Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Caltrain Hedge Fund executive

As the push to bail out Caltrain becomes louder and stronger from our several career bound elected officials, I remind all those Caltrain enthusiasts of the following facts.

What the article below doesn't mention, and I don't know whether this is included in Scanlon's $400K salary, is the annual $25,000. housing benefit. And, as we are told here, there may be other perks not as yet identified but bringing the grand annual total to $440K.  

As I've said in prior blogs, Scanlon makes as much as the President of the United States.  

Caltrain deficit my ass!!!!!

I especially love the justification that Scanlon is head of three agencies. That is exactly one of the major problems with Caltrain, it's baroque overlapping jurisdictions which permit a shell game of large dimensions.  Remember, Scanlon, who is CEO of SamTrans, cut off the subsidy funding for Caltrain, and then complained about an impending Caltrain bankruptcy.

People who are very arrogant usually consider everyone else (like all of us) very stupid. (See the CHSRA for additional empirical evidence of this law of physics.) 

I've outlined a number of conditions that must be imposed on Caltrain before they receive one additional penny of tax payer dollars. Each of the counties is already pouring millions of dollars annually into Caltrain through various funding channels such as San Mateo County's Measure A. 

One idea that had been proposed during the JPB hearings a week ago was that Caltrain could be terminated as an organization and the rail line itself folded into the organization that includes BART.  That way, one organization would manage a single, comprehensive commuter rail system around the entire Bay.  

Caltrain hardware would not have to be altered, except evolutionary over time with rolling stock upgrades, etc. as funding sources appear.  The latest versions of DMUs would be appropriate.  The Caltrain trains would be painted gray and have a BART logo.  They would not require actual hardware compatibility with BART.  But the two rail lines would no longer conflict; instead they would coordinate.  I don't know if that's a good idea or not, but it's the kind of thinking outside the box that there should be much more of. 

As Huge Deficit Looms, Caltrain CEO Paid $400,000

SAN FRANCISCO: New Report Shows Caltrain CEO Is Highest Paid Transit...

Updated: 11:00 am PST February 8, 2011
SAN MATEO CO., Calif. -- As Caltrain prepares to make millions in budget cuts, a report was released Tuesday morning showing that the agency's CEO is the highest paid transit chief in the state.

Last year, Caltrain CEO Michael Scanlon made $400,688*, the highest salary of any transit agency chief in the state by $47,000 and 59 percent higher than the median CEO salary across all 23 Bay Transit agencies, according to an article in Tuesday’s edition of the San Mateo County Times.

The article came just days before the Cal Train board was set to declare a fiscal emergency and considered closing down a half of agency’s 32 stations in order to close a $30-million budget deficit. Other potential money-saving measures include raising fares and stopping services during all times except during the weekday-commuting hours.

The agency has already cut services and raised fares within the past three years, and in that same time period it raised administrator pay by 14 percent (Scanlon’s salary in June 2007 was $324, 836.) Rail line worker salaries have also increased by 40 percent since 2007, due to national labor agreements at Amtrak.

Scanlon even makes more than BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger, who made $353,000 last year, and BART is four times larger than Caltrain. Third on the salary list is Art Leahy, Los Angeles Metro’s CEO, who made $267,000 last year running California’s largest transit agency, which is 15 times larger than Caltrain.

Board members said Scanlon’s pay is based on his accomplishments, such as starting the baby bullet train, and the fact that he is running not one but three agencies, overseeing an estimated 800 employees.

The next meeting for Caltrain’s Board of Directors was planned for 10 a.m. Thursday at the agency’s offices in San Carlos.

To see how much was paid to state employees in 2009, go to Mercury

*With benefits, Scanlon’s salary is about $440,000, according to the San Mateo County Times.
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