Thursday, February 28, 2008

The 'Ric Williamson [Hard of] Hearing Room' commemorates Rogue Texas Transportation Commissioner

Hearing room named for late chairman

February 28, 2008

Ben Wear
Austin American-Statesman
Copyright 2008

With Ric Williamson’s wife, Mary Ann, and two of his three daughters looking on, the Texas Transportation Commission this morning renamed its meeting room in the late chairman’s honor.

The large room on the first floor of the Greer Building, TxDOT’s state headquarters, will now be the Ric Williamson Hearing Room.

“We all miss his leadership and his wisdom,” said interim commission chairwoman Hope Andrade. “This room will never be the same without him.”

Williamson, a former state House member from Weatherford, served on the commission from April 2001 until his death Dec. 30 of a heart attack. He was chairman from 2004 until his death at age 55, a period of radical change in how Texas funds transportation.

Williamson’s full-on support of privatizing toll roads was intensely controversial.

Mary Ann Williamson said her husband was “incredibly proud” of TxDOT. In a joking reference to Williamson’s well-known volubility, she said, “My family knows exactly what you felt. But his ultimate motive was to get you to think, to talk, to see.”

As for Williamson’s policies, Mary Ann Williamson said they should continue.

“Even if you don’t care for some of these things,” she said, “I don’t think you have a choice.”

© 2008 Austin American-Statesman:

To search TTC News Archives click HERE

To view the Trans-Texas Corridor Blog click HERE