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SamTrans names Jim Hartnett to replace Mike Scanlon as CEO

Original post made by Michael G. Stogner, another community, on Mar 11, 2015

San Mateo County Transit District Names Jim Hartnett As New Chief; Will Lead SamTrans Caltrain and SMCTA



March 11, 2015



Jim Hartnett, veteran transportation and community leader, was unanimously appointed today to head the San Mateo County Transit District, an independent and consolidated public agency that includes the SamTrans bus and paratransit system, the Caltrain Peninsula commuter rail service and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, which funds transit and transportation programs.

Hartnett will be the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the District, a job that carries with it the titles of General Manager/CEO of SamTrans, Executive Director of Caltrain and Executive Director of the Transportation Authority.

He starts his new job on March 30.Jim Hartnett Headshot

Hartnett, a Redwood City resident, served more than a decade on both the District and the Caltrain boards of directors and has served both boards as chair. He was appointed four years ago to the California High Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors, where he served most recently as vice chair. He has resigned from that board. He served 15 years on the Redwood City City Council, including terms as mayor and vice mayor.

He replaces Michael J. Scanlon, who is retiring after a distinguished career in the transit industry, which includes running the District for more than 15 years.

“The selection committee, reflecting the stakeholders of San Mateo, Santa Clara, and San Francisco counties, agreed: Jim has the skills and experience we need right now for this job,” said Jeff Gee, who chaired the SamTrans search committee that unanimously recommended Hartnett to the full SamTrans board.

“This is personal for me,” said Hartnett. “I grew up on the Peninsula. I rode the bus before there was a SamTrans. I rode the train before there was a Caltrain. I believe in what transit can do to make a better life for all of us and to preserve those things we so deeply value and treasure about living and working here. I understand the important role our bus and train systems play in maintaining our quality of life and sustaining the economic vitality of our region.”

Added Hartnett: “These three agencies are doing outstanding work and their combined talents comprise a team of well-respected employees who are working together to achieve the region’s transportation vision. I’m privileged to have the opportunity to serve at this extremely important time and I appreciate the confidence and trust that has been placed in me.”

The District serves three counties, 35 cities and millions of residents and commuters. Combined, the three agencies have budgets of more than $500 million, capital projects well in excess of $1.7 billion and engage more than 1,500 full-time, part-time and contracted employees.

Added Gee: “This is an extraordinarily complex job. Leading this multi-agency organization requires more than knowledge about transit and transportation, it requires an individual who understands how to strengthen and maintain the relationships and partnerships essential for success.

“Jim has the highest level of understanding of these three agencies and the communities they serve, along with local, regional, national, and international transit experience. He is a proven Bay Area leader who knows how to collaborate and build consensus,” Gee said.

SamTrans Board Chair Shirley Harris, also a member of the search committee, said, “We were fortunate to have several well-qualified candidates. But Jim had the strongest knowledge of SamTrans and its multi-agency responsibilities as evidenced by having served as chair of the Board of Directors of SamTrans and Caltrain JPB, and Vice Chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority. Jim possesses strong leadership skills, a passion to serve the community, a keen understanding of public policy and familiarity with stakeholders and the political landscape of the region.”

Hartnett’s appointment is the result of a nationwide recruitment that took more than six months and included consideration of more than 200 applicants.

The search committee included:

Redwood City Mayor Jeff Gee, chair of the search effort, who serves on both the SamTrans and Caltrain boards;
Shirley Harris, the current SamTrans board chair;
San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier, who serves on both the SamTrans and Caltrain boards;
South San Francisco City Councilwoman Karyl Matsumoto, who serves on both the SamTrans and TA boards;
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors Chairman Tom Nolan, member of the Caltrain board representing San Francisco;
San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra, member of the Caltrain board representing Santa Clara County;
Also serving as ex officio, non-voting members were SFMTA General Manager Ed Reiskin and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority General Manager Nuria Fernandez.
The committee unanimously recommended Hartnett to the District board.

To view the Board-adopted resolution appointing the new GM, please click HERE.

To view the new General Manager's contract, please click HERE.

To view an overview of the new General Manager's compensation, please click HERE.

To view a summary of the contract terms, please click HERE.

Comments (7)

Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2015 at 4:49 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 funds ($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 gave another long and polite response……which translates to a NO

For those who don't know it Mark DePaula has requested and been denied access to the District Attorney's Criminal Fraud Investigating of SamTrans. Their reason given is that they might get sued.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Mar 14, 2015 at 10:14 am

Here is Mark DePaula asking his question.

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Mar 15, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

I remember Jim Hartnet from a "hit" piece his Citizens for Quality Health Care committee(I.D. 1247951) mailed Web Link See also: Web Link Web Link Web Link
Hartnett suggested that 6 Libertarian candidates, including yours truly, running for seats on the Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors, supported policies which would close Sequoia Hospital. That was 2002, when I was first elected to the Board.

In 2003, Hartnett and his buddies were advocating closure of Sequoia Hospital at it's current location at Whipple and the Alameda (a premier address a.k.a. "The Top of Whipple") to rebuild the hospital down by the Bayshore. That didn't happen, thanks in large part to my petitioning effort and the help of Bob Parkhurst, Walt Englert, Ray Wantin and others. See: Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Mar 15, 2015 at 3:59 pm

San Mateo County can teach the nation something when it comes to National Searches.

I remember when Mike Nevin was on the search committee that did a national search for Service League of San Mateo County. He found himself, the rest is history. Also a little fact he found Mike Scanlon.


Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 16, 2015 at 8:40 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 10:02 am

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


Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 16, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Here is link to the PA Daily Post editorial opinion from Dave Price

Web Link


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

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