The Mountain Line Transit Authority’s search for a new CEO spanned the country.
It even drew some interest from Canada.
And while it’s not yet official, it now appears as if the search actually started and ended right down the hall from the board’s meeting room.
Maria Smith, a 16-year Mountain Line employee and the interim CEO since Dave Bruffy left the position in July, has been offered the job and is currently in contract negotiations with the MLTA Board of Directors.
The board met in executive session as part of Wednesday’s regular monthly meeting before voting to counter an offer put forward by Smith.
“We’re negotiating a contract at this time. She had requested some additional benefits, and we intend to provide her with a counteroffer,” Board President Jenny Dinsmore said.
Dinsmore said Smith is the only applicant the board has interviewed at this time.
“We aren’t really looking at anybody else. Maria is solid. She knows what she’s doing, and she handles things the right way. It’s just a negotiation of benefits,” she said.
Prior to July, Smith spent five years as Mountain Line’s assistant manager of administration and marketing under Bruffy.
Mountain Line received 12 applications for the opening. They represented a handful of states, including Oregon, Texas, Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania and even stretched north of the border, with two coming from Ontario, Canada.
Dinsmore previously explained Smith was the only applicant with both adequate transit experience and the desired certifications in place.
Smith said she didn’t wish to comment until the contract is finalized, but noted she’s hopeful negotiations will be concluded by the end of the month, when her interim status is scheduled to end.