Sunday, January 25, 2015
Four great new DOT commissioners in the Northeast!
It’s January in an odd-numbered year, so we have the usual turnover of transportation department CEOs. Both those in the trenches and those involved in transportation more broadly hope for the best but have to deal with what they get. In the Northeast – fortunately for everyone – the four new commissioners/secretaries recently announced are an outstanding class.
Sue Minter in Vermont (going north to south) has been promoted from deputy secretary and is well known and respected in transportation circles. Sue has already pulled very tough duty as head of recovery from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irene, so is ready for anything. She is committed to climate change adaptation and mitigation and has been active in the multistate Transportation and Climate Initiative.
Stephanie Pollack in Massachusetts – the only one of the four I don’t know personally – is a pleasant surprise for many Bay Staters, who were apprehensive about who a Republican governor might appoint. She is, in fact, a transit advocate, and an academic (Dukakis Center at Northeastern) who studies equity issues and transit oriented development.
Leslie Richards in Pennsylvania is a local elected official who has been chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, one of the country’s best MPOs. Leslie is a trained planner, a progressive, and steeped in Pennsylvania government and transportation issues.
Pete Rahn in Maryland is another pleasant surprise for those wondering what a Republican governor might do. Pete has already been head of the DOTs in New Mexico and Missouri and is well respected nationwide for both his technical skills (particularly in performance management) and his diplomatic skills (which he’ll need in a divided government).
This is a great group that promises very effective leadership in the years to come!