Thursday, February 15, 2007

Familiar faces fill NTTA's top two jobs

Toll agency director steps down

NTTA hiring his predecessor to return as interim leader

February 15, 2007

The Dallas Morning News
Copyright 2007

PLANO – The leader of the North Texas Tollway Authority announced his resignation Wednesday.

Allan Rutter, the agency's executive director since February 2005, will remain on the job through Wednesday.

"It's time for me to leave," he said, adding that he plans to pursue opportunities in the expanding world of public-private partnerships for transportation projects.

Mr. Rutter previously served as a transportation adviser to Gov. George W. Bush and later was appointed director of the Federal Railroad Administration.

"There are a bunch of things I can do, and a bunch of people I am talking to," he said.

His departure came after the authority's board of directors met for two hours behind closed doors, the third such meeting in recent weeks.

"This was Allan's decision," agency board chairman Paul Wageman said. "He made significant accomplishments at this agency. He got things in place for us. Now it's time for us to execute those plans he made."

Some of the discussions in the previous closed-door meetings involved the recent resignation of the tollway authority's deputy executive director, Matt Dominy, Mr. Wageman said.

Shortly after announcing Mr. Rutter's resignation, the agency unveiled some familiar faces to fill its top two jobs.

The board of directors voted unanimously to hire former executive director Jerry Hiebert as its interim director. Mr. Hiebert led the agency from 1998 until Mr. Rutter took over in 2005.

"The chairman called me, and he indicated he was committed to keeping the agency's projects moving forward," said Mr. Hiebert, who probably will serve for six months. "I care a lot about the region, and I want the NTTA to be a success."

The change in leadership comes at a crucial time for the tollway authority. After months of wrangling with the Texas Department of Transportation over the rights to build a host of toll roads in North Texas, the agency recently established a working agreement with the state that outlines which agency will build future toll roads.

"We have more projects today than we have ever had," Mr. Wageman said. "We need someone with dynamic leadership skills to help us continue to get things done."

And in one of his first acts upon returning, Mr. Hiebert announced his selection of former tollway authority executive Rick Herrington to become the agency's new deputy executive director. Mr. Herrington spent more than six years with the tollway authority and rose to the position of assistant executive director before he left to join the private sector.

© 2007 The Dallas Morning News Co

To search TTC News Archives click HERE