03/04/05 — Decision on new transportation authority director expected soon

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Decision on new transportation authority director expected soon

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on March 4, 2005 2:08 PM

The Goldsboro Wayne Transportation Authority is close to reaching a decision on a new executive director.

Wayne County Manager Lee Smith said Thursday that a field of five finalists has been narrowed to two people. Four applicants were interviewed, and now two have been invited back.

Both candidates are North Carolinians with lengthy work histories in public transportation, Smith said.

They will each have a chance now to meet with employees, ask and answer more questions, inspect the fleet and even try out the bus-vanpool service. One was expected to visit today and the other on Monday.

"We want to see how they interact with employees -- that's a critical piece," said Goldsboro City Manager Joe Huffman.

Barring complications, the two managers expect to recommend one of the candidates to the Gateway board next week.

The authority has not had a permanent director for three years. Bob Wands resigned in March 2002. After Gateway had trouble finding qualified applicants, Smith and former Goldsboro manager Richard Slozak agreed to jointly running the operation. Arlette Newton was primarily responsible for day-to-day operations.

Last summer, the board contracted with Apple Bus Co., a Missouri-based company, to assume management of the service. It operates transit systems nationwide, including ones in Rocky Mount and Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson counties.

In September, the board then contracted with David Eatman, Tar River Transit manager, to provide administrative services for Gateway. But he quit at the end of the 90-day contract because the duties were greater than expected, he said.

The executive director will be a liaison between Apple and the board. He or she would also be expected to work to expand ridership and to develop revenues. The position is expected to pay a salary between $40,000-$55,000.