For Immediate Release
Amy Rein Worth, City of Orinda Mayor, to Head Regional Transportation Agency
MTC's Governing Panel Expands to 21 Members
New Commission Chair Amy Rein Worth (left) presents a Resolution of Appreciation to outgoing Chair Adrienne Tissier.
Oakland, CA, February 27, 2013...New leadership took the reins at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, when Commissioner Amy Rein Worth, mayor of Orinda in Contra Costa County, was voted unanimously as chair and Commissioner Dave Cortese, a Santa Clara County supervisor, was unanimously elected as MTC’s vice chair. Both officers will serve a two-year term.
Worth has served on the Orinda City Council since 1998, with terms as mayor in 2000, 2005 and the current year. She was first appointed to MTC’s governing board in 2007 and has served for the past two years as the Commission’s vice chair.
In addition to MTC and the Orinda City Council, Worth is a former chair and current ex-officio member of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and a board member of the County Connection Transit Authority. “With the opening of the new fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel and the New East Span of the Bay Bridge, this is going to be a banner year for commuters. These projects will increase both their transportation mobility and safety. I am honored to serve as MTC Chair and look forward to working together to continue current planning efforts and future investment and improvements in the Bay Area’s transportation network,” Worth said.
Cortese, who was first appointed to MTC in 2007 as the Association of Bay Area Governments’ (ABAG) representative, now represents Santa Clara County and has been chairing the Commission’s Administration Committee while also serving on three other standing committees.
The new year also brings two additional seats to the panel that governs MTC, one representing the mayor of Oakland and the other representing the mayor of San Jose, being filled by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and San Jose Councilman Sam Liccardo, respectively. This is Quan’s first time serving on MTC, while Liccardo is shifting to this new appointment from his prior seat on MTC representing the cities of Santa Clara County.
Jean Quan is the first woman and the first Asian-American to be elected mayor of Oakland, a position she has held since January 2011, and the first Chinese-American woman mayor of a major U.S. city, according to her website. In addition to her mayoral duties, she is chair of the Local Government Commission, a nonprofit dedicated to smart growth planning.
“After years of working to get Oakland a dedicated seat on MTC, I'm proud to be joining the Commission to represent our amazingly transit-rich city. Oakland is one of the most transit-smart cities in America, and no other city in the East Bay has five BART stations, 100 miles of bicycle lanes, green shuttles or the historical ending point of the first transcontinental railroad,” Quan said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Commission and improving transit for everyone in the Bay Area.”
Liccardo, serving as a commissioner since early 2011, has been a San Jose city councilman since 2007. About his changing role on the Commission, Liccardo observed, “I was honored to represent the cities of Santa Clara County on MTC over the past two years, and I look forward to continuing to work with our region's elected leaders to improve transportation options for our millions of residents."
The new seats on MTC’s governing board were created by state legislation, Assembly Bill 57 (signed by the governor in July 2012), which expanded the panel to include appointments representing the mayor of Oakland and the mayor of San Jose. The bill specifically allows for the mayors of the two cities to appoint themselves as the MTC representatives.
Also new to the Commission in 2013 are Redwood City Mayor Alicia Aguirre, representing the cities of San Mateo County and replacing Kevin Mullin (who was elected to the state Assembly in November 2012), and Los Gatos Councilman Joe Pirzynski, who is taking Liccardo’s place as the representative on MTC of the cities of Santa Clara County. In addition, ABAG recently named Mark Luce, vice chair of the Napa County Board of Supervisors and ABAG president, as its new MTC representative, replacing Mark Green, former mayor of Union City.
Aguirre was appointed to the Redwood City Council in January 2005, and elected in 2005, 2007 and 2011. In her first term as mayor, she serves as an elected official on many of Redwood City’s committees and several statewide and regional boards. She is vice president of the Statewide Latino Caucus Board of the League of California Cities and on the City and County Association of Governments (CCAG) board. She was selected as Woman of the Year 2012 for the State of California, 21st Assembly District, and inducted into the Redwood City San Mateo County Chamber Hall of Fame in 2005.
“I’m thrilled and proud that my colleagues in San Mateo County have selected me to represent our Peninsula communities on MTC,” Aguirre said. “As I move into this role, my goal is to bring a clear vision of collaboration, fairness and determination to the critical transportation issues facing all of us in the Bay Area, such as traffic congestion, alternative modes of transportation and roadway infrastructure. These issues are elements of our everyday lives that have an impact on virtually everyone in the Bay Area.”
Pirzynski was first elected to the Los Gatos Town Council in 1998, and was reelected in 2002, 2006 and 2010, serving as mayor in 2000-01, 2006-07 and 2010-11. He is a member of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s Board of Directors, serving as the body’s vice chair since 2012.
"I am honored that the cities of Santa Clara County selected me to represent them on the MTC,” Pirzynski said. “As our Bay Area economy continues to rebound, it is critical that we look for creative regional solutions to the impacts of traffic and congestion that are the obvious negative consequence of this rebound. I look forward to the collaborative dialogue the Commission provides for the nine Bay Area counties to work together to create a more sustainable environment for all of our communities."
Luce was appointed to the Napa County Planning Commission in 1985, where he served until 1989. In 1990, he was elected to the Napa City Council, and was subsequently elected to the Napa County Board of Supervisors in 1996, where he continues to serve. He is a member of ABAG’s Executive Committee, General Assembly and Hazardous Waste Management Facility Allocation committees and the Napa County Transportation Committee.
“My goal as ABAG’s representative on MTC is to maintain a quality infrastructure, including roads and public buildings,” Luce said. “Funding is a challenge, but our roads, pipelines and other facilities must be maintained as this is the most basic role of local government. We must also protect agricultural lands and beautiful surroundings while encouraging a strong economy within urban boundaries. It will require creativity in addressing such issues as water availability and housing for local workers.”
The MTC governing board also serves as the governing board overseeing the work of two affiliated agencies, the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) and the Service Authority for Freeways and Expressways (SAFE). Under AB 57, the board will now have a total of 21 members, with 18 of them allowed to vote on MTC/BATA/SAFE business. Terms are generally for four years, with a new term beginning in February of 2015; AB 57 specifies that the terms for the two new commissioners representing the mayors of Oakland and San Jose will expire after two years, in February 2015, so that they synch up with the rest of the Commission terms. For the complete list of current MTC commissioners, visit: http://www.mtc.ca.gov/about_mtc/commissioners/.
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