Whatcom Transportation Authority picks new general manager


BELLINGHAM - The Whatcom Transportation Authority board has promoted from within, choosing Pete Stark to replace retiring Richard Walsh as general manager of the countywide public bus system.

Stark has been WTA's director of fleet and facilities under Walsh. WTA Human Resources Director Andy Rowlson said Stark was a city of Bellingham employee until 1996, when he joined WTA as the bus agency took over bus maintenance from the city. He was responsible for setting up WTA's own system of fleet and facilities maintenance, and supervised a number of major construction projects.

Stark's salary will be $127,500. That is less than Walsh's $133,300 because of seniority, Rowlson said.

Walsh caps 36 years with WTA on Feb. 1, 2014, when Stark will take over. Walsh has been general manager since 1997.

Mel Hansen, chairman of the WTA board, said Stark was the board's consensus choice among five finalists. Stark has accepted the appointment, which is to be made official at a WTA board meeting scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12, Hansen said.

Reach John Stark at 360-715-2274 or john.stark@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Politics Blog at bellinghamherald.com/politics-blog or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldpolitics.

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