Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Board puts transit manager on leave

Parties mum on Mountain Rides personnel issue

Express Staff Writer

Terry Crawford, who co-manages public transit in the Wood River Valley, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Following a late-October executive session by the Mountain Rides Transportation Authority, longtime Ketchum-area public transportation manager Terry Crawford was placed on paid administrative leave. The decision was made without explanation.

Crawford has accumulated a more than 18-year tenure as a north-valley manager of public transportation and may well be the longest standing public transportation employee in the Wood River Valley.

He was placed on leave Oct. 30, and the board met in executive session several times since then to iron out ongoing wrinkles in the mysterious saga. The most recent meeting was yesterday, Nov. 13, but Crawford's attorney, Ed Simon, declined to comment on the proceedings.

Mountain Rides employees and board members have been similarly mum on the issue.

"We have no more comment on this situation until 'due process' procedures are complete," said Peter Everett, board chair of the Mountain Rides Transportation Authority. "When final decisions and recommendations have been made, we will inform you in a public meeting."

Everett said that Crawford's administrative leave is with full pay and benefits and began at 8 a.m. Oct. 30.

With the merger early last summer of Wood River Rideshare, KART (Ketchum Area Rapid Transit) and the Peak Bus, all of the Wood River Valley's transportation services were placed under one administrative umbrella.

Former Rideshare Executive Director Jason Miller and KART Director Crawford were appointed co-directors of the new Mountain Rides organization beginning in early May.

KART provided free bus service in Ketchum. The Peak Bus provided service between Sun Valley and Bellevue. Rideshare promoted alternative transportation and operated a van-pool program for commuters outside the Wood River Valley.

Everett said Crawford's absence will have no impact on operations.

"In the interim, we have many excellent employees at Mountain Rides, and operations will continue as normal," he said.

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