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Friday, September 27, 2013

Restructured Port Authority board meets for the first time

Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM

In a meeting lasting just a few minutes, the Port Authority board convened for the first time since a new law took effect that allows state officials to appoint five of the expanded 11 member board.

Gov. Tom Corbett, who is allowed one appointee, has not yet announced his pick.

In a unanimous vote, the board elected Robert Hurley as Chairman, Thomas E. Donatelli as vice chairman, Constance Parker as treasurer and Jim Brewster as secretary. Hurley, Donatelli and Parker served on the board before it was reconfigured this summer.

Republican and Democratic leaders in the state legislature each appoint two board members, a move that some worry will recreate political fault lines that already exist in Harrisburg on the county transit board.

Rep. Dom Costa, a Democrat, is optimistic.

“There’s a political aspect to the board now,” he says, adding that the Republican appointees are “looking out for the interests of everyone.”

D. Raja, who ran against County Executive Rich Fitzgerald in 2011, and was nominated for the Port Authority post by Senate Republicans, echoed that sentiment, saying the issues facing the board will require mutual respect and cooperation.

A complete list (to date) of the board appointments is after the jump.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald:
Constance Parker, Amanda Green Hawkins, Robert Hurley and Jeffrey W. Letwin in addition to Thomas E. Donatelli and John C. Tague, Jr. — who were both required to be appointed in consultation with civic transit groups.

Democrats:
Jim Brewster (D-McKeesport) and Rep. Dom Costa.

Republicans:
D. Raja and David B. White.

Gov. Tom Corbett:
Not publicly announced.

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