Link Transit is holding a gathering to let the public meet the finalists vying to be the transit's next CEO. 

Richard DeRock is retiring in August after leading the transit for a record 22 years. 

Link Transit Communications Coordinator Eric West says DeRock leaves a long list of accomplishments. 

“He’s had a big impact on the transit world, and making some pretty visionary improvements here in the area, both in transit and being part of, just the bigger transportation picture working with the cities and counties, and so forth, on pretty widespread projects,” said DeRock. 

The transit board plans to approve the next CEO at its meeting in June. 

West says it's important for the transit to be transparent and involve the public in the process. 

“Well, it’s really important as the new CEO coming into our organization, particularly if it’s an individual from outside the area, that local individuals, particularly people who may be working with this new CEO at some level could have some input and opportunity to meet the candidates prior to the selection process being finalized,” West said. 

The Link Board of Directors hired the recruiting firm, The Prothman Company, to assist with the search for a new CEO. 

There were 14 people who applied for the position by the middle of April. That group was narrowed to nine candidates, who were interviewed mostly by video conference because they reside outside the area. The board then selected three finalists. 

DeRock will leave the CEO position making a salary just over $160,000. About 10 years ago, the board established the salary at a figure of $25,000 above the next-highest salaried employee, which would be the Chief of Staff. Before then, staff provided the board with comparable salaries. 

The public meet and greet is Thursday May 11 from 5-7 pm at the Link Transit Operations Facility, 2700 Euclid Ave. in Wenatchee. The Operations Facility is ADA accessible. 

The LINK Transit governing board includes a representative from each city within Link’s district - Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Chelan, Entiat, Waterville, Rock Island, Leavenworth, and Cashmere. There are two representatives from both Douglas County and Chelan County. State law also requires the transit to have one non-voting board member who is a representative of the bus operator’s union.    

The transit is funded by a local sales and use tax. It began operations in December of 1991 after voters approved a 0.4% tax. By next year, the transit expects to be funded by a total 0.6% sales and use tax collected within the system’s two-county service district.

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