MacIver News Service | April 11, 2018
By Bill Osmulski
MADISON, Wis. – After getting by without a transportation director for over 25 years, the City of Madison suddenly decided its need for one is so pressing, it’s willing to pay up to a $164,950 salary plus benefits for one.
That’s more than the governor’s salary of $146,764. Needless to say, it’s also more than the Wisconsin Transportation Secretary’s salary of $127,000, who is responsible for more people, miles and funding.
Madison has 763 miles of road, while the state of Wisconsin is responsible for 11,746 miles. Madison’s public works and transportation budget is $62 million, compared to the DOT’s $3 billion annual budget. There are 3,245 full time employees in the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, while the Madison Transportation director will be responsible for 610.
At $164,950, the transportation director will be among the highest paid employees in Madison. That’s the same salary range as the police chief, fire chief, city attorney, finance director, and director of planning and community and economic development. Altogether the city has 11 positions with a maximum salary higher than the governor’s.
The common council voted to resurrect the transportation director position back in September. For decades it had been relying on various commissions and committees to create local transportation policy. It decided to replace that system with a transportation director and the Transportation Policy and Planning Board. That board will consist of 9 members; only 3 of whom will be elected officials from the common council. The director will be in charge of the Traffic Engineering Division, the Transit Division, and the Parking Division.
The changes went into effect on January 1, but Madison is still in the middle of its hiring process for the transportation director position. Applications were due on Monday, April 9, 2018.