Is There a Rush to Replace Fred?

Updated: 10am

Spokesperson Mary Fetsch has provided this list of folks involved in the selection:

George Passadore, TriMet’s Board President, appointed board members Rick Van Beveren and Tiffany Sweitzer to join the Board President in forming the TriMet Board Selection Committee.

Additionally, to assist the Selection Committee, a Selection Advisory Group was formed to help in providing screening, review and advice regarding all applicants that are presented to the Selection Committee. The individuals on the Selection Advisory Group are Tom Brian, Chair of the Washington County Commission; Lynn Peterson, Chair of the Clackamas County Commission; Diane McKeel, East Multnomah County Commissioner; Metro Councilor/JPACT chair Carlotta Collette and Robert Williams, past TriMet Board Member and the Board liaison for the Committee on Accessible Transportation.

Original Post:

The transportation grape vine is buzzing with a meme that TriMet already has a short list of candidates to succeed General Manager Fred Hansen.

But the official word from TriMet spokesperson Mary Fetsch is that the selection committee has yet to meet, and there is no specific timeline.

The Metro Council has had a discussion in one of their worksessions about what input Metro should have in the process, and Metro President David Bragdon has spoken with TriMet board president George Passadore. Bragdon indicates that he was left with the impression that a successor might be named as early as the end of the month.

Fetsch tells me that TriMet would welcome any citizen suggestions about the selection process, but as far as I can tell there is no defined citizen involvement process for the decision.

What are our readers hearing about the process?

9 responses to “Is There a Rush to Replace Fred?”

  1. Mary’s full of crap. Passadore said at the board meeting:

    “national search is underway, has already started.”

    “should be wrapped up and a recommendation to the board by 28th of next month”

    Hear for yourself.

    BTW: Passadore pretty much blew-off Lynn Lerbach’s desire to try to hire from within.

    Looks like we’re going to get another Fred, whether we like it or not.

  2. I would love it if Metro offered a short list of potential GMs from which the board could make its decision.

    Although this may not seem plausible as it is not spelled out in any law for TriMet to defer to Metro this decision-making power, it would be great to see this semblance of precedent set for future GMs. This way there is at least SOME public involvement in the process that doesn’t include a lot of legal wrangling.

  3. Max –

    Passadore said, in the video, that there is a “national search” but Fred Hansen, also in the video, said no one is actually searching. They are just screening applicants from all over the country. I would hope Trimet is looking at people from anywhere. Even if they have internal candidates, having external candidates to compare them to is important. Otherwise when the person you hire starts showing their inevitable weaknesses, you can imagine a more perfect candidate out there. Once you do the comparison you know there wasn’t a perfect candidate.

  4. So who is on the selection committee, and when are they scheduled to meet? Last time, the committee was headed by Richard Reitan, CEO of Northwest Natural Gas, and included Gail Achterman of the Oregon Transportation Commission (now chair of OTC). Are there non-board members on the current committee?

    To the extent that the committee is not discussing specific candidates, their meetings should be open and publicized, with minutes taken. Certainly their criteria should be on the public record, with opportunities for input from the public and other government bodies and elected officials.

    Are they only taking “applicants” (who may be job hunting for reasons that are not to the advantage of Portland) or are they willing to do what college sports officials do, and attempt to recruit proven talent?

    Finally, what contract and/or golden parachute are they willing to offer? With a new governor in less than a year, and a board that sits at the pleasure of the governor, it would be a real set-up for a new board to find itself locked in to an expensive contract with a GM that it felt was unsuitable.

  5. What was the date of the meeting that was filmed at? Thanks.
    If it’s from the TriMet Board Meeting, it was March 24th.

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