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HART selects CEO finalist at $245,000 salary plus benefits

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 03:51 p.m. HST, Feb 24, 2012

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation today announced the selection of Daniel Grabauskas as finalist for the agency's chief executive officer position.

Grabauskas is chairman and senior strategic adviser of the Bronner Center for Transportation Management and former general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

The full board is scheduled to vote on the selection after taking public testimony at its March 1 meeting.

"Dan Grabauskas is a proven leader in the transit industry and we are pleased to be considering him for HART's top job,"Keslie Hui, chairman of the HART board's human resources committee, said in a statement.

If approved by the board, Grabauskas would begin work in mid-April.

"There is much that I have to learn about the project, and will rely on our staff, our elected leaders, stakeholders and the community for support in my transition," Grabauskas said in a statement. "I am a strong believer in open and honest communication and look forward to hearing many perspectives on how best to get the job done."

Grabauskas' proposed three-year contract includes an annual base salary of $245,000, a $36,000 a year housing allowance and a $6,000 annual transportation allowance. The proposal also includes the potential for a $35,000 annual performance bonus. 

Toru Hamayasu has been serving as the agency's interim chief executive and will continue in that role until the new CEO arrives. He will then continue on with the project in a senior leadership position, HART said in its news release.

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mcc wrote:
What happens if we do not get federal funding from the Republican leaders? Is there a clause, that if we do not rail, he is terminated , or is he paid for 3 years to do nothing because we are not going to have rail.
on February 24,2012 | 01:44PM
nalogirl wrote:
Looks like he probably would, this from Boston.com: "The board, by a 5-to-3 vote, agreed to pay Grabauskas $327,487 to settle the remaining nine months of his contract, including salary, vacation, and sick days. Under the terms of the deal, Grabauskas will receive $215,000 in base compensation, $44,000 for unused vacation days, $32,000 for unused sick days, and $35,000 in deferred and other pay. He will also receive full health insurance until his contract expires on May 15, 2010."
on February 24,2012 | 01:57PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
What are you talking about? Heatlh insurance till May 15,2010? Are you answering mcc question? What are your $$ figures in response to. Is this another example of the MISINFORMATION from the ANTI.
on February 24,2012 | 02:53PM
postmanx wrote:
A quarter of a million tax payer dollars! What is this guy a god?
on February 24,2012 | 07:32PM
Changalang wrote:
If you look real close at the picture, you can see dollar signs in the eyes and a little bit of drool forming.
on February 24,2012 | 03:08PM
frontman wrote:
Good...Give him $6,000 in rail passes for his transportation. He'll never step one foot on the rail as 80% of Hawaii residence will never ride the rail.
on February 24,2012 | 03:12PM
ammb3 wrote:
This guy certainly wont be riding the rail if it's built...
on February 24,2012 | 06:13PM
waikiicapt wrote:
Only in Hawaii, where we are about to embark on the biggest (failure) capitol improvement project, would a bunch of fools turn to the state of Massachusetts for "leadership". how appropriate!! This guys was involved in the "big dig" which is SECOND TO NONE in the world for big, over budget, long behind schedule, government projects that was continuously plagued by problems over and over again. Certainly Honolulu deserves this man specifically chosen by the brain dead (or should I say absent) HART board members. If you want a failed project to succeed at being another spectacular government boondoggle, then YES! We have found our man. It never cease to amaze me how bad HART is mis-managing this from the very start.
on February 24,2012 | 09:09PM
Kuniarr wrote:
WOW. A $2,000 a month housing allowance and $500 a month transportation allowance in addition to a monthly salary of around $20,833 while Rail is not built yet. And what is galling about this is that we property owners will have to face paying scandalous salaries of HART officials and employes EVERY YEAR when sanity and common sense would have saved all of us property owners being drowned by the financial tsunami from Rail after it starts operation.
on February 24,2012 | 01:59PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Your property tax will not be affected. In fact if you live near the line, property value may go up.
on February 24,2012 | 02:28PM
Ronin006 wrote:
NanakuliBoss, you are very wrong about property taxes not being affected. They will go up to cover cost overruns, which are inevitable in projects like this. And if your property values go up because you live near the rail line, so will your property taxes go up because they are based on assessed value.
on February 24,2012 | 03:07PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Of course assessments go up because of value going up, but show me where cost over runs will be tacked to your property tax. You have a link to some government website that say this or is it your opinion?
on February 24,2012 | 03:17PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Since you claim that cost over runs will not be tacked to property tax, do tell us where the source of the money will come to pay for the cost overruns. Your "of course assessments go up because of value going up" destroys your argument concerning Rail and property tax because under that situation Rail would be the direct cause of an increase in property tax influenced by Rail.
on February 24,2012 | 05:13PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Kuniarr, where is your source, again beside your opinion. And if your assessment goes up, good we can use the extra for sewers but not rail.
on February 24,2012 | 05:53PM
BluesBreaker wrote:
There will be no cost overruns. Change orders are inevitable. Cost overruns aren't. There is a contingency of more than $800,000. Yes, there will be change orders, like there are on every construction project, but that is exactly what the contingency is for. The FTA stated that the size of the contingency was more than adequate for the size of the project.
on February 24,2012 | 03:28PM
Ronin006 wrote:
BluesBreaker, you are in denial about there being no cost overruns. Name one major public works project that has ever come in without them.
on February 24,2012 | 05:06PM
Wazdat wrote:
another DONKEY
on February 24,2012 | 08:35PM
kauai wrote:
Who's to say that property taxes will not be affected? If you live near the rail line and your property value goes up, then it stands to reason that your property tax (out-of-pocket dollars) will go up because your assessed valuation goes up. Oh, and by the way, when Hanneman was mayor, he said that property taxes will not be used for rail. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), Hanneman is no longer mayor and the non-use of property taxes for rail is NOT codified in law; then or now. Besides, the politicians can change the laws anyway so the public can still get screwed.
on February 24,2012 | 03:21PM
Wazdat wrote:
wake up donkey
on February 24,2012 | 08:34PM
aiea7 wrote:
waipahu - besides not being able to understand english, you must have failed math in grade school. $36,000 a year equals, $3,000 a month, not $2,000. by the way, what has the fact that the rail is not built yet, supposed to affect his salary. the construction period requires him to do more work, since he will have to supervise the whole staff of HART. After construction, the staff of HART will shrink, no need for all the engineers and construction staff. such illogical thinking of anti-railers.
on February 24,2012 | 07:45PM
Wazdat wrote:
another DONKEY
on February 24,2012 | 08:35PM
jusjoking wrote:
How in the world can anyone be expected to live an executive lifestyle on a mere allowance of 3000 dollars per month? Shame on HART for even suggesting such a lowball figure.How will Italian rail or construction execs view the surroundings one can only afford for such meager rent or mortage? Tax payers will need to rent an "official" entertainment facility for rail functions. A 5 plus billion dollar investment in our keiki's future choo choo should have more perk funds available for our new transit oriented elite.
on February 24,2012 | 02:00PM
pralix wrote:
"There is much that I have to learn about the project, and will rely on our staff, our elected leaders, stakeholders and the community for support in my transition," Grabauskas said in a statement. He will be paid to learn about the proposed Rail. He's also being taught by biased elected leaders and stakeholders about the project. Does he know that a lot of the community doesn't approve of the rail, and that there is a chance that a new mayor can stop the rail from being built?
on February 24,2012 | 02:00PM
what wrote:
Gold plated salaries for gold plated executives sitting in their luxury Honolulu offices, all paid for by the taxpayers of Honolulu. Selling Honolulu a massive transit system that will saddle taxpayers with mountains of debt for generations to come. Honolulu is in WAY over its head, and should move to downsize to a more reasonable sized transit system.
on February 24,2012 | 02:01PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
You need the best minds. If hart said they were taking Joe Blow at 20 k a year, you would complain he was a janitor.
on February 24,2012 | 02:30PM
kauai wrote:
Best minds? If memory serves, Boston had that "Big Dig" project that went WAY over budget. Wasn't there also that section of ceiling of that tunnel that crashed onto a car and killed one person and seriously injured another? If this is the "best minds" that HART can find, then we're in for one heck of a ride. And nearly a quarter million dollars a year in salary? A $36k a year housing allowance? $6k travel expense? What, this guy can't find a decent house on a $245k a year salary? And whats the $6k a year travel expense for? Isn't he going to be living here in Honolulu? This whole project is carrying the aroma of decaying sea life...
on February 24,2012 | 03:32PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Kauai, read below, you look like a fool! The Big Dig was way back before Grabauska was even out of college. And note you say that the ceiling fell on cars in managed lanes,,,duh..this was a project that anti rail would have approved. Managed vehicle lanes. The city of Boston in hindsight said " We wish we went with Rail".
on February 24,2012 | 05:58PM
Wazdat wrote:
come on DONKEY
on February 24,2012 | 08:36PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
This donkey will be riding rail.
on February 24,2012 | 08:57PM
paradisetax wrote:
The gravy train is on its way.
on February 24,2012 | 02:09PM
AJSay wrote:
Okay, why do we have to give him a humungous salary plus housing and transportation expenses? Maybe the most he should get is his salary. and with the amount which is way more then the rest of the general hawaii population, he can get a BUS pass. Seriously, for people that continously whine that we have no money for anything, we sure know how to get throw it all away! I am so sorry to hear that we are run by a bunch of idiots in this state and county. OMG, God help us all!
on February 24,2012 | 02:12PM
poidragon wrote:
GOD is sitting up in heaven, holding a cold brewski in one hand, a lit cubano cigar in the other and laughing his a**off at what is transpiring down here! It's better than what is currently running on prime time television!
on February 24,2012 | 05:39PM
egghead wrote:
...reminds me a lot of the Evan Dobelle and Herman Frazier type mainland experts at high compensation appointments...sure hope this one ends differently.
on February 24,2012 | 02:16PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Yes egghead, Dobelle got in on Cayetano's watch. Hmmmmm. Another bungle we can tack on to Ben?
on February 24,2012 | 02:37PM
egghead wrote:
typical....just Google his name and this is the 1st article that comes up: "Embattled MBTA chief resigns" http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/08/patrick_asks_fo_1.html ...I can just see it now....negotiating the early termination of his contract.
on February 24,2012 | 02:46PM
Wazdat wrote:
you are a DONKEY
on February 24,2012 | 08:37PM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
Dumbelle was also from Machochoosesex, just like Grabauskas. I lived in Boston for 20 years and often rode the MBTA, red line from Braintree or Quincy to downtown, then green line from downtown to BU where I was a professor. Steel on steel, just like HART. Screeeeeech as the car goes around a curve or comes to a stop. Don't forget Charlie, whose fate is still unlearned; he will ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston, he's the man who'll never return (because he didn't have a nickel to pay for a transfer to get off).
on February 24,2012 | 05:18PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
So you do say idiots come from Boston,Conklin. So what would that make you, a so call professor from BU.
on February 24,2012 | 06:03PM
OldDiver wrote:
"There is much that I have to learn about the project, and will rely on our staff, our elected leaders, stakeholders and the community for support in my transition,".................Unfortunately our mentally in Government or Private sector positions is to bring in people from the mainland who have no knowledge of the local landscape, the business they are being hired for or experience running a business or project in Hawaii. The results are always the same. The new guy gets a huge salary and then let's the local staff run the show for which he gets credit for. We went through this exact situation in the late eighties when Frank Fasi brought in carpet baggers from the mainland who were smooth with the mouth and lacking in knowledge. This is the real reason Ben Cayetano is against rail. Those mainland hires meet with Cayetano and lie to Cayetano about rail. Fasi eventually fired those transportation experts. Every since then Cayetano lost his trust in mainland experts. If Cayetano becomes Mayor hiring a so called expert from the mainland could spell doom for rail.
on February 24,2012 | 02:24PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Do we hire a local expert? Did anyone check if that guy that runs the kiddie train during Xmas at Ala Moana center might be our expert. I'm sure he can be hire for 20 k.
on February 24,2012 | 02:33PM
Kawipoo wrote:
on February 24,2012 | 04:18PM
Wazdat wrote:
on February 24,2012 | 08:38PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Wazdat, ok you will contact the kiddie conductor? Ok
on February 24,2012 | 08:59PM
kekelaward wrote:
Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority? As in Big Dig????? This just gets better and better.
on February 24,2012 | 02:32PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
He was way after this fiasco. Remember the boondoggle Big Dig was a result of putting more traffic lanes in a tunnel along with dedicated bus lanes instead of a smarter solution. Their downfall there was putting in more driving lanes to ease traffic, which in fact created a worse condition and cost billions. Bad planning, thinking more lanes would solve problem.
on February 24,2012 | 03:22PM
Wazdat wrote:
this rail is all about BAD Planning
on February 24,2012 | 08:39PM
smith2650 wrote:
disgusting.....a housing allowance after getting $245,000? A transportation allowance of $6000 when a bus pass should be used? Oahu is an island. Oahu has three feeways and one basic belt road around the island. Why does HART need a mainland focused big city guy to manage an "award winning" bus system that has been in place for decades and a new cho cho that has maybe 20 stops? Give the taxpayers a break and stop with the waste of money!
on February 24,2012 | 02:46PM
Changalang wrote:
Some day CNBC will be able to run HART in the "American Greed" series. It is a great series and would help promote tourism for the State to make and help make up for the huge fiscal gouge Rail will leave on the Oahu taxpayer.l
on February 24,2012 | 02:49PM
kauai wrote:
"Some day"? Heck, CNBC can run the HART episode of "American Greed" right now. How much of the rail money has been spent on "public outreach" and other such cover activities as a cloak for promoting rail? I'm not a big fan of tourism, but hey, you're right. If we can get more tourists to come and spend in our local economy as a result of that TV program...
on February 24,2012 | 03:42PM
islandsun wrote:
Thats what we are waiting for. American Greed or 60 minutes with horner toad and carliar as stars of the show.
on February 24,2012 | 06:42PM
Changalang wrote:
Usually someone has to go to jail before they make an episode; hopefully we will not have to wait long.
on February 24,2012 | 08:18PM
Wazdat wrote:
no one really cares about hawaii it is like a 3rd world country buts its in the USA ???
on February 24,2012 | 08:40PM
Changalang wrote:
Actually, the control of Hawaii is very interesting to many foreign countries buying up land in REITs and retired tech giants with leftward leanings, as well as retiring politicians from the same mindset.
on February 24,2012 | 09:05PM
michaelpeters wrote:
on February 24,2012 | 03:11PM
Rocky808 wrote:
Why do we, as taxpayers, need to accecpt payinf for this kind of rediculous amounts of money for this position? Is this how our government is effficiently working for us the taxpayers? Why not throw in another $36,000 more so he can have foie gras with his happy meal? Come on people... get real! I'm barely making ends meet here. Is this a republican selection committee?
on February 24,2012 | 03:15PM
poidragon wrote:
If I recall correctly it is a prosecuting Mayor's selection committee choice...........with only two choices, we can either recall his butt or fight him in court; either way we all will continue to lose money in the process, as the City continues to suck it up like their is no tomorrow!
on February 24,2012 | 05:34PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Something is very very wrong with this picture. On the other hand he can ignore all the nay-nayers since he's the new kid on the block.
on February 24,2012 | 03:16PM
PCWarrior wrote:
The only thing this clown will need to learn is we cannot afford rail, we do not need rail, and we will not have rail. Folks the gravy train is starting to flow!
on February 24,2012 | 03:18PM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Wow, we are going to pay someone $245,000 to manage a $5.2 billion dollar project, one of the largest of its type in the nation? Who does he think he is, a football coach? Oh, wait, that would cost three times as much.
on February 24,2012 | 03:19PM
pizza wrote:
Now THAT was funny!
on February 24,2012 | 04:14PM
Kawipoo wrote:
That is true!
on February 24,2012 | 04:20PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Daniel Grabauskas is exceptionally well qualified to be CEO of HART. As general Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, he oversaw the construction of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project commonly known as the Big Dig, which was estimated to cost $2.8 billion but ended up costing $14.6 billion, so he should have no problem handling inevitable cost overruns of our reail projects.
on February 24,2012 | 03:27PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Daniel has come to the right place for cost overruns....we'll hold our wallet tightly all to no avail........do you hear that big sucking sound?
on February 24,2012 | 05:07PM
poidragon wrote:
Yea, It's Mayor Carlisle whining about how unfair it is that HART is hiring this guy at a higher wage than he is getting as Mayor of Honolulu!
on February 24,2012 | 05:28PM
Kawipoo wrote:
I wonder if he talks like Kennedy?
on February 24,2012 | 04:22PM
aomohoa wrote:
No wonder he's smiling1
on February 24,2012 | 04:36PM
meatgrinda wrote:
With a quarter of a million dollar salary, WHY does he need housing and transportation allowances? Democratic thinking at its worst., When will this maddness stop?
on February 24,2012 | 05:06PM
Locokane wrote:
All CEOs of Hawaii's "Authorities" (HART, HTA) are overpaid with taxpayers monies. It's time to Hawaii Residents to wake-up and realize that not only are we paying high salaries to them, but also higher than average HI residents for their large staff that support them. By the way, do we have APPROVED PERFORMANCE STANDARDS developed for him???? We expect teachers to have them, but we give 3-5 year contracts to these highly paid quasi-government CEOs funded by taxpayers without much expectations. Give him a 3 year Bus Pass so he can better understand our transit system, not $18000 over 3 years!
on February 24,2012 | 05:12PM
poidragon wrote:
Am I missing something, or is this just a really, really bad financial deal for the people of Honolulu? Look at it: 'Grabauskas' proposed three-year contract includes an annual base salary of $245,000 (a year! = $713,000 over 3 years)), a $36,000 ($108,000 over 3 years) a yearly, housing allowance and a $6,000 ($18,000 over 3 years) annual transportation allowance. The proposal also includes the potential for a $35,000 annual performance bonus; which works out to just under a $1 million dollars over the 3 year term! Why in hell, would the taxpayers of Honolulu, want to subsidize this guys contract, when we are all struggling financially just to feed our selves and families? What's next? Gold lined trash cans in the HARTS offices? Rolls Royce Limo service for these out of state Jerks? STOP THE MADNESS, NOW!
on February 24,2012 | 05:19PM
poidragon wrote:
So HART is willing to shell out just under a $million dollars for a 3 year contract for this Bozo, who does not know the island culture; probably doesn't care about the Islands, or that the taxpayers of Honolulu are getting royally reamed by the Last Mayor, the Current Mayor and their cronies! How much more will the taxpaying public of Honolulu put up with, when they are still struggling to keep themselves from becoming homeless, putting food on the table for their families and keeping their jobs; while HART goes and hires executives like him for that much money!!!!!!!!!!! HEY Carlisle, STOP THE MADNESS NOW, before it becomes too late to turn back!
on February 24,2012 | 05:26PM
poidragon wrote:
Yea, It's Mayor Carlisle, whining about the unfairness of it all , as HART hires this guy for better money than he is currently getting paid, as Mayor!
on February 24,2012 | 05:29PM
butinski wrote:
All right folks, here is your chance to elect Ben in August, not November. Every month that we wait, more of our tax money will be foolishly spent by Carlisle and HART. I envision Ben winning handily in August and the rail project stopped soon after. I wonder if Grabauskas realizes what a pile of doo doo he's stepping into.
on February 24,2012 | 05:31PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Guy has to be desperate. Who would want to become one of the most hated persons on the island and take a job where the next mayor will give him the boot? A pretty questionable resume, no local experience, dim future. The guy must have no other options. This is the best we can do for the most expensive per foot rail program in the country? Where is the incentive component that makes the work for his dough? Seems like he gets fronted a sweet deal with no obligation to perform.
on February 24,2012 | 05:47PM
Changalang wrote:
A small price to pay to be one percenter. They were were very careful to break up the salary into housing allowances and such to keep the "advertised salary under a quarter mill. As printed, with the bonus we all know he will get anyway, it is $322,000.00 a year to rob the Oahu taxpayer.
on February 24,2012 | 05:59PM
gtr71 wrote:
Can someone explain why the HART CEO would make more money than the mayor of Honolulu? I must be missing something.
on February 24,2012 | 07:49PM
Changalang wrote:
Because HART is beyond the taxpayer reach of accountability. HART members are appointed by the Mayor and others in City government and are accountable only to themselves. I am sure Carlisle will make more after his short stint as Mayor and end up with one of those higher paying positions when it is all said and done. HART Mafia takes care of their own.
on February 24,2012 | 08:21PM
Locokane wrote:
Agree that Appointed Positions (HART, HTA, PUC, BWS, etc.) are paid more than either the Mayor or Governor who appointed them and HAVE NO accountability to the taxpayer/rate payer. Also, what are the YEARLY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS are they required to meet or get fired? Furthermore, they shouldn't be appointed any longer than the term of the existing Mayor or Governor who appointed them! There should be a LAW that REQUIRES ALL Appointed Positions making MORE and appointed for LONGER than the term of either the Mayor or Governor who appointed them be put on the voter's ballot where there is some accountability to the taxpayer/rate payer!
on February 24,2012 | 10:02PM
aiea7 wrote:
why does Ms. Greenwood make more than the governor? same answer.
on February 24,2012 | 08:39PM
Changalang wrote:
The fact that HART is corrupt and off the leash with taxpayer monies has nothing to do with Greenwood's salary. That is a different answer.
on February 24,2012 | 09:07PM
Wazdat wrote:
what a waste of money. Hawaii is going to be BANKRUPT in the future and you can thank the so-called elected leaders of this state.
on February 24,2012 | 08:33PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
on February 24,2012 | 09:02PM
Changalang wrote:
They don't care. That is why they killed all anti-spiking legislation this session rather quickly. One hand washes the other. The ERS will fiscally destroy Hawaii as well.
on February 24,2012 | 09:09PM
HD36 wrote:
I say we ship around and see if anyone is just as qualified and cheaper.
on February 24,2012 | 09:41PM
murry wrote:
If finalist Grabauskas is truly "a strong believer in open and honest communication" as he states, he will acknowledge that the majority of Hawai'i residents are no longer in favor of the rail project and that the mayor and HART Board are trying to lock in a 3 year contract with Grabauskas in order to ignore the will of the majority. How much has already been wasted trying to PR the public into accepting what they don't want and know we can't afford? This is absolutely not open and honest communication, but disrespectful and dishonest!
on February 24,2012 | 09:59PM
Rice_Man wrote:
Hey all you anti-railers, As I said in the past, I am guilty of thinking that H-3 was a bad idea until after it was built and traffic from the Windward side to town and back was lessened greatly. If 20% of Hawaii people use the rail, imagine 10% less traffic on the freeway. You think this wouldn't help? Ewa Beach to town traffic is a joke! You want more buses? What do you think accounts for a lot of the traffic on the back streets? Federal monies are helping us with this and if all you anti-railers fail to see that if we stop this now, we will probably never be able to get assistance from the Federal government for this project again. Our .5% tax (Honolulu County) will go into the general coffers and wasted anyways, so let it go to good use! Yes, I think they are going to pay this guy too much, and the job should go to a local person, though, stop bashing rail, if you aren't going to use it, don't! Don't speak for everyone!
on February 24,2012 | 10:19PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
Is that you Daniel Grabauskas? "Embattled MBTA chief resigns" http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/08/patrick_asks_fo_1.html
on February 24,2012 | 10:26PM
pralix wrote:
I agree. If you're not paying for it, then don't say anything about it. If you gave your vote and lost, then too bad. Oh wait. The people of Honolulu are paying for it? And they didn't have a choice to vote for or against rail? Well then. Bash all you want.
on February 24,2012 | 10:33PM
nontaister1 wrote:
Get Ben elected quick, to stop this madness!
on February 24,2012 | 10:26PM
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