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Friday, August 23, 2013

Fitzgerald submits two Port Authority appointments

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Port Authority's 9-member board of directors today bid farewell in its final meeting, as a new board will be appointed next month per new state law.

But the break will be short for current members John Tague and Thomas Donatelli, whose appointments were submitted to county council by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald this afternoon.

As we noted in this week's issue, Fitzgerald has six picks on the new, 11-person panel whose structure was approved by Gov. Tom Corbett July 18.

Two of Fitzgerald's picks have to be from a pool of nominees submitted by civic groups: the Allegheny Conference, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission and the Committee for Accessible Transportation. Donatelli and Tague are the picks from the list.

Fitzgerald says he's still evaluating the rest of his appointments, but says riders should not be worried about having a new board.

"We're going to continue to improve the system ... the rail system, the bus system, it's going to continue to get better," he told City Paper last week. "With this new board in place, and in time with a new CEO, all of those things will make the system more progressive, more user-friendly, more customer-friendly and more reliable. That's our goal."

Fitzgerald has four appointments remaining. The rest of the board will include one appointee each from the governor, and from the Democratic and Republican caucuses in both the state House and Senate.

Senate Democrats last week appointed State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-McKeesport) to the board. Appointments are due by mid-September.

The new board will be tasked with hiring a CEO, a process outgoing chairman Jeff Letwin said this morning had been suspended on account of the restructuring.

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