After the train wreck that has been the Banta saga, Valley Metro has decided to remove the interim label and keep Scott Smith as their CEO.
This should be good news for transit fans as Scott seems like he’s been doing good things in his current role. He’s also got some great experience with our entire system.
While the press release ( below ) that went out today says details are still being finalized, you can bet your last transit dollar that his expense account will have a few more checks and balances than what Banta had…
Big congrats to Mr. Smith, to Valley Metro and to transit fans here in the valley!
Scott Smith to Continue as Valley Metro CEO
Serving as interim since February, Boards of Directors identify Smith as most qualified
PHOENIX, AZ – Today, the Valley Metro RPTA and Valley Metro Rail Boards of Directors took action to finalize an employment agreement with Scott Smith that will transition his service to CEO.
Smith, former Mayor of Mesa, has been Valley Metro’s Interim CEO since February 1, 2016. He will continue to guide the region’s transit system responsible for building and operating light rail, regional bus, Dial-a-Ride and vanpool. The system has nearly $2 billion in assets and an annual budget of nearly $500 million.
“Scott Smith has been extremely responsive to the Boards, implementing critical changes and refocusing Valley Metro with a refreshing level of professionalism, accountability and integrity,” said Valley Metro RPTA Board Chair and Phoenix Councilmember Thelda Williams. “During his time here, we have experienced the value of his combined public and private sector leadership experiences and determined they are a perfect fit for this vital public agency and its future.”
“Scott has done a remarkable job leading Valley Metro over the past nine months during a very challenging period for the organization,” said Valley Metro Rail Board Chair and Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “We are grateful he has accepted our offer to continue leading the agency.”
Smith, an Arizona native and Mayor of Mesa from 2008 to 2014, has been a private sector CEO, attorney and certified public accountant. As mayor, Smith reduced government spending, balanced the budget and slimmed the workforce by 10 percent, making city government leaner, more efficient and more accountable. Recently, Smith served as a Resident Fellow in the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Valley Metro recruited Smith to be the Interim CEO in early 2016.
“I’m honored and excited to lead Valley Metro into the future,” Smith said. “I am passionate about transit because of its power to connect people to their lives and create economic opportunity. I have enjoyed meeting the demands of our Boards and working with a talented Valley Metro staff over the past several months, and look forward to meeting the daily challenges planning, building and operating a world-class transit system.”
Following a nationwide search, the Boards of Directors have offered Smith the CEO position for a period of two years. Salary and other contract details are being finalized.
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