Opinion: $90/year in Toastmasters or $550/hour Private Coach: Still a Waste on Sound Transit CEO

For $550/hour Peter Rogoff is getting private lessons in leadership and listening skills as reported by Mike Lindblom in the Seattle Times.  When you pay someone $328,545 to lead an organization that spends $90,000,000,000 to build a transit system, I would expect leadership skills and listening skills to be primary prerequisites for the job.  I’m not talking about learning cultural differences between east coast and west coast, like his use of east coast profanity.  I’m talking about how to lead and how to work with people.  It is ironic that Toastmasters just formed a new club at Sound Transit.  Perhaps Mr. Rogoff would do well to join the club for $90/year and learn from his employees how to be a better leader?


Peter Rogoff – Courtesy cited Seattle Times article

The Seattle Times article also mentions Sound Transit’s claim of an increase in train ridership.  It’s hollow propaganda.  Much of that increase is just people who were forced to shift from buses when several heavily-used bus routes were eliminated at the same time they opened the train line.  This is not a net increase in transit ridership.  Also, the claim that Sound Transit had a 6% increase in ridership is also misleading.  The reality is the population growth in the region was proportionally many times greater than the increase in transit ridership. That transit growth is even less significant when you consider that the total transit ridership is less than 5% of the trips made.  That actually translates into an overall decline in transit ridership as a percentage of the population in the region.  Confused? Yeah, that’s the whole idea.  This is one of the techniques used to obfuscate the truth as described in this book “How to Lie With Statistics” Chapter 4. Much Ado About Practically Nothing.  And this “selective misrepresentation” comes all too easy for this organization led by Peter Rogoff.

The Seattle Times Traffic Lab could do us all a great service by breaking this data down into actual numbers to clarify the truth behind Sound Transit’s misleading percentages.

Whether it is through a Toastmasters club for $90/year or with a private coach for $35,000/year, it really won’t help Rogoff.  You can teach someone leadership and interpersonal skills, but you can’t teach integrity.

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2 comments on “Opinion: $90/year in Toastmasters or $550/hour Private Coach: Still a Waste on Sound Transit CEO
  1. David Aamodt says:

    Here is District 45 we have no representation…We have Jerry Springer, who prefers to go by Larry Springer…and I swear Roger Goodman’s middle name is “NO” as, “NO he won’t return phone calls…NO he won’t return emails…NO he doesn’t respond to snail-mail…NO he doesn’t represent the over-taxed citizens of District 45…And Manka-Danka Doo Dhingra…we’ll just see what is written above about Springer and Goodman…These three addicts are all addicted to our money…and refuse to go to bat for us.


  2. transpengr says:

    Rogoff gets a 5% “inflation” raise? That is far greater than the rate of inflation — it must be the common Seattle area local government step raise that all get who keep their noses clean.

    Also doesn’t appear that he had any skills or experience for running a transit operating and major rail construction agency. Amazing that there was no ST board or public scrutiny of this hire. One might conclude from all this that we need something other than a rubber stamp board of which the King county Executive appoints the majority of its members.

    And there is this outrageous $550/hr coaching rate that comes out of our pocket. The only significant clients cited for the person were hotels and something Seattle. With 30,000 practitioners of this art form it would seem a rate of about 1/2 that would be appropriate assuming of course the person has transformed some leaders elsewhere.

    Finally there is the 6% ridership gain that “Seattle enjoys” which is apparently thrown in to make this pill easier to swallow. David’s post is on the mark — it’s mainly coming from the bus system. But this is also a double counting program that inflates the public perception of transit system ridership as the bus route that went to downtown or the UW truncates at rail stations and the bus rider now transfers to the train. Still one transit rider but, voila,a new rail boarding so both the bus operator and the rail operator get credit for the “boarding” and bogus transit ridership gains in Seattle can be cited to distract us from all this negative stuff.

    We need more “laboratory” in Traffic Lab!


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