November 30, 2009
Dear CAMPO Transportation Policy Board Members:
As you know, the CAMPO Board Composition Committee will convene its first meeting this afternoon at City Hall and begin the process of considering how our board should grow with our region.
Today’s meeting doubtlessly marks the beginning of a new transition period for the Transportation Policy Board. I wanted to take this opportunity to consider all we’ve accomplished in the past three years and where CAMPO needs to go in the future – especially in terms of who should lead the Policy Board, and what role state legislators should play on it.
First off, I am – and we all should be – very proud of the milestones CAMPO has achieved over the last three years:
Now, we must consider what comes next for CAMPO. I will strongly encourage the Board to adopt a system that regularly rotates the position of Policy Board Chair among different members. I feel so strongly about the need for such regular shifts in leadership that I plan to step down as Board Chair when my current term expires at our January 11 meeting. While I deeply and humbly appreciate the support and encouragement you’ve given me over the last three years, please know that I will respectfully decline any re-nomination as Policy Board Chair.
A system of rotating Chairs will allow for new perspectives, enhance regionalism and follow a model that the Regional Transportation Council in North Texas, among others, has maintained effectively and equitably for decades.
Today, I will also strongly encourage the Board Composition Committee recommend restructuring the Policy Board to remove the three state legislators, including myself, who currently serve on it. Such a change would make CAMPO more what it’s meant to be – a locally driven group that is closest to the needs of the region and its communities. And it will ensure that board members will come from jurisdictions that help provide portions of Central Texas’ transportation system.
This change also would put legislators in a better position to play the role they were elected to play – allowing us to concentrate on statewide transportation issues, particularly the failure of the state to live up to its historical role of providing funding to build and maintain an adequate transportation system. This is – it must be – a significant obligation for all state legislators, as you local officials know all too well.
Subject to the CAMPO by-laws, I will continue to serve as a Policy Board member through the transition period, during which the Composition Committee will consider these proposals and work on a recommendation to be reviewed and acted upon by the Policy Board and Joint Power Agreement signatories.
I hope it goes without saying that, on the board or off, I will play whatever constructive role I can in resolving needless political disputes and pursuing projects that will give us a truly comprehensive transportation system. And I make these suggestions secure in the knowledge that our executive director, Joe Cantalupo, will continue to provide a rich perspective, unassailable counsel, and the fullest range of alternatives to the Policy Board and the region.
I have appreciated the opportunity to serve with you as we’ve worked to provide more mobility, transportation options, and free time to the people of Central Texas. I look forward to continuing to work with you through this transition and into the future, as we all strive to provide the transportation system that Central Texans rightly want, need and demand.