Advertisement

Tollway Workers With Lucrative Ideas Could Cash In

TIMES STAFF WRITER

An incentive plan that would award tollway employees with bonuses of up to $70,000 for generating new revenue or savings on the county’s toll roads is expected to be considered next week by the Transportation Corridor Agencies.

Under the plan, the agency’s 44 employees would be awarded bonuses ranging from 5% of their annual pay for clerical workers to 50% for executives, if certain criteria are met.

The bonuses would be paid if the agency realized any unexpected revenue or savings by, for example, refinancing its debt at a lower interest rate or taking in more tolls than projected.

Twenty-five percent of that extra money would go to bonuses. The other 75% would help the agency pay off its debt.

Advertisement

To collect the bonuses, employees would have to achieve certain goals, such as maintaining specific minimums in contingency accounts and achieving certain bond ratings.

The bonuses could be as high as $70,625 in the case of Chief Executive William C. Woollett Jr., who receives about $141,000 a year, although officials say that such an outcome is extremely unlikely.

“The chances of doing that are somewhere between slim and none,” said Mike Ward, an agency spokesman.

The idea behind the bonus plan, TCA officials say, is to motivate employees to find new ways to pay off the agency’s bond debt more quickly so that its toll roads can become freeways sooner than currently projected. Present plans call for the bonds to be paid off in about 35 years.

Advertisement

“We are asking our staff to think creatively and move beyond their job descriptions to bring the corridors to the public efficiently,” TCA spokeswoman Lisa Telles said.

Ward agreed.

“This is something fairly new to the public sector but not the private sector,” he said. “People say all the time, why don’t you run it more like a business? Well, that’s what we’re doing here; giving people bonuses for outstanding performance.”


Advertisement