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Tuesday, March 19, 2019
HART Plan to Control Expenses-Pay Robbins Crony $85K per Month
By Selected News Articles @ 4:55 PM :: 2742 Views :: Ethics, Rail

The new hire charged with reining in HART’s budget is being paid $85,000 a month

HNN: …  Five months after he was ousted as the head of a Canadian rail project, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has hired veteran rail executive Paul Giannelia.

Giannelia is a friend of HART’s CEO Andrew Robbins. The rail authority said it hired him for his expertise as one of the foremost builders of mega transportation projects and to get the project back on track.

But news reports say Giannelia stepped down in November as head of Calgary’s multi-billion dollar light rail project after he clashed with employees.

“It simply didn’t work, he was gone within months with a description it was a human resources problem, which to me suggest there were some major concerns," said retired University of Hawaii law professor and rail critic Randall Roth….

Giannelia’s firm will provide an independent cost estimate for its Pearl Highlands Transit Center and its City Center Guideway system.

The rail authority told Hawaii News Now Giannelia was hired for three months for a total $256,000. But he could potentially work on the project for three years.

HART did not provide a copy of his contract.

He’s listed as a HART executive but rail document show that the rail authority hired him through contractor HDR Engineering, which is paying his salary.

That makes him the latest of more than a dozen outside consultants who are serving as HART’s top managers….

In a report in January, State Legislative Auditor Les Kondo said these embedded consultants are big reason for the rail project’s soaring costs…

read … The new hire charged with reining in HART’s budget is being paid $85,000 a month

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Paul Giannelia departs After Just 7 Months as head of $4.6B Green Line project

Calgary Herald Nov 2, 2018: … The head of the city’s $4.6-billion Green Line project — a man city councillors were warned could “ruffle a few feathers” when he took over the role in the spring — has left the job, Postmedia has learned.

Seven months after being hired by the city, Paul Giannelia has left his post as director of the massive LRT construction project….

City staff have openly and privately discussed Giannelia’s difficulties acclimating to the municipal workplace after years in the private sector overseeing the successful construction of megaprojects including Calgary’s Olympic Oval and the Confederation Bridge, linking P.E.I. and New Brunswick….

Asked for the reasons behind Giannelia’s departure, Keating said it was an “HR matter.”….

Giannelia’s short-lived tenure as director was punctuated by a handful of colourful appearances before council to provide progress reports on the project.

Asked in May by councillors what he thought he could learn from some of the young Green Line team members he was leading, Giannelia said they didn’t share the same mindset.

“The staff that we have on our team that came from a background of the city haven’t been used to the word ‘deadlines,’ like we have in construction,” Giannelia told councillors.

“It’s a philosophical thing that they’re not used to.”

City leadership repeatedly urged the veteran construction manager to look for ways to adapt to the city’s corporate culture. At least once, the city’s top bureaucrat explicitly raised the issue of workplace respect.

“My expectation is that Paul will live up to a standard that reflects the respectful workplace that we put in place here for the city,” city manager Jeff Fielding said in May.

“Paul is also going to bring some energy to the project that might at a certain points in time ruffle a few feathers. (We’re) going to have some give and take on both sides in order for that relationship to work.”….

Giannelia’s repeated emphasis on cost control wasn’t always well received by councillors looking for broader details on station design and the Green Line’s impact on surrounding neighbourhoods.

“Our objective is to end up with the lowest cost,” Giannelia said. “That is an objective we can’t ever lose sight of.”….

660 News: Hired March 21, 2018

read … Paul Giannelia departs as head of $4.6B Green Line project

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