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Thursday, May 21, 2009

That ain't Vegemite

When we found out the other day that Fred Hansen (right), the general manager of Tri-Met, will be flitting back and forth between here and southern Australia to play the role of some sort of Down Under philosopher, it reminded us of the famous Peter Kohler. For those of you just joining us, Kohler was the Father of the OHSU Aerial Tram and, like Hansen, an associate of the one and only Neil Goldschmidt. Remember when Kohler was going to take over Portland General Electric and run it on his half-days off? Good times.

But we digress. Getting back to Hansen, his new moonlighting gig under the Southern Cross made us wonder just how much Tri-Met pays that guy. The usually productive Google research method didn't shed any light on the subject. And so we sent a public records request over to the transit agency to see what we could find out.

They were accommodating. What we got in response was, according to a Tri-Met attorney, a list of the employees who are making salaries greater than $100,000 for services rendered during fiscal year 2009, which ends June 30. It turns out that Hansen's salary for this period is $256,954. Which proves once again that it really pays to have been friends with you-know-who, you-know-when.

Next in line on the gravy train (no pun intended) are two "executive directors," Neil McFarlane and Stephen Banta, who each got a "retention and performance award" on top of his base salary. With the awards added in, McFarlane pulls down $213,085, and Banta makes $196,892. Right behind them is Brian Playfair, Tri-Met's main in-house lawyer and its human resources head, at $196,715. Daniel Blocher, a "senior director," is a ways back, at $163,078, followed by another "executive director," Carolyn Young, at $162,001.

In all, the list shows 10 people making more than $150,000; 20 making more than $125,000; and 58 making more than $100,000. The average listed compensation of the top 20 employees was $160,135.

The whole list is here. Like the man says, that and $2 will get you on the bus.

Comments (10)

Is this to much to pay for the TriMet that the Oregonian editorial today calls

"international rock star in the transit firmament, attracting tour groups from all over the world. They come to study light rail, streetcar and the city's success with transit oriented development."



It looks as though those fare increases (collected from ALL riders) have increased revenues such that TriMet can really take good care of their management team.

My a**!!!! Choo-choo!!!!!

For a quarter million a year, he can't give the agency his full attention?

That sounds like a fraud investigation to me...Mr. Kroger?

Someone correct me if I missed it....

Nowhere on that list of the 100k plus hogs on the public teet, did I see a person in charge of security....

It is no wonder that safety and security is so piss poor when you won't pay a respectable wage to the person in charge of it....

"Director Senior Diversity and Transit Equity" at $102,000 a year plus bennies???

What, pray tell, does such a creature do?

How many TriMet fare inspectors and MAX security officers could you employ (at no extra cost!) if you eliminated a few of those administrative positions?

Glad to see TriMet is paring its nonessential spending to the bone. Not.

That $254,000 salary may only be the start of the compensation package for Fred Hansen. Most transit agency CEOs get large bonuses, automobile allowances (!), and other compensation.

Denver's transit agency nominally pays its CEO just under $300,000 a year. With bonuses etc., the total package may come close to $1 million a year.

Talk about cash cow!
So much for serving the public good!

In 2008 the cost of benefits at Tri-met were 118% of salary so, if this group is average they are getting another $300K in benefits on top of those quarter million dollar salaries!

We'd love to know what the car allowance is

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