What ever happened to METRO’s CEO search?

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Roughly one year ago, disgraced METRO President/CEO George Greanias announced that he would be leaving the transit agency. Greanias had previously been involved in an adolescent-gay-porn-watching scandal using METRO resources, which had, no doubt, hurt his credibility within the organization (despite Mayor Annise Parker’s unwillingness at the time to force him to step down).

Surprisingly, the former bumbling police chief of METRO, Tom Lambert, was elevated to the President/CEO position on an interim basis.

METRO’s search for a permanent President/CEO has, thus far, proceeded extremely slowly. The proposal to hire a search firm seems to have first come to the METRO board on 9 January 2013. Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia provided an update on the process on 28 February 2013. The board finally seems to have signed off on a search firm on 25 April 2013.

Since then? Crickets!

Indeed, we’ve been struck by the similarities to the design contest for the signature downtown light rail contest, a mismanaged/neglected process that ultimately led to what we’ve dubbed the downtown station procurement fiasco.

We contacted METRO Vice President Jerome Gray last week to inquire about the status of the President/CEO search. Gray informed us that “the search firm expects to present some possible candidates for interviews right after the new year.” Apparently, the search firm suggested waiting until after the most recent mayoral election to offer job candidates.

For reasons that are unclear, it doesn’t seem like it’s been much of a priority for NEW METRO to replace its inexperienced interim President/CEO with a qualified transit executive.

Kevin Whited
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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX