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CAMPO Board splits over salary for new executive director

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 by Kimberly Reeves

A divided CAMPO Transportation Policy Board took an hour behind closed doors last night to discuss setting a salary for new Executive Director Maureen McCoy.

 

The division was over whether McCoy, an in-house hire, would be offered the same salary as her predecessor, Joe Cantalupo, who was recruited away from private industry. While the original motion on the table was for $135,000 a year, Mayor Lee Leffingwell suggested a substitute motion for $125,000.

 

In an odd twist, Chair Judge Sam Biscoe asked for a vote to take up the substitute motion rather vote on the substitute. Those in favor of considering the lower salary lost on a 6-13 vote. Those in favor included Biscoe, Leffingwell, Cedar Park Mayor Bob Lemon, Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long, Pflugerville Mayor Jeff Coleman and Caldwell County Commissioner John Cyrier. The $135,000 salary passed.

 

There was with no public debate on the issue.

 

The board also looked over amendments to the CAMPO 2035 Regional Transportation Plan and its three-year Transportation Improvement Program. Those documents will go out to the CAMPO area in four open houses over the next two months, with comments due by Dec. 17.

 

Changes include modifications to Austin’s urban rail plan, a number of updated roadways and the addition of pass-through financing projects. For a look at the plan, and a survey of the various projects, go to http://www.CAMPOTexas.org.

 

They also discussed possible federal funding sources that might be flowing through CAMPO in the coming months, including $40 million in Surface Transportation Program – Metropolitan Mobility Funding over the next year or several years. Timing is still fluid. Another $290,000 is expected from federal reverse commute project funding and up to $10 million per year in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program Funds if the region is designated for air quality non-attainment. Funds for those mitigation projects likely would start in 2013.

 

McCoy said CAMPO would prepare criteria and applications, according to existing criteria in statute, and provide the documents to the Transportation Policy Board for review. The awards would be made next spring.

 

CAMPO will take on the role of lead agency in a 10-county collaborative for coordinated public transit-health and human services plan due in 2011. Travis County Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt said she had no problems with the Capital Area Council of Governments, which currently leads the regional planning effort, but that it was probably better suited for CAMPO. The consultant on the contract, already selected by a steering committee, is KFH Group, Inc.

 

The board also voted to authorize CAMPO staff to join the region’s plug-in electric vehicle and infrastructure planning and deployment effort. Austin Energy, using a federal grant, intends to put up to 200 electric charging stations on the ground by the first quarter of 2011. Estimates are upwards of 192,000 people in Austin could be driving electric vehicles by 2020, given anticipated price drops on the cars.

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