A former Redwood City councilman and member of the California High Speed Rail Authority board was appointed Wednesday as the new general manager and chief executive officer of the San Mateo County Transit District with an annual compensation of $434,661.
As general manager and CEO of the transit district, Jim Hartnett, 64, will head Caltrain, SamTrans and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. The three agencies have combined budgets of more than $500 million, and more than 1,500 employees, officials said.
Jim Hartnett. (Photo: Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau law firm in Redwood City.)
Mr. Hartnett, an attorney and Peninsula native, has served on both the district and Caltrain board of directors for more than a decade and served 15 years on the Redwood City council, including terms as mayor and vice mayor.
He served four years on the high speed rail board, including a term as vice chair, but has now resigned from that board.
He replaces Michael Scanlon, who held the post for more than 15 years. Mr. Hartnett is scheduled to start on March 30.
Mr. Hartnett is founding partner of the Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau law firm in Redwood City.
He is married to Rosanne Foust, president and CEO of the San Mateo County Economic Development Association. He has two grown sons; Mr. Hartnett and Ms. Foust are raising two daughters, one in high school and one in her second year at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Regarding Mr. Hartnett's compensation, search committee chairman Jeff Gee said in a written statement:
"The San Mateo County Transit District is a model of consolidated government -- three separate agencies with three separate boards of directors and three separate budgets, each engaged in complex and critical work that impacts the lives of millions of people in this region.
"The District deserves the best talent that we can afford, attract and retain. The person in this job must be compensated in a manner that reflects the challenges and responsibilities of the position, as well as the expectations of our community and region that this work be performed at the highest level and with the greatest skill.
"In today's employment market, we are competing not only with other transit agencies in the United States, but also with transit agencies internationally, as well as the private sector.
"We are fortunate that Jim is willing to take on this daunting task, and leave behind a highly regarded and extraordinarily successful legal practice."