The sometimes-controversial director of the parish bus system, Bob Mirabito, is in line for a 19 percent pay raise, which, if approved, would make him one of the highest-paid public officials working in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Mirabito, who has been the CEO of the Capital Area Transit System for about a year and a half, has a current salary of $147,000 a year.
Under the terms of his new contract, which is subject to approval by the CATS Board on Tuesday, his pay could jump to $175,000 a year. His base salary could increase by up to 5 percent per year, depending on performance evaluations.
The proposed contract is for three years, with the option of extending for two additional terms of two years.
Mirabito also would get an additional $700 a month — $8,400 per year — to cover out-of-pocket expenses for his employee benefits, which include health and life insurance and a retirement plan.
After the first year, he would be eligible to earn a performance bonus of up to $12,500 per year, if the board develops metrics for the additional incentive-based compensation.
Mirabito would receive $60 per month to cover the cost of a cellphone, but he would not be reimbursed for travel unless it’s outside the parish.
The raise would lift Mirabito to one of the highest-paid local officials, outpacing the mayor, the police chief and other agency leaders.
Police Chief Carl Dabadie is paid about $160,000 a year. Mayor-President Kip Holden’s salary is about $146,000 a year.
Library Director Spencer Watts is paid about $100,200 a year, and East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Park Commission Superintendent Carolyn McKnight has a $157,000 annual salary.
Visit Baton Rouge CEO Paul Arrigo’s salary is $163,000 a year.
Mirabito came to CATS with no transit experience, but he has overseen the agency during some of its most tumultuous and transformative years.
He’s been charged with implementing an array of service promises made in the runup to the 2012 tax election, intended to expand and improve the agency’s reach. The tax has generated an additional $16 million for the agency, which was previously on the verge of financial collapse.
Mirabito quickly earned the respect of his board members, and has the support of business and transit advocates who previously questioned his appointment.
But in recent months, he’s come under fire by union leaders and two Metro Council members who have accused him of disrespect and mismanagement, going so far as to call for his resignation.
Last month, Mirabito made controversial statements in a podcast interview about the racial demographics of the CATS ridership.
He initially said he stood by the statements but later apologized after CATS Board Chairwoman Donna Collins-Lewis called on him to do so.