A search committee for the Utah Transit Authority has recommended a new President and CEO—the man who has already been serving as an interim President. Jerry Benson has been acting as UTA’s president since Michael Allegra retired a year ago.
UTA Spokesman Remi Barron says Benson did not originally want the job, choosing instead to focus on running the organization during the transition. Barron says the search committee conducted a national search for a replacement and received more than 120 applications from well-qualified candidates.
“And they just kept comparing those candidates to Jerry Benson, and they realized really the guy they wanted was right here the whole time,” Barron says.
UTA has faced public criticism in recent years over project development and executive pay and bonuses. Barron says the UTA Board believes keeping Benson at the head of the organization is a step toward restoring public trust.
“Mr. Benson, in his year as interim [president], was behind a lot of the reforms that have taken place,” Barron says, such as “coming up with a compensation policy, a new travel policy where it has to be approved by the board, transit-oriented development policy. All of that was on his watch.”
UTA is seeking public comment before they move forward with officially naming Benson President and CEO next week. Comments can be submitted online here.