Monday, September 29, 2014

John Sheridan, RIP

Those of us involved in New Jersey transportation suffered a tough blow this weekend with the tragic death of John Sheridan, former Commissioner of Transportation, and his wife Joyce in a fire at their home.
For me, John was a friend, a mentor, a standard of excellence.  He was one of the most all-round competent people I have ever known, and demonstrated that public service could be a noble, exciting, and rewarding pursuit, despite its many frustrations.
I worked with John very closely on two projects back in the day: a battle with the feds over designated truck routes in the state (doesn’t seem like a big deal today, but was then) and (better known) the birth of the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund.  One of my contributions to the latter project was to suggest calling it the “New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund” rather than the original working title of “New Jersey Transportation System Improvement, Operations, and Maintenance Fund” – although technically, at least in the minds of some, it wasn’t really a trust fund at all.  John agreed with me.
In these and other projects I was continually impressed with his leadership.  He was always composed and thoughtful, a master of both strategy and tactics, accommodating when he could be, hard-nosed when he had to be, and always a gentleman.

We will miss him.

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