Is HART board mov­ing too fast?

Tampa Bay Times - - Front Page - BY CAITLIN JOHN­STON Times Staff Writer

The Hills­bor­ough Re­gional Tran­sit Au­thor­ity has been without a CEO for a year, but some crit­ics are say­ing the process to hire a new head for the agency is mov­ing too quickly. The agency’s board will meet to­day to try to nar­row its list of fi­nal­ists.

But is Hills­bor­ough mov­ing too fast to find a tran­sit chief ?

TAMPA — Hills­bor­ough County’s tran­sit agency is poised to add about $1.4 bil­lion dol­lars to its bud­get in the next decade — but first, it needs to hire a CEO.

The Hills­bor­ough Area Re­gional Tran­sit Agency board is in­ter­view­ing can­di­dates this month to re­place Katharine Ea­gan, who left for Pitts­burgh a year ago.

Politi­cians and com­mu­nity mem­bers agree it is a piv­otal time for the agency as it pre­pares to re­ceive more than $130 mil­lion in new sales tax rev­enue each year on the heels of a Novem­ber ref­er­en­dum — though Hills­bor­ough County Com­mis­sioner Stacy White has asked a judge to de­ter­mine whether the char­ter amend­ment vi­o­lates state law. The agency’s cur­rent bud­get is about $80 mil­lion.

But some are con­cerned that board mem­bers are nar­row­ing the can­di­date field too quickly.

The board dis­cussed nine

CHRIS URSO | Times

Hills­bor­ough Com­mis­sioner Stacy White filed a suit over a trans­porta­tion tax ap­proved by vot­ers in Novem­ber.

HART board chief Les Miller backs the se­lec­tion process.

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