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LRTA Brass Get 5% Pay Hikes

October 5, 2018

James Scanlan Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

LOWELL -- The top two employees at the Lowell Regional Transit Authority will receive retroactive raises covering the entirety of 2018 as well as additional raises in 2019 following a vote by the organization’s advisory board last week.

At the board’s Sept. 27 meeting, 12 of its 14 members voted to grant Administrator James Scanlan and Deputy Administrator David Bradley raises of about 5 percent each for this year and next year. The only two members who did not vote in favor -- Philip Shea of Lowell, who in the past had been a vocal critic of Scanlan, and Mark Kratman of Tewksbury -- were absent from the meeting, according to board Chair Thomas Bomil.

The somewhat unusual move comes as part of an effort to put votes on annual raises on a regular schedule ahead of those changes going into effect, Bomil said.

“For some reason or another, the board has not taken action on pay raises till the fall, like we just did,” he wrote in an email. “What we did this year is act on next year’s raise also so it is completed early. From now on we will be acting on raises in the fall for the following year.”

As a result, Scanlan’s annual salary will increase from $133,168 to $139,826 retroactive to the start of 2018 and then again to $146,817 on Jan. 1, 2019. Bradley’s 2017 salary was $111,395, and that will jump to $116,965 for 2018 and to $122,813 for 2019.

Despite the raises, documents prepared by the LRTA’s Compensation Committee indicate Lowell’s top executives will still be paid slightly less than leaders at other regional transit authorities. In 2017, RTA administrators for Brockton, Montachusett and Springfield made $143,953, $145,289 and $140,353, respectively, while the deputy administrator for Montachusett made $129,969 and the chief financial officer for Springfield made $121,573.

“To me, Jim is a top-notch administrator,” Bomil said. “Very well-liked and respected by everyone in the community. He is very thorough in doing his job and gives 110 percent.”

When they were awarded annual increases last November, Scanlan and Bradley received largely positive remarks at the time, a year after Shea and fellow board member Al Ramos were sharply critical of the organization. Shea and Ramos could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Scanlan, whose current contract runs through 2020, said Thursday that he is “very pleased” to receive support from the board. He cited almost-complete renovations to the Gallagher Terminal and construction of a 140-foot pedestrian walkway linking it to the Thorndike Exchange as key milestones.

“I have enjoyed my tenure here and I think we’ve accomplished a lot, we are accomplishing a lot,” Scanlan said. “It’s been a difficult year or two with the problems that we’ve had with the renovation to the terminal and to the new walkway. I’m glad we’re at a point where we’re now just about 100 percent complete on both projects.”

The LRTA will add three new buses later this month, Scanlan said, and seven more next March.

“As we go forward, we’ll be continuing to work with our state and federal partners on new equipment,” Scanlan said.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisLisinski.

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