Job Posting: Regional Transit Authority Seeks CEO



The RTA Board of Directors has extended its application dealine for the RTA CEO search to April 30th, 2014. Below is the text of the memo, found in its original form Here.

March 27, 2014

To: All applicants and prospective applicants for the position of Chief Executive Officer,
Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan
From: Dennis L. Schornack, Interim Chief of Staff
Re: Extension of open application period to April 30, 2014; board interviews May 21, 2014

Applicants and prospective applicants for the position of Chief Executive Officer, Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (the “Authority”) are advised that the open application period, initially set to close on March 28, 2014 is hereby being extended to April 30, 2014. Additionally, the date for candidate interviews before the board of directors has been changes from the initial date of April 23, 2014 to May 21, 2014. Please take note of these date changes. 

As you may know, the voting membership of the board of the Authority is comprised of two appointees from each of the four counties, and one appointee from the City of Detroit. The initial terms for the appointees were staggered such that four county appointees received one-year terms, and the other four county appointees received three-year terms as provided by law. The appointee of the Mayor of Detroit serves an initial term of two years. 

The timing of the CEO search happened to coincide with the expiration of the terms of the four one-year appointees from each county, and the Authority has been advised by the counties that in at least two cases, the replacement of the initial one-year appointee will not be done in time for the previously scheduled candidate interviews before the board of directors. 

Therefore, as a courtesy to the counties that comprise the Authority, the application period has been extended to April 30, 2014, and board interviews have been rescheduled to May 21, 2014 in order to provide the time necessary to ensure that all of the Authority’s member jurisdictions have full representation on the board as it considers candidates for the CEO position. The selection of a CEO is a critical decision for the board, and it is important that the full board participate in this decision. 

Thank you for your interest in the Authority and please accept our apologies for any inconvenience these date changes may cause.

The following job posting appears in full, with permission from the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan. This posting is available in its original form, via the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)  here:

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan

Posted: Immediate Opening

Position Type: Full-Time

Primary Industry: Public Transportation

Location: Southeast Michigan

Country: United States

Organization Information:
The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (the “RTA”) was created through state legislation on December 19, 2012 (MI P.A. 387, 2012). The RTA service area is comprised of the four counties of Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne, and includes the City of Detroit. The Authority is governed by a ten-member board with two representatives from each of the participating counties, one representative from the City of Detroit, and one non-voting member appointed by the governor who serves as chair. The purpose of the RTA is to coordinate the activities of the existing transit agencies within its jurisdiction and secure funding to improve and enhance public transportation within the four county region and the City of Detroit.

The immediate task for the CEO will be to take the lead executive responsibility for developing a regional transit plan and securing a local dedicated source of funding for the RTA service region that will be positively embraced and approved by the taxpayers of the region through a vote of the people. The RTA board of directors has selected November 4, 2016 as the date upon which voters in the region will have the opportunity to approve a referendum to provide a sustainable revenue stream to fund regional transit.

The RTA board of directors has adopted an annual administrative budget of $905,816.00.


Position Details:

Job Description:
The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan seeks an outstanding individual as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO reports directly to the Board of Directors.

The CEO will take the lead role for the Authority in developing an approved transit plan and a local dedicated funding vehicle for the RTA service area. The CEO will provide the leadership in organizing the effort to secure a positive vote to support a dedicated local source of funding.

The CEO will have overall responsibility for all aspects of the RTA administration and operations. Over the next two to three years, these responsibilities are anticipated to include:

 Guiding development of the RTA’s initial budget and staffing, and charting a path to fiscal sustainability for the Authority

The CEO will have overall responsibility for all aspects of the RTA administration and operations. Over the next two to three years, these responsibilities are anticipated to include:

 Guiding development of the RTA’s initial budget and staffing, and charting a path to fiscal sustainability for the Authority
 Creating the master regional transit plan for the entire four-county metro Detroit area
 Working to seamlessly connect users with public transit in counties adjoining the RTA region
 Leading public engagement, fund-raising and education regarding the RTA’s activities in advance of an expected ballot campaign for regional transit funding
 Identifying and leading the implementation of opportunities for coordination and collaboration between the region’s local transit agencies
 Directing the RTA’s capital development program, including directing Alternatives Analyses, NEPA compliance, engineering, and implementation of fixed-guideway rapid transit systems on multiple regional corridors

Employment Standards:

Successful candidates will have considerable experience with planning, designing and managing public transit projects; raising funding from private and public sources; running campaigns for public approval of bonding, millages and other proposals; and working with local, state and federal appointed and elected officials. Experience working with local government is preferred.

Key Requirements:
Knowledge of:
 Working with county, state, and federal government officials including appointed and elected office holders
 Planning and executing successful ballot initiatives, and securing substantial donations, corporate partnerships, and institutional grants
 The local cultural and political landscape within southeast Michigan public transportation planning and operations
 Laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations affecting public transportation
 Strategic long-term fiscal planning and cost management, financial management, and information management systems
 Economic, political, social, environmental, and psychological factors related to the provision and use of public transit

Ability to:
 Lead and manage long-term local dedicated revenue generation from individual, foundation, and corporate sources; research funding sources; cultivate donors and lead the creation of a multi-faceted stakeholder engagement program
 Work effectively and persuasively with elected officials, agencies, the business community, organized labor, senior and disabled communities, public constituencies, and the media.
 Effectively communicate transportation policy and planning issues and alternatives to the Board of Directors and stakeholders
 Foster a cooperative spirit among the four counties and the City of Detroit toward a unified delivery of services
 Represent the RTA locally, regionally, and nationally
 Strive to build consensus among the Board of Directors, staff, labor, internal committees, and external groups
 Ensure excellent organizational operations and services by overseeing administration of all programs and activities in support of the mission, philosophy, goals, objectives, and standards of the RTA
 Work with service providers to achieve transportation service coordination
 Interpret and analyze fiscal, operational, and planning data, user feedback, and governmental regulations
 Establish management objectives and plan programs to accomplish them
 Attract and retain key individuals with a goal toward succession planning and recruitment and promotion of women and minorities

Location: Metro Detroit

Salary and Benefits: Competitive and Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date: 3/28/2014

Start Date: Earliest Availability

Date for Board Interviews: April 16, 2014

Equal Employment Opportunity:

The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. The RTA complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Act:

All meetings of the RTA Board concerning selection of the CEO are subject to the Open Meetings Act (OMA) and related materials are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). An applicant may request that the contents of his/her application be reviewed in a closed session. The application is still subject to other provisions of OMA, so the request would not exempt the application or application
review from all OMA requirements. All interviews will be open to the public.

At Will Employer:

Employment with the RTA is voluntary and is subject to termination by the employee or the RTA at will, with or without cause, and with or without notice, at any time. Nothing in this notice shall be interpreted to be in conflict with or to eliminate or modify in any way the employment-at-will status of RTA employees. The only exception to this policy is a written employment agreement approved at the
discretion of the RTA Board of Directors.

Contact Information

Candidates are requested to forward a resume, cover letter and any additional information that will assist the board in reviewing their qualifications and interest in the CEO position to:

Mailing address
Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
SEMCOG c/o Carmine Palombo or Deanna Donahoo
1001 Woodward Avenue, Suite 1400
Detroit, MI 48226-1904
(313) 961-4266

Carmine Palombo

Deanna Donahoo


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