The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) Board of Directors has named transportation engineer Don Skelton as its interim executive director, effective June 30.
Skelton will step in when out-going Executive Director Bob Clifford leaves his post to go to work in the private sector, said TBARTA General Counsel Donald Conn.
TBARTA is the regional transportation authority, providing regional transportation planning and connecting people and freight throughout the seven-county Tampa Bay region.
Skelton served as an ex officio member of the agency’s board previously and helped to develop its master transportation plan. He has a long career in transportation planning and programs, and served as secretary of the District 7 Office of the Florida Department of Transportation from 2005 until 2012.
He is vice president at H.W. Lochner, providing transportation engineering services in the Tampa Bay region and throughout Central Florida.
Conn said Skelton will devote about 20 hours a week to running the TBARTA office, overseeing its budget and keeping the board of directors up to date on any ongoing issues.
Skelton was unavailable Friday afternoon to comment for this article.
TBARTA Board Chairman Ronnie Duncan said he was delighted that Skelton has agreed to once again step in and support TBARTA. “Don was there when we started and played a major role in our early success. There could not be a better person to serve in this capacity as we work through the process of selecting a permanent executive director,” Duncan said.
Conn said the search for a permanent executive director got underway Friday.
“We will begin advertising and are going to do a nationwide search with all transit agencies and organizations to get the word out as widely as possible. We’ll keep the announcement out for 30 days and see what applications we receive, then do a review and selection,” Conn said.
He said it will likely be mid-July before the board looks at applications.
TBARTA was created by the Florida Legislature in 2007 to plan and develop a multimodal transportation system that will connect Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties. To learn more, visit www.TBARTA.com.