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March 10, 2015





I guess I nailed that one if I do say so myself: "Given how crucial the SamTrans chief exec is to High-cost Rail since he or she also runs Caltrain and the SM County Transportation Authority, Jerry may actually think that (fat paycheck) is OK!"

So of all the experienced railroad/bus line execs in the country we get a politician and high-cost rail board member for $15K more per year. Not a bad pay package for running a 77 miles train and a decent sized bus system.


I have been getting many emails regarding the new hire to head up Caltrain/Samtrans. They have all been consistent in their sentiment. Some have used the words "outrageous" or "cronyism."

Dave Price of the Daily Post in his editorial yesterday is quite clear that he too feels the outrage of replacing one very highly paid CEO with one with an even higher salary who hasn't yet proven he can do the job. As the Post is not online, here are some key quotes, some paraphrased:

"Any chance on passing a tax to improve Caltrain is now dead. The transit board killed any hope of passing such a tax when it hired Hartnett at a staggering $434,661 per year." ( Hartnett's salary will be higher than his predecessor, $419,492.)

Price goes on to question Hartnett's qualifications, the hiring process and his marriage to a board member of the San Mateo County Transit Authority which awards transit tax dollars to agency like Caltrain and Samtrans.

Price also points out an irony, ( one that I have always thought about) and that's the fact that Hartnett, like Mike Scanlon before him, gets a car to use on the job. Price and I think if you work for a transit agency you ought to use it to get to work.

This hire, in my opinion, is government at its worst. Nothing against Hartnett necessarily, but I'm a process guy and it is clear the process is broken. While I can't fix the process, I can, like Price, attempt to shine some more light on a process that has been cloaked in darkness.


....it's no secret that the pockets of wealth, are in a politician's pants...


Far more important than salary is what improvements Mr Hartnett will make to the county's transit systems. In his previous stint, he tried to ban bikes from Caltrain entirely, but now the system can barely keep up with demand from riders who need bikes to make last-mile connections. Will we see more Caltrain service at Broadway station? More frequent bus service on the ECR and 292 routes? More frequent BART service? These would all make commuting to and from Burlingame a lot easier, and I'm eager to see if Mr Hartnett is interested in any of them.

Steve K

Paying that type of salary to a government employee is disgusting. That should be prominently pointed out every time and at every opportunity when the government brings any bond or tax measure up for vote.

If HSR management and their team can ignore the laws, why don't we all?


The people behind high speed rail are more than disgusting...they are more like the smell of a rotting, dead animal in the hot sun.


Because their team just keeps delivering people that not only break the law, but who also do so with great contempt for the rule of law.

The people of California voted in the high speed rail with very specific conditions - and yet the-end-justifies-the-means HSR management just flips the bird to the voters and ignores the laws instead.

Do you like and benefit from the rule of law in The United States, or should we go back to having kings and queens rule and thus do whatever they want at their whim? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lDN5b6ET0I&sns=em

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