2009 appointee of then-Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, resigned in August.