Cobb transit hires new head away from regional system
by Jon Gillooly
February 21, 2013 12:02 AM | 2649 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The county has hired Gail Franklin of Chamblee, planning and policy development manager for the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, as the new manager of Cobb Community Transit.

As division manager, Franklin will oversee seven employees, a fleet of 131 buses and a budget of $18 million.

Franklin fills the position left vacant by Rebecca Gutowsky, who retired in September.

The county paid Gutowsky a salary of $86,523 and will pay Franklin $92,000.

County spokesman Robert Quigley said the salary was negotiated based on Franklin’s skills and the county’s desire to hire her. The hire is by the county’s staff, not the Board of Commissioners, he said.

“Gail Franklin is an experienced, successful transit professional,” said Faye DiMassimo, director of the Cobb Department of Transportation. “Her qualifications, energy and can-do attitude made her our choice for CCT Transit Manager.”

Quigley said the county received 59 applications for the position.

Prior to working for GRTA, Franklin, who has a degree in marketing from Auburn University, was a special project planner for MARTA from 1998 to 2002.

Franklin said she planned to take the first 100 days to review CCT operations before recommending any changes.

“My desire is to take the first 100 days, learn everything I can before I even dare to comment,” she said. “They have, from what I can see just from the service, a good operation.”

Quigley said 33 percent of CCT’s budget is funded by passenger fares. For 2012, $3 million of the $18 million budget was paid by the county’s general fund, with the rest coming from federal dollars. The general fund contribution is normally $6 million but was reduced in 2012 to $3 million by additional federal dollars, he said.

Franklin, 53, described herself as a military brat who was born in Texas with a father in the Air Force.

She has a grown son and a daughter who is a senior at Auburn.

“I’m excited about coming,” she said. “I’m excited about the opportunity. My goal is to run a really great transit system.”
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Knowledgeable Rider
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February 21, 2013
I wish you the best Ms. Franklin. I'm afraid you will face resistance from the community and elected officials if you attempt to expand services or restore CCT routes. There were draconian cuts two years ago to the service making CCT less efficient.
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