Sound Transit CEO could get 11% raise, contract extension

The agency’s board meets Thursday. Peter Rogoff is paid $328,545 per year now.

SEATTLE — The chief executive overseeing Sound Transit’s multi-billion dollar expansion could be in line for a contract extension and a pay hike.

The agency’s Board of Directors is set to consider an 11 percent raise for Peter Rogoff’s at their next meeting on Thursday. A proposed agreement would give Rogoff the chance to see through major milestones for the agency, including a new light-rail segment to Lynnwood.

“I believe we should consider a term of three years, plus three one-year options to take us through 2024, which I know from my standpoint is when we’re expecting the project to Lynnwood to be completed and delivered,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, the Sound Transit board chairman.

Somers spoke last week during a subcommittee meeting about the CEO contract.

The agreement would give Rogoff $365,000 in base pay, starting Dec. 1. He earns $328,545 now. After 2021, his employment would automatically renew for one year at a time through 2024, unless he or the board provide advance notice to end it.

The potential agreement outlines Rogoff’s severance package, should he face termination without cause or “resigns for good reason.” Over the first four years of the extension, he would receive a year’s worth of salary and benefits upon leaving. That amount would go down to six months of compensation for a departure during the second or third renewal year.

Rogoff also would be in line for a similar severance if the board decides against granting the contract renewals.

The board could consider an annual performance bonus. The new agreement provides for $5,000 in miscellaneous business expenses every year, 30 days paid vacation and 12 days paid sick leave.

The board hired Rogoff three years ago. Before that, he served at some of the highest levels of the U.S. Department of Transportation under President Barack Obama. He also worked for more than two decades as a U.S. Senate staffer.

Sound Transit’s leaders have touted Rogoff’s capital connections as a major asset for securing grant money and other federal assistance. That includes more than $1 billion for the Lynnwood light-rail expansion that the Trump Administration has wavered on honoring.

What some Sound Transit employees view as an East Coast management style, and other behavioral issues, have landed the executive in trouble.

The agency’s board of directors publicly criticized him for being “abrupt” and “direct” earlier this year, after a lengthy personnel investigation. The board denied him a yearly performance bonus.

Some complained informally about Rogoff using profanity at work and making staff feel uncomfortable. The board passed a motion requiring Rogoff to improve his demeanor and relationships with staff.

The board is set to discuss the new contract terms at 1:30 p.m. Thursday and could take a vote. At the subcommittee meetings last week, Sound Transit officials compared pay levels to other metro-area transit directors.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Joe Hempel swims off of the shore of Seawall Park on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 in Langley, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Scantily clad is the dress code for these cold rush swimmers

Immersed for 30 minutes in frigid water would kill most of us. It energizes these swimmers.

When not at home, Brett Bass keeps his rifle locked in a 600-lb. safe at his home on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 in Edmonds, Wa. Bass, an NRA certified firearms instructor and safety officer, is one of three Edmonds residents who sued to block the city's safe storage gun law from being enforced. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Appeals court says Edmonds can’t enforce safe storage gun law

State law “unambiguously” pre-empts the city from enacting its own firearm rules, the panel concludes.

Everett man found dead in creek near Lake Stevens

The man, 28, was reported missing Thursday. A neighbor found his body in Little Pilchuck Creek.

A Washington State Patrol detective photographs the vehicle involved in hit and run double fatality in Bothell Friday on February 19, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Fatal hit-and-run victims identified after Friday crash

They were Carson M. Cox, 32, and Sarah L. Foxheath, 39, according to the state patrol.

Firearms teacher sentenced for Oak Harbor restaurant shooting

The 82-year-old victim had part of her legs amputated because of blood clots related to the injury.

In a zipper merge, cars continue in their lanes and then take turns at the point where the lanes meet. (Koenb via Wikimedia Commons)
Do Washington drivers need to learn the zipper merge?

Legislators propose requiring zipper merge instruction in drivers education and in license test.

Paul McElhany points out how far the new building will extend past the current building at Northwest Fisheries Science Center's Mukilteo Research Station on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 in Mukilteo, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Oh, crab! NOAA’s Mukilteo waterfront fish lab won’t be rebuilt

Bids for a new Northwest Fisheries Science Center research station are too high. Are condos next?

Lu Hernandez works on a large canvas piece, Madre Mia, in her studio on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Low opposes activist’s appointment to justice advisory group

He cited Luisana Hernandez’ “anti-police” Facebook posts. But he misconstrued the comments, she said.

Via videoconference from Walla Walla, Lawrence Fillion, seen in upper left, a three strikes offender who was sentenced to life behind bars for second-degree robbery, is resentenced at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 in Everett, Washington. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Edirin Okoloko effectively ordered Fillion to be released from custody Wednesday, in response to motions by both defense attorney Jeffrey Ellis and Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Third-strike offender, sentenced to life in 1996, to go free

A Snohomish County mini mart robbery sent Lawrence Fillion to prison for life at age 24. He’s now 49.

Most Read