Rail CEO won’t see a raise this year, but he did get a hefty bonus

GF Default - City council keeps rail project alive by allowing HART to issue bonds
GF Default - City council keeps rail project alive by allowing HART to issue bonds
Published: Jan. 17, 2019 at 5:50 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The chief executive of Honolulu’s rail transit project won’t get a raise this year, but the rail authority’s board did vote to give Andrew Robbins a $10,000 bonus.

“Mr. Robbins did not meet expectations in the first year on the job and has some room for growth and improvement," said Damien Kim, chairman of the agency’s board of directors.

In a meeting attended by local media members on Thursday morning, members of the HART board said Robbins relied too much on outside consultants during the past 12 months.

They were also critical of his communications plan with the public and key political leaders.

The vote on Robbins’ pay comes as HART’s board begins to step up its oversight of the project, the costs of which have soared from $5.1 billion to $9.2 billion.

Robbins earns $317,000 per year and is eligible for another $58,000 in raises and bonuses if he hits his performance targets.

“It’s noted that the board is holding me to a very high standard, and I think the public really appreciates that," Robbins said Thursday. “I think it’s the only standard you should have.”

The CEO did get good marks for settling the projects' largest change-order dispute. Ansaldo Honolulu, the manufacturer of the rail system’s trains and electrical systems, had asked for an extra $400 million due to construction delays.

Robbins and other agency leaders were able to reduce that claim to about $160 million. HART’s board voted today to approve the reduced change order.

“I don’t want the public or the rest of the board members to think that somehow we lost confidence in him," said Terrence Lee, HART’s vice chairman. “To —the contrary, we still have a high level of confidence and support for Andy.”

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