TransLink cuts managers after referendum defeat

Two senior executives eliminated at transportation authority, one of them won't be replaced

Doug Kelsey has been replaced as president and CEO of TransLink's SkyTrain subsidiary.

TransLink has axed two senior executives in the wake of the referendum defeat that has left the transportation authority without a new tax source needed for major transit expansion.

Gone is Doug Kelsey, who had been president and CEO of TransLink’s SkyTrain subsidiary, B.C. Rapid Transit Co. He’s been replaced as acting president and general manager of BCRTC by Mike Richard, a past president of the SkyTrain division with 30 years experience.

Bob Paddon has also left and his former position of executive vice-president of planning and stakeholder relations has been eliminated and his duties assigned to two other vice-presidents.

TransLink officials aren’t commenting on the changes nor have they yet disclosed any severance payouts to the terminated executives.

Paddon was paid $299,000 last year, while Kelsey collected $355,000 in total compensation.

The changes were announced by interim CEO Doug Allen in an internal memo.

Allen was installed in February to head TransLink for six months after a decision of the board to remove then-CEO Ian Jarvis, who continues to serve as an advisor.

Allen departs Aug. 10 and chief financial officer Cathy McLay will then take on the extra duties of interim CEO while a search for a new permanent chief executive continues.

“The executive search is well underway and a number of high-calibre candidates have expressed interest,” Allen said in the memo that also thanked Kelsey and Paddon for their service.

He noted the changes will further reduce executive costs following the 2014 elimination of the chief operating officer position and earlier rounds of cuts to top management ranks.

“I understand that the past several months have not been easy for employees and that changes and uncertainty have been difficult.”

B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone said he hopes the changes “reinforce the public’s demand of TransLink to do a better job of managing taxpayers’ dollars in terms of the operations of TransLink.”

A week earlier, Premier Christy Clark had said the referendum rejection by 62 per cent of Metro Vancouver voters signalled not just opposition to the proposed 0.5 per cent sales tax but that the public didn’t trust TransLink to properly spend any new money.

Stone has yet to take any further steps to reform TransLink’s governance structure nor has he yet named two provincial government appointees to the TransLink board to match the two mayors that now sit on it.

He said he believes there are still more opportunities to find savings within TransLink.

Stone also reiterated the need for mayors to deliver the region’s one-third share of contributions for capital expansion of the transit system.

– with files from Tom Fletcher

Just Posted

Young Langley family plagued by angry cab customers

A couple rents a house formerly used by a cab firm, and unwelcome visitors knocking.

Woman groped on Langley’s 208th Street

Police are asking for tips to identify the man responsible.

PHOTOS: Family Day a success at Aldergrove Telephone Museum

A record number of people visited the Telephone Museum on Monday to tour the historic exhibits.

Fort jazz fest on the search for young talent

Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is looking for their first “Rising Young Star.”

VIDEO: Langley wrestler takes gold at high school games

Victory felt like a comeback for D.W. Poppy student Parm Sidhu

VIDEO: Massive elk herd runs across Washington State highway

Elk have been making an appearance in the Pacific Northwest

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Winter storm freezes U.S., halts air travel

Storm dumps snow or heavy rain, snarls travel in much of U.S.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Skier sued me to exploit my fame, wealth

The incident happened in Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah

Highway one will be closed tomorrow for avalanche control near Golden

The closure is expected to last for two hours

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Most Read