More than a hundred people have applied to lead the troubled Capital Area Transit System, an agency official said, but 17 appear to meet the qualifications for the job.
Monday was the deadline to submit a résumé to take over from Bob Mirabito, who resigned as CATS CEO last month.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, search committee Chairman Ken Perret reported that 17 candidates appear to have the experience and basic requirements for the job. At least a hundred more — “tons” more, according to the board’s lawyer — applied but did not appear to meet the basic requirements. All manner of applicants, including nurses and teachers, submitted their names, attorney Creighton Abadie said.
Members of the search committee will begin winnowing the field and scheduling interviews through the summer, Perret said. He hopes to hire a new CEO by August.
Acting CEO Bill Deville has applied to take over the job on a permanent basis.
Tuesday, Deville told the board of his plans to move most of the bus system’s transit hubs. The general structure of the system will stay in place, but the new bus stops will be in areas with more space or closer to amenities.
He wants to move the north Baton Rouge hub from its site by the defunct Earl K. Long Medical Center about a quarter-mile down the road to a site near the LSU urgent care facility.
The Louisiana Secretary of State has asked CATS to move the downtown hub away from the Old State Capitol to make room for visiting school buses, and Deville said it will give CATS an opportunity to seek a hub along the route of the proposed streetcar designed to run between LSU and downtown.
Management at the Mall of Louisiana has turned over, and the new staff is less thrilled with the existing hub there. Deville also said he is working with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center to move that area’s hub to the campus of the planned children’s hospital.
By getting on board early, CATS can be involved in the design of the campus, he said.
Finally, the interim CEO said he is working to move the Cortana hub to a new location with more space by the nearby Virginia College.
In other business, the CATS board agreed to host a public meeting when it convenes in August to discuss rolling CATS’ property tax forward.
The city-parish is in the midst of a reassessment, which is expected to increase the amount of taxable property, meaning the transit system will be eligible to collect about $665,000 more from the CATS millage if the agency rolls it forward, or keeps it at the same rate.
There was no discussion on the matter Tuesday, though when the issue came up in a recent committee meeting, Perret said he would like CATS to be able to tell the public how it intends to use the additional revenue should they roll their tax forward.
“I think we have more than ample needs to show,” board Chairman Jim Brandt remarked.
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