RBA extends director’s contract through December
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3154 October 1, 2012 6:28PM
Updated: November 3, 2012 6:20AM
The Northwest Indiana Regional Bus Authority extended the contract of its executive director on Monday, even though the defunct bus service hasn’t operated its easygo Lake Transit service since the end of June.
The RBA board voted 11-2 to keep Tim Brown on the payroll through Dec. 31 so he can continue to wrap up financial matters and dispose of equipment.
Board members Daryl Lampkins, general manager of the Gary Public Transit Corp., and Raymond Fletcher voted against the extension.
Lampkins suggested the job duties had lessened, so the pay should be reduced. But other board members said Brown, as the RBA’s lone employee, had absorbed the duties of other employees. Brown was hired in July 2008 at a salary of $90,000 plus benefits.
On Oct. 9, the Lake County Council is expected to consider its plan to abolish the RBA by repealing its 2001 ordinance that established the agency. The County Council has already passed the ordinance on first reading. This would be the second reading. Council members objected to funding an agency that’s no longer operational.
“The Lake County Council has far greater concerns than the RBA,” said Richard Hardaway, RBA board chairman. “It should be trying to figure out how to pass the 1 percent tax,” he said of a long-debated county income tax.
In other business, the RBA board approved a motion to have its attorney, David Hollenbeck, return to federal court to modify a court order that applies to serving the disabled. Hollenbeck said most of the court order pertains to operational aspects of the RBA that are no longer relevant. He said the other points in the order were more “esoteric” in nature and could be better served by folding a riders’ Council on Accessible Transportation into a broader advisory group.
Everybody Counts Executive Director Teresa Torres objected to the change, saying the RBA has failed to keep its promises to the disabled riders who depended on the bus service.
“Are you in or out of the game?” asked Rita R. Jackson from her wheelchair. “It sound likes you’re still trying to run this from the back door.”.