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RTC Board Gives Executive Director a Pay Raise Following Annual Review

By Carla O'Day
Published: Last Updated on
Lee Gibson of the Regional Transportation Commission with City Councilwoman Neoma Jardon.
Lee Gibson of the Regional Transportation Commission with City Councilmember Neoma Jardon. Image: Bob Conrad.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County granted its executive director a 2 percent raise and 3 percent bonus on Friday after his annual review.

Lee Gibson, who’s held the post since 2009, currently earned about $229,300 annually as of last year, according to an RTC staff report. With benefits and bonuses, his total compensation package was about $339,000, according to website TransparentNevada.

Gibson had received raises the previous 6 years that ranged from 2 to 4 percent each. Last year he also got a 3 percent bonus. However, he got no raise between 2010 and 2012.

The RTC board, which is made up of county and city officeholders, scored Gibson on leadership, commitment and collaboration to partnerships, communication, and how well agency goals were achieved in the past year. His raise will be retroactive to July 1, the start of the 2020 fiscal year.

Chairman Bob Lucey said RTC delivers proposals on time and he thinks it’s the best planning organization in Northern Nevada.

“I think Mr. Gibson has done a wonderful job continuing to bring projects to fruition and to run the organization in a manner such that we are a leading agency in the region,” Lucey said.

One of several goals was to continue and implement the Virginia Street RAPID extension project. The final phase is complete and construction started in June.

“Virginia Street as a goal of the agency was obvious, but I think it was vested in me to really shepherd the FTA (Federal Transit Administration) process and really follow that through,” Gibson said. “That has been successfully done through the point of getting our allocation and getting everything lined up.

“All we have left to do is get the grant agreement signed. We did get the allocation and letter of no prejudice. That’s the legal instrument that allows us to begin construction and be compensated with grant funds when the grant is finally executed.”

Coucilmember Neoma Jardon.
Coucil member Neoma Jardon.

Another RTC goal was to collaborate with the Nevada Department of Transportation to develop a funding plan for the Spaghetti Bowl project, along with other NDOT initiatives in Washoe County. RTC executed a funding agreement with NDOT for $30 million for the first phase. The Regional Transportation Plan and Regional Transportation Improvement Program were also amended to include the project.

Board member Neoma Jardon noted the average pay increase for RTC staff and management was 5.18 percent for the coming fiscal year.

“The 5.18 percent the employees got was PERS (Public Employees’ Retirement System) eligible and all compounding,” Jardon said. “So Lee’s would be a 2 percent raise, which would be PERS eligible and would be compounding, but the 3 percent bonus would not be PERS eligible and not be compounding.

“So, at the end of the day, he would—if you look at long view, percentage wise—be getting less than what employees and management got.”