Eno Transportation Weekly
Comings and Goings (Mostly to Los Angeles)
Many transportation insiders will have noticed that Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan has decided to stop waiting around for Senate Banking Committee chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) to hold a hearing on her nomination (which has been pending before Shelby’s committee since January 8, 2015) and instead will leave DC to return home to Los Angeles. L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Phil Washington (a former Eno Center Board of Directors member) announced that McMillan will be joining Metro to serve as Chief Planning Officer. Accordingly, the White House withdrew her nomination paperwork from the Banking Committee on March 3.
Most transit people are assuming that Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers will take over as Acting Administrator, but there are some weird hoops that the Vacancies Reform Act might force FTA to jump through (we’re still waiting for formal word).
This is not the first time that “Phil Washington hired __________ to come work at L.A. Metro” has been heard of late. Last year, Washington hired Eno Center for Transportation President and CEO Joshua Schank to join the Metro team as the first Chief Innovation Officer head of the “Office of Extraordinary Innovation.” As the next step in that process, ETW is sad to announce that today is the last day at Eno for ETW Assistant Editor Marla Westervelt, who will moving west to join the OEI, as will Colin Peppard, the transportation advisor to Senator Tom Carper (D-DE). They are wished much success and sun.
In unrelated news of a similar vein, on March 1, the longtime head Democratic staffer overseeing the Department of Transportation budget for the House Appropriations Committee (and friend to just about everyone who crossed her path), Kate Hallahan, put in her papers after 29 years of federal service. Hallahan, who was key in putting together the Transportation and HUD portions of the 2009 ARRA stimulus law, started her career on Capitol Hill with home-state Rep. Al Swift (D-WA), father of the Swift Rail Act (so no, you newbies, they didn’t choose the word “swift” instead of “high-speed” by accident). Her spot overseeing the USDOT budget will be taken by Joe Carlile.