AATA Board Gives CEO Praise, Raise

At its Dec. 15, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board voted to award its CEO, Michael Ford, an increase in base salary of $4,800 to $164,800 annually. The board also authorized a $10,000 lump-sum payment into a 457 deferred compensation plan, and vesting in the AATA employee pension plan effective Oct. 1, 2011.

Last year, Ford’s contract, which is renewable each year on October 1, paid Ford $160,000 a year. Ford did not receive a raise last year, but was given a one-time additional payment equal to 4% of his annual salary .

At the board’s May 19, 2011 meeting, the AATA board had approved a new employment contract with Ford, who was hired in the summer of 2009. [For a report on Ford's April 2009 final interview: "AATA, CEO Candidate Start Talks"]

On Thursday, board chair Jesse Bernstein praised Ford’s work as one of the best experiences Bernstein had ever had in hiring someone.

Ford’s personnel evaluation took place at a special meeting held Dec. 5, 2011 at the AATA headquarters, and was conducted in a closed session in accordance with Michigan’s Open Meetings Act. Closed sessions are permitted for a variety of reasons, including the regular performance review of personnel, if the employee requests a closed session. When asked by the board at the Dec. 5 meeting if he did request a closed session, Ford confirmed he did, making plain that the OMA requirement for closed sessions was met. The session lasted well over an hour, some of which was conducted with Ford present.

This brief was filed from the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library, where the AATA board holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]