BART GM Dorothy Dugger's $1M Payout: What Could That Buy?

Categories: Public Transit
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BART's lost $958,000 isn't in the lost and found
Nothing is more awkward than a breakup taking place on public transportation. Except, of course, a public transportation breakup.

Earlier this year, BART's board voted, behind closed doors, to dump high-priced general manager Dorothy Dugger. It turned out that setup violated open meeting laws, and the decision was rescinded. But you don't need to be a $354,000 transit executive -- which Dugger was -- to take a hint.

She left yesterday, the beneficiary of a $958,000 severance payout. Of that, $350,000 is a payoff to stave off litigation.

As is always the case when dealing with public budgets, one is forced to ask, "Is that a lot of money?" Yes. Yes, it is. To put it in perspective:  

You'd be smiling too...
Now, obviously, BART doesn't keep all of its money in one large bin, Uncle Scrooge style, and apply all funds to all situations. But, just for fun, here's what BART could have done with that $958K:

  • At $198.53 a pop, the agency could have restuffed and reupholstered 4,825 chairs;

  • Painted beards on all the trains and hired Brian Wilson as a celebrity spokesman;

  • Given Dugger an in-kind payoff of 147,384 round-trip rides between 12th Street Oakland and 16th and Mission.

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Getting paid more for doing job poorly? This sounds like George Costanza's dream job.

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