Thursday, May 28, 2009

Delisi, Houghton, other Transportation Commissioners reappointed by Perry

Delisi, other transportation commissioners reappointed


By Ben Wear
Austin American-Statesman
Copyright 2009

A little over a year ago, when Deirdre Delisi was appointed to chair the Texas Transportation Commission, the scene of a few minutes ago on the Senate floor would have been unimaginable.

A host of nominees from Gov. Rick Perry for various state boards came up for a Senate vote. One name, Don McLeroy of the State Board of Education, was removed from that list and is now being debated.

Unmentioned, and approved unanimously, were Delisi and fellow transportation commissioners Ted Houghton, Fred Underwood and Bill Meadows. Meadows and Delisi, serving unexpired terms, will serve until Feb. 1, 2013. Houghton and Underwood get new full six-year terms and will be able to serve until Feb. 1, 2015.

That could change, however, if the Senate’s version of the TxDOT sunset bill becomes law. It would give commissioners two-year terms instead, so all four commission members would have to come before the Senate again in 2011 in that case.

Delisi, a former chief of staff for Perry, has worked to get along with senators and largely avoided the kind of inflammatory public statements that got former commission chairman Ric Williamson in so much trouble, and the department in various ways has acted in accordance with legislative wishes. Today’s vote was the payoff for that.

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