County Executive Fitzgerald Names Four PAT Board Members
The Port Authority of Allegheny County is a little bit closer to once again having a full board. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has submitted his for appointees to round out the newly reformed 11-member board.
Fitzgerald chose two individuals that have served on the board in the past. Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis partner Jeffrey W. Letwin was the past president of the body and PennDOT employee Constance Parker was also a member of the board. Also named by Fitzgerald were County Council Member Amanda Green Hawkins and senior deputy director of Allegheny County Economic Development Robert Hurley.
Fitzgerald was forced to choose new members after legislation was passed in Harrisburg that disbanded to old nine-member board and replaced it with the new 11-member board. The old structure allowed the Allegheny County Executive to name all of the members of the board while the new structure includes four appointments directly from the County Executive; two members that pass through his office after being suggested by the Allegheny Conference, The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission and the Committee for Accessible Transportation; one member appointed by each of the four state legislative caucuses; and one from the governor’s office.
Act 72 of 2013 was introduced and quickly passed this summer after Fitzgerald upset some lawmakers by flexing his political muscle on the board to force the firing of Port Authority CEO Stephen Bland.
The four new members join Thomas Donatelli and John L. Tague, Jr. (submitted by the three advisory groups), Senator Jim Brewster (Senate Democratic Leader selection), Representative Dom Costa (House Democratic Leader selection) and D. Raja (Senate Republican Leader selection). The governor and the Republican House Leader Mike Turzai have yet to make their appointments.
All appointments are due by Sept. 16. The board must hold its first meeting by October 16th.