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Consultant: Replace CATS leaders

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A consulting firm hired to evaluate the Capital Area Transit System has recommended that the agency replace its top management by contracting administrators from a transit management firm that offers more experience and expertise.

In October, the CATS board solicited TMG Consulting to make recommendations about the agency's management structure to ensure CATS will meet service expansion goals.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/13CSNGV ) the CATS board took no official action Tuesday on the recommendations, but some board members were dismissive of the report and offered their support to the current staff members and to CATS CEO Brian Marshall.

TMG President Anthony Mumphrey Jr. said after the meeting that CATS will not be able to deliver on its promises to expand and improve service with its current management structure.

He said CATS has a "better chance" of delivering its goals if it removes key administrators, including the CEO and the chief financial officer, and replaces them with employees contracted through a qualified transit management firm.

"The firm has expertise, it has coordination, it's a team," Mumphrey said after the meeting. "Do you hire a bunch of guys on the sandlot or do you hire the Green Bay Packers?"

The report received mixed reviews from the CATS board.

"Contract management is the same as privatization. You can try to dress it up however you want," said Montrell McCaleb, a CATS board member. "I'm not comfortable with contract management or privatization."

Board President Jared Loftus said the board will have to decide if it will take any action on the recommendations, but added that the report had piqued his interest.

Brian Marshall, who sat among the board members as the presentation was given, said after the meeting that TMG's report displayed a lack of understanding about the system.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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