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

Original post made on Mar 12, 2015

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.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 12, 2015, 8:08 AM

Comments (26)

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

It's obvious why he's smiling.


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?


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!


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.


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."


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....


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"


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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

SamTrans Directors
Web Link


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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