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LTD job finalists urge input of public.

Byline: Lauren Fox The Register-Guard

Three finalists hoping to become Lane Transit District's next general manager said Thursday that while LTD is ahead of the transportation planning curve in many ways, garnering community support for mass transit will be a key focus of the job.

Fewer than 30 people gathered at St. Mary Catholic Church to hear from and pose questions to Ronald Kilcoyne, Karen King and Ralph Power.

All three candidates lead transit districts that are slightly smaller than LTD in fleet size, Kilcoyne in Connecticut and King and Power in California.

Each candidate was allotted 20 minutes to answer the same series of questions, ranging from why they are the best person for the job to the extent that the public should be involved in LTD's planning process.

"It's important we hear from all our constituents," Power said. "The transit system serves the entire community so it needs to work for the entire community."

Whoever is selected for the job will walk into a financially squeezed district that has had to deal with service cuts, rising fuel costs and a controversial plan to extend rapid-bus EmX service to west Eugene.

Several of the written questions from community members focused on what steps the candidates would have taken to minimize the controversy over the rapid-bus extension.

"I understand that was a bit controversial," King said. "Decision-making needs to be a dialogue, not a one-way conversation. The community needs to know what LTD is thinking every step of the way."

A nationwide search for a new LTD executive was conducted by the Generator Group, a Portland firm specializing in executive searches, and attracted 67 candidates.

The public forum was the second part of a three-day process that also included panel interviews with the LTD board, LTD employees and community leaders. The LTD board plans to meet today in executive, or nonpublic, session to discuss the candidates, and board President Michael Eyster said he's optimistic that it will be ready to announce a new general manager within the next 10 days.

Kilcoyne outlined his view on the general manager's relationship with the transit board.

"I see the board as my boss, but as the general manager, you are the lighting rod, the chief spokesperson out in the community," he said. "That's an important role."

The finalists are seeking to succeed Mark Pang born, who plans to retire June 30 after nearly 29 years with the agency. Pangborn became general manager in 2006.

The LTD board has set an initial salary range of $130,000 to $150,000 for the new general manager. Pangborn's salary is $137,780. With benefits, his total annual compensation is $199,000.

LTD JOB FINALISTS

RONALD KILCOYNE

Present position: Seven-year CEO and general manager of the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority, Bridgeport, Conn.

Fleet: 60 buses

Accomplishments: Restored authority from deficit position to solvency; developed and implemented fare structure

Formerly: Two-year group leader in transit planning, Korve Engineering, Los Angeles

Education: Bachelor of science in business administration, University of San Francisco

KAREN KING

Present position: Three-year CEO of Golden Empire Transit District in Bakersfield, Calif.

Fleet: 88 buses

Accomplishments: Reallocated bus service to better reflect current travel demand; reshaped corporate culture to be more achievement-oriented

Formerly: Six-year executive director, North San Diego County Transit Development Board, Bakersfield

Education: Master of science in intermodal transportation management, University of Denver

RALPH POWER

Present position: Two-year general manager of Downtown Dash in Los Angeles, a transit service operated by Veolia Transportation, a private company

Fleet: 66 buses

Accomplishments: Developed strategic plans and targeted performance improvement; developed senior management staff and positioned them for expanded roles

Formerly: Three-year assistant general manager, Veolia/Professional Transit Management, Tucson, Ariz.

Education: Master of business administration, international business, University of Southern Colorado
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Title Annotation:Local Government; The three candidates for general manager say community support is vital
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Apr 29, 2011
Words:626
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