Reward without risk. That’s the secret to being CEO of a fortune 500 company in America. Apparently, the same thinking applies to being the CEO of RTA in Dayton:
A five-year contract with no pay increase was approved Tuesday, June 2, for Greater Dayton RTA Executive Director Mark Donaghy.
Trustees cited RTA’s continuing financial problems and complimented Donaghy’s willingness to forgo a raise. Last year’s 4 percent raise and a bonus put his total earnings at $183,034.
The new five-year contract also includes no bonus provisions, so his salary will remain at the base pay of $166,546, board President Bryan Bucklew said.
That is a 9 percent decrease from Donaghy’s 2008 earnings and he also will get no raise in this final year of his current contract, which expires at year’s end.
Sure, Mr. Donaghy is a steal when compared to his overpaid and incompetent predecessor, Minnie Fells Johnson, however, to be paid more than the Deb Feldman at the County and Dayton City Manager Rashad Young- who both oversee bigger budgets, is a farce. Finding out some drivers are making almost $100k thanks to overtime also says someone isn’t watching his budget very well- you could hire 2 drivers for that pay.
We’ve seen a new slogan, new paint, new buses, a new transit station that is behind schedule and a cutting of service and raising fares. This doesn’t sound like what the second highest paid official in the County should be rewarded for. (The highest paid is Dr. Steven Johnson of Sinclair- the one place where the dollars still seem to buy a great value around here).
Considering that Donaghy fired the woman who had successfully sold ads on the buses for years- bringing in private money to subsidize the service, and his replacement contractor has failed miserably, what exactly does he do that makes him so exemplary?
I’ve tired to talk to him about using the bcycle access card for fares on the buses- to which I get a big “I dunno” if the technology is possible.
Sure, Mark is a nice guy, but, when we’re all tightening our belts and asking unions to take cuts, just agreeing not to take a raise isn’t setting a very good example. Taking an $18K/10% cut wouldn’t kill him- and would cut the cost of the DPS bus pass raise in half (if memory serves, it was an extra $36K or so).
The raising of fares 2x in the last year was the last thing we need to do in these tough economic times. Considering bigger systems in Cleveland and Columbus both pay less, maybe it’s time to see if we can make a trade?