Sacramento Regional Transit general manager moves up his retirement date

RT district board criticized for being overly generous with GM’s retirement benefits

In the wake of union outcry and one day after an SN&R story (“Dysfuction junction” by Graham Womack, SN&R News, June 23, 2016), outgoing Sacramento Regional Transit District General Manager Mike Wiley moved up his retirement date nearly five months to August 1.

Wiley’s earlier exit will save the cash-strapped district approximately $138,000 through the end of the year, helping seed a small reserve of about $283,000 after RT covers the losses it accrued during the fiscal year that ends June 30.

The district’s board of directors voted unanimously Monday to amend Wiley’s contract, which had him retiring December 31­—as he’d announced last November. The board also voted to allow Henry Li, who takes over as general manager on July 1, to execute a personal services contract with Wiley for up to $25,000 to consult with RT and to serve as chair of the California Transit Association through November 2017.

According to an RT issue paper, Wiley would only bill the district while he serves on CTA for work that exclusively benefits the district. Li would determine when to call Wiley for consultations.

“I have no expectation, frankly, of doing work for RT beyond my retirement date,” Wiley said during the meeting.

Wiley had been slated to receive as much as $285,612 in retirement benefits annually. His decision to move up his retirement date will shave $6,730 from his annual pension.

Central Labor Council organizer Tamie Dramer would have liked to see that amount lowered even more, and noted the money for Wiley’s retirement will come from RT’s operating budget.

The outgoing GM had some supporters, including Mike Barnbaum of Ride Downtown 916. Noting Wiley started with RT on February 12, 1978, Barnbaum told the board, “In the words of Pat Benatar, ‘He’s a real tough cookie with a long history.’”