- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Capital Area Transit System has granted the parish bus system’s leader a 19 percent pay raise, making him one of the Baton Rouge’s highest-paid public officials.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Mirabito will now earn a base salary of $175,000 a year - higher than the salaries of both the mayor and police chief - under the terms of a new three-year contract, which goes into effect May 1.

Mirabito has led the bus system for a year-and-a-half.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1EaU2l1 ) CATS board members entered an executive session Tuesday to privately discuss Mirabito’s performance before voting unanimously to accept the contract with the pay raise. They did not discuss the matter in public.

Mirabito said his new contract will give needed stability for the next three years.

While board members have often applauded Mirabito, he has come under fire from Metro Council members and union leaders who have criticized his management style and the performance of the bus system.

CATS Board President Donna Collins-Lewis defended Mirabito’s new salary, saying they compared his pay range to other leaders in the transit industry rather than other public officials in the city. Mirabito agreed.

“We’re in line with what CEOs get paid in public transit,” Mirabito said.

Mirabito’s base salary could continue to increase up to 5 percent a year depending on performance evaluations. In addition to the higher base salary, the three-year contract will give Mirabito an extra $700 a month - $8,400 per year - for out-of-pocket expenses for employee benefits like health insurance and a retirement plan.

He will receive $60 a month for a cellphone, but no travel reimbursements unless he is outside of East Baton Rouge.

Mirabito could earn an extra $12,500 performance bonus after the first year of the new contract if the board comes up with metrics for extra incentive-based compensation.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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