Low salary a problem in prolonged T General Manager search?

Jonathan Davis

A low-paying salary and the uncertain outcome of potential fare increases coming down the tracks have been factors in the delayed search for a new MBTA general manager, according to some transit board members.

“The salary that we have been paying is very much on the low side and many candidates [currently] have considerably higher salaries,” said MassDOT board member Elizabeth Levin.

Levin is the chairwoman of the search committee tasked with finding a new GM, a duty they had hoped to wrap up in December.

“We have just been very busy here,” said Levin. “We are going to move forward, but it’ll probably be the spring [when a new GM is chosen].”

Levin said the three-person committee, which includes MassDOT Secretary Rich Davey, the former GM, is searching for a replacement “at a time when [the T’s] funding isn’t so certain.”

“There were probably people who didn’t apply because of the salary,” she said.

Acting GM Jon Davis assumed the role in September when Davey was promoted.

MBTA Advisory Board Executive Director Paul Regan said he’s surprised he hasn’t “heard a peep” from the committee about the GM search status.

“It’s out of the ordinary,” said Regan. “[The board has] played everything very close to the vest.”
Regan said if it were up to him, he’d vote for Davis for the gig.

“In a heartbeat,” he said. “I would feel lucky to have him, rather than just plucking someone without his level of experience or knowledge.”

T officials declined to comment if Davis’ hat was in the ring.

Search committee members would not disclose the number of applicants.

Doing just fine

Acting GM Jon Davis is happy to hold the spot of T boss until the committee finalizes its search, according to T officials.

“He is pleased to serve for as long as the board and the secretary desire,” said spokesman Joe Pesaturo, on behalf of Davis.

Davis has attended nearly every public hearing on the T’s proposed fare increases and service cuts. 

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear


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