CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicagoan now heads the city-suburban Metra commuter board for the first time in 30 years, reports WBBM’s John Cody.

Once an independent Chicago Alderman in the ‘70s and ’80s, Martin Oberman has now been elected chairman of Metra, after his appointment to the board by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“A person committed to public service, committed to the task ahead of him, and bringing a vision of how to modernize something that will help serve the overall regional economy which Chicago is the center of,” said Emanuel.

On the Metra board, Oberman replaced Larry Huggins, whom Emanuel ousted because of questions about patronage.