Capital Area Transit System CEO resigns

Published: Apr. 22, 2013 at 9:36 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 23, 2013 at 2:16 AM CDT
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Brian Marshall
Brian Marshall

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Capital Area Transit system CEO Brian Marshall has resigned his post with the bus system, effective immediately. He was hired as CEO in November 2009.

In a resignation letter sent to CATS Board Chairman Isaiah Marshall (who is no relation to Brian Marshall), Brian Marshall outlined his tenure with CATS, pointing out some of his successes as well as some of his challenges.

"We appreciate what Brian has done this far for the system," said Isaiah Marshall.  "We respect his decision."  Marshall says no one asked the CATS CEO to step down, nor was he asked to stay.

Brian Marshall played a key role in developing transit to and from LSU football games.  In his letter, he says he also helped secure the first ever competitive grant worth $24 million, as well as national attention for technology innovation.  He also points out he helped communicate to the public a need for a better structured system, which he says "yielded a successful tax election."

Marshall goes on to say the city needs a sustainable system that would be delivered in 2014.

In the letter, Marshall writes: "It is my opinion that the current environment is not conducive to building a sustainable system. Therefore effective immediately, I resign as the CEO of the Capital Area Transit System."

Marshall ended the letter by saying "I thank the board and all CATS employees for your participation in improving the system. I also thank Mayor Holden and the Metro Council for having the vision to continue to improve Baton Rouge…. I wish the Capital Area Transit System and Baton Rouge the best of luck."

The CATS board met last week, that meeting would be Marshall's last.  Some who attended that meeting were not happy with Marshall's leadership.  Some there supported the multi-million dollar tax proposal last year, thinking the system would change.  But say they are still faced with late buses and a need for new bus routes.

Employees said they gave up pay raises to support that tax, but were now being asked to give up vacation and sick days in exchange for a raise.

And one person called for Marshall to step down.

"We gave you the money, we haven't gotten anything in return. We need to know where our money is going. I'm looking at a bunch of incompetence, excuses. You the head so it falls on your shoulders. You need to be removed," said Tony Dunbar, at that meeting.

Despite a recent study finding that the CATS administration should be contracted out, the board chairman says the next leader will be a permanent CEO.  One who understands how to manage internal affairs, the public, funding and work with the board.

"I feel confident the public will be back on board when they see the results we will produce," said chairman, Isaiah Marshall.

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