Link Transit To Name New CEO After Offer Accepted By Finalist
Link Transit could have a new Chief Executive Officer in place by the time retiring head Richard DeRock retires in August.
Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay confirmed Monday that an offer had been accepted by one of the finalists for the position after a consensus was reached on who that finalist would be, and an offer was made.
Overbay represents the county on the Link Transit Board of Directors, as does Commissioner Tiffany Gering.
Later Monday, the transit board formally announced to special meeting Friday at 9am to discuss and ratify a contract to the lead CEO candidate.
The New CEO will either be current Link Transit Chief of Staff Nick Covey or administrators from transit systems in Baton Rouge, Louisiana of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Kelvin Ridgley is currently with Capital Area Transit System in Baton Rouge and Patrick Preusser is Director of Rapid Transit for the City and County of Honolulu.
The transit board had originally planned to approve the next CEO at its meeting in June.
Link Transit Communications Coordinator Eric West says DeRock has set a high bar for his replacement after his many years leading the transit.
"They will be big shoes to fill," said west. "We're hoping we get somebody on board who can take the reins, and then keep us rolling in the direction that Richard got us down."
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 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.