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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PTC executive director receives 7-percent raise

9

December

Hillsborough County’s Public Transportation Commission voted Wednesday to award its executive director a 7-percent raise.

PTC Chairman Victor Crist said Kyle Cockream was the second lowest paid director of an authority of this size in the county.

“He is significantly underpaid,” said Crist, a Hillsborough County Commissioner.

Cockream, a former Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office captain, took over as executive director of the PTC last year as the commission was recovering from allegations of corruption and misconduct.

The board’s former chairman, ex-Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White, ended up in federal prison after accepting $6,000 in bribes.

In 2013, executive director Cesar Padilla retired after the Sheriff’s Office revoked his certification as a reserve deputy for moonlighting as a security guard, including on days that payroll records indicate he was either sick or working for the PTC.

Cockream took over in spring 2014, about the same time that Uber and Lyft entered the market. The PTC has been entangled in a bitter back-and-forth dispute with the rideshare companies, which it says are operating illegally in Hillsborough.

While the commission has made significant progress since the White and Padilla days — including an almost entirely new staff — it still faces challenges. Apart from the Uber and Lyft battle, state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, continues to call for the dissolution of the commission.

Even its own board members have questioned how long it will be around. When the board was debating Wednesday whether or not to donate to the Children’s Home charity, Tampa City Councilman Frank Reddick questioned the PTC’s long-term survival.

“By the time those children reach that age where they can drive,” Reddick said, “this agency probably won't be around.”

The board decided not to make a donation.

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 5:08pm]

    

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