Natalie Erdman, who retired as Madison’s director of planning, community and economic development in April, will serve as interim Metro Transit general manager, replacing Chuck Kamp, who retired this month.
Erdman led the Planning, Community and Economic Development Department, one of the city’s key management positions, for five years. Before that, she served as director of the city’s Community Development Authority and worked in the private sector.
“Natalie knows the city, knows my priorities, is a wonderful leader and has the respect of city employees,” Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in a statement. “I know Metro Transit will be in good hands until we hire a permanent general manager.”
Erdman, who starts Monday, will be paid the equivalent of a $116,677 annual salary.
The city will conduct a nationwide search to fill the position, the mayor said. The city hopes to fill the position by late spring, said Harper Donahue, city human resources director.
Kamp, who took the job in 2006, led Metro bus ridership to an all-time high and oversaw the expansion of the system to neighboring communities despite tightened finances and limited facilities. He said he’s leaving to spend more time with family, do other things, and allow for a fresh manager to bring new ideas and creativity.
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The general manager oversees a $56.8 million budget with about 460 employees, including 310 bus drivers.
Meanwhile, Rhodes-Conway has made no decision on who will next lead the Department of Planning, Community and Economic Development.
The city, after a national search, has three finalists. They are: Justice Castaneda, executive director of nonprofit Common Wealth Development; Eric Shaw, an adviser in community planning and capacity building for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services; and Matt Wachter, manager of the city’s Office of Real Estate Services.
Nan Fey, an attorney who had served on numerous city committees, has served in an interim capacity since Erdman left the position. Fey did not seek the permanent position.
The director oversees 190 employees and an array of activities including affordable housing, development and community services while at the center of the city’s biggest projects. The pay range is $126,155 to $170,390 a year.