News

New transit district CEO to get $434K in annual compensation

 

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.)
The $434,661 in annual salary and benefits are in a five-year contract. That includes a base salary of $263,000, $75,000 for managing Caltrain and $25,000 for managing the transportation authority. The remaining $71,661 is the cost of benefits, transit officials said.

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."

— Almanac staff and Bay City News Service

Comments

3 people like this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 12, 2015 at 8:54 am

It's obvious why he's smiling.


1 person likes this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 12, 2015 at 9:25 am

Wow, at 30k per month or $174 per hour, let's hope he can achieve miracles. Do we get it back if he doesn't? What are his measurable goals?


4 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Mar 12, 2015 at 9:50 am

Don't forget the pension plan. Ah, our "public servants"... always looking out for us little guys!


9 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 12, 2015 at 10:03 am

This is an outrage and nothing more than a perfect case of what is wrong with this agency.

See other thread:

Web Link

I hope that the PA Daily news (Dave Price) will give this his full treatment.

How can they have looked at 200 people who applied, and not find many with real experience at running large organizations and with real experience in transportation issues. Harnett has none of this.


8 people like this
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2015 at 10:14 am

A missed opportunity to fill this position for the mid $200,000 range. This is the group of "Those who Matter."


3 people like this
Posted by Fiscal crisis
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Mar 12, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Those in charge of filling this position have zero incentive to save on salary and benefits. If they did, there would be little justification for their own bloated budgets....


6 people like this
Posted by Disappointed Transit rider
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 12, 2015 at 1:15 pm

No way this job could be done for $334,661. We need some to explain why costs keep rising and not point to salaries; with a straight face. Perfect for a lawyer. Next time why not try the least expensive person and give a 1 year contract? If the results are not a fantastic as hoped start a new search. I am sure there are a number of people waiting to make $434k, even in "today's employment market"


9 people like this
Posted by gunste
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Mar 12, 2015 at 1:20 pm

An obscene salary for hat job or most others. The President of the US makes $450K, I think, though he gets a home and lots of perks. Considering the state and potential status of the high speed rail, there is better use for that money.
$200 K would be about right. But then taxpayer money is cheap and easily spent.


2 people like this
Posted by Chance
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Mar 12, 2015 at 1:43 pm

It's obvious he has all the right connections. And for all that money? Mostly delegate, delegate, delegate and actually made a decision once in a while.


3 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm

We should make sure he and wife recluse themselves appropriately from decisions impacting both organizations.

Wonder if he and wife now get free CalTrain and bus passes or are we paying for chauffeurs.


8 people like this
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Reality Check is a registered user.

Those making the appointment read like a list of Mr. Hartnett's closest friends and colleagues over the years. They will not release the names of the 200 other candidates they said they passed over in their 6-month nationwide search to ultimately wind up picking their longtime friend and colleague who has never run or done or studied anything remotely professionally linked to running and managing a large transportation agency. (Being a politically-appointed board member to Caltrain/SamTrans or the HSRA does not count!) Mr. Hartnett's wife, RWC councilmember Foust's longtime position as CEO of SAMCEDA certainly helped him land the post too. This reeks of cronyism at its best!


1 person likes this
Posted by Mark De Paula
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm

It's amazing that with all the applicants nation wide they settle for Mr. Hartnett.
San Mateo County politics & appointments, as usual.


2 people like this
Posted by Sir Topham Hatt
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Mar 12, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Remember- we need higher taxes for schools, fire stations and libraries.

Make-work jobs like this debacle have no impact on why our taxes are so high and we get so little in return.


6 people like this
Posted by The Fat Controller
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 12, 2015 at 4:37 pm

If I read or hear that BS of 'we need to attract the right kind of talent and this is the salary that the market demands...' I think I'll march on New York with the rest of the 99%ers


1 person likes this
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2015 at 4:38 pm

SamTrans meeting today at 11:30AM

Mark DePaula asked a very precise question of Mr. Hartnett, "Will you request D.O.J. and F.B.I. to Investigate why these fund $2.5M were hidden. He named the 3 accountants who claimed they were ordered to hide that money.

After a very long and polite response with no answer, Mr. DePaula requested a Yes or No answer to which he another long and polite response…………NO


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 12, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

More San Mateo County cronyism. What a corrupt county we live in.


9 people like this
Posted by need to recall
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 13, 2015 at 6:24 am

This appointment of Hartnett smells so badly, I can hardly breathe. It makes the SM Transit district board look like the City of Belle and is surely just as corrupt.

There is nothing in Hartnett's background that would make him seem to be a able replacement for Scanlon, and the contract is nothing but totally obnoxious.

Is the public going to let this stand, or our we going to do more than just vent our frustrations. We need to recall these board members and not just let this pass.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2015 at 12:34 pm

SamTrans Directors
Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Mar 14, 2015 at 9:22 am

Mark DePaula asking Jim Hartnett to contact DOJ or FBI to investigate the $2.5M that was ordered hidden according to 3 whistleblower accountants who no longer work there.

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 16, 2015 at 8:39 am

Well, be sure to read the PA Daily Post today (3/15/2015)

Editor Dave Price on page 6 devotes almost a full page to this appointment. The title is

Big Paycheck Kills Caltrain tax idea. It is very comprehensive in its coverage. A must read.

Voters must wake up.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2015 at 10:04 am

Great article by Dave Price today, I wish my residents could see it.


Like this comment
Posted by PeterWhipple
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Mar 16, 2015 at 11:31 am

Here's a link to article referenced by Michael Stogner.

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by PeterWhipple
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Mar 16, 2015 at 11:45 am

Darn, it appears that link will not work. I am working on getting a direct link to the article.


2 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 16, 2015 at 11:46 am

PeterWhipple:

Can't view the article from your link --- don't have a BOX account


Like this comment
Posted by PeterWhipple
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Mar 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Here another attempt at a link to the very provocative Daily Post column by Dave Price:

Web Link
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Here is another link to the PA Daily Post article

Web Link


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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