New OCTA Board Chair and Vice Chair Selected
The board unanimously selected Vice Chairman Michael Hennessey to serve as chair of the Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors for 2017.
Hennessey served as the OCTA board’s vice chair for the last year. He replaces outgoing Chairwoman Lori Donchak, a San Clemente City Councilwoman, who remains on the board.
Hennessey is the principal of his own real-estate development and consulting firm, Hennessey Group, and has served on the OCTA board as a public member since 2011. He has more than 20 years of experience in the Southern California real estate industry, working in housing and development for redevelopment agencies as well as commercial and residential companies. His extensive real estate experience includes the areas of development, real property acquisition and, community outreach.
Replacing Hennessey as vice chair is Lisa Bartlett, who is the Fifth District Supervisor for the County of Orange. She joined the OCTA board in December 2014.
Four new members joined the board: Laguna Niguel Mayor Laurie Davies, representing the county’s 5th District; Huntington Beach Councilmember Barbara Delgleize, representing the 2nd District; Orange Mayor Pro Tem Mark Murphy, representing the 3rd District; and Los Alamitos Mayor Richard Murphy, representing the 2nd District.
The new board members replace outgoing directors Jim Katapodis, Jeff Lalloway, Gary Miller and Frank Ury.
2016 was a remarkable year for the Orange County Transportation Authority, marking the agency’s 25th anniversary delivering transportation improvements across the county. CEO Darrell Johnson presented the board with a video slideshow to review a wide range of accomplishments in the past year based on the 2016 board initiatives.
Those accomplishments included:
The board approved a final prioritized list of funding for projects that support bicycle and pedestrian mobility throughout Orange County.
Through the process, the OCTA utilized previously approved guidelines to assign points to 17 projects planned to improve bicycle and pedestrian paths and provide safe routes to schools.
The Active Transportation Plan was approved at the state level in 2013 to provide federal and state funds for projects that support mobility for bicycles and pedestrians.
In December 2016, the California Transportation Commission approved $158 million for 54 statewide Active Transportation Projects, including one from Santa Ana. In all, about $8.9 million is available for Orange County projects. Based on the rankings, the Southern California Association of Governments is expected to fully fund Orange County’s two highest ranking active transportation projects, each in Santa Ana, at West Willis Street and near Davis Elementary School. The funds are scheduled to be used in fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21.
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