LACMTA CEO gets two-year contract extension; GM of Santa Clara VTA to retire

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) Board of Directors approved a two-year contract extension with options for two additional one-year extensions to LACMTA CEO Art Leahy. The two-year contract extension is added to a previous four-year contract entered into in April 2009 between LACMTA and Leahy.

Following approval of the contract extension, Leahy thanked LACMTA directors saying their actions reflects confidence in the agency’s direction and he looks forward to working with them in carrying out the Measure R programs. Measure R commits an estimated $40 billion in voter-approved funds toward Los Angeles County traffic relief and transportation upgrades during the next three decades.

At LACMTA, he is charged with leading transportation planning and programming for the county, funding construction of numerous street, highway and transit improvements running the gamut from bike and pedestrian improvements to new busways and rail lines to freeway carpool lanes and sound walls.

Additionally, after nearly 38 years in the transportation industry, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), General Manager Michael Burns plans to retire by December 31, 2013. Burns has served as VTA’s general manager since 2005.

“Michael Burns has made a tremendous impact on improving transportation in Silicon Valley, while doing so during some of the most challenging times this industry and valley have ever faced,” said Joe Pirzynski, VTA chair and town of Los Gatos Council member. “He is a standout leader and his innovation and expertise have served us well throughout his tenure where he has successfully advanced VTA’s extensive capital program and other important transit initiatives.”

At the March 7 meeting, the VTA Board of Directors will approve the designation of a Board of Directors Ad-Hoc Selection Committee to direct and participate in the recruitment and recommendation of a new general manager.