Elliot Might Get Even More

While browsing the Daily News website, I came across an article which shares even more details about the raise approved, by MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger, for MTA CEO & Executive Director Elliot Sander. It turns out the $10,000 raise is only the tip of the iceberg as work deemed “exemplary” would earn Mr. Sander even more cash. Daily News Transit Reporter Pete Donohue has more:

The MTA’s $350,000-a-year CEO not only snagged a raise in May but a series of hikes and potential bonuses totaling about $32,000 over two years, the Daily News has learned.

An amendment to Elliot Sander’s contract reveals that as the MTA slipped deeper into a fiscal crisis – to the point of possible fare increases and service reductions – Sander renegotiated the terms of his employment to get raises of at least 3% in January 2009 and January 2010.

If Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger deems Sander’s management “exemplary,” then he also gets a $10,000 payment in December 2009 – and $15,000 the following December, the document says.

The News reported Tuesday that Sander’s total economic package, including a base salary of $265,000 and a monthly housing allowance, was boosted to $350,000 last month.

With the contract changes, Sander could ultimately make more than $382,000 in 2010.

The additional details came Wednesday when the MTA, responding to a Freedom of Information Law request, provided the actual contract amendment.

“For the vast majority of riders, these salary increases are puzzling at a time of threatened fare hikes,” said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign.

The MTA in December projected a 2009 operating budget deficit of nearly $220 million. Last week, Sander said the deteriorating economy, resulting in few tax revenues and higher costs, could translate into a deficit in the range of $500 million to $700 million. Fare and toll hikes are a real possibility, he warned.

Hemmerdinger on Monday defended increasing Sander’s pay in part by saying he is paid less than the heads of smaller transit agencies.

I made my feelings known about this raise on Tuesday. It is absolutely disgusting to know he could potentially earn even more money. Yes, he is underpaid compared to other similar ranking transit executives, but now is not the time to dish out raises when you are allegedly too poor to run to the best of your abilities.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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