Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 17th, 2017 at 11:56 am
LeeAnne Fergason is the new Safe Routes to School program manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation.
ODOT announced the hire in a statement today, saying Fergason will join the agency in mid-December.
Reached today via email, Fergason told us she’s excited for her new role but, “Deeply saddened to say goodbye to The Street Trust.” “The Street Trust’s staff (old and new), partners (so many amazing partners), and supporters (our members and friends),” she continued, “have helped me so much, and I’m eternally grateful for all the smart, passionate, and kind people that have taken the time to teach me.”
Fergason is the longest tenured employee at The Street Trust. According to her official bio she began work there as a bike safety education instructor in 2007. Fergason became The Street Trust’s main advocate for Safe Routes to School (a program they implement with a combination of state, federal, and regional funding) and spearheaded their “For Every Kid” campaign. She moved into the deputy director role back in July when The Street Trust’s former deputy director Stephanie Noll left the organization.
There’s a lot of Safe Routes work to do at ODOT these days. The former manager of the program, Julie Yip, recently retired, and the statewide transportation package includes $125 million over the next 10 years for a new Safe Routes to School grant program. As ODOT announced today, one of Fergason’s first tasks will be to staff a new Rules Advisory Committee that will create the policy framework for how these new funds will be allocated.
According to the ODOT job description, Fergason will also be responsible for:
“Managing an advisory committee, identifying selection criteria, and developing and managing a project selection process.
Collaborating with ODOT’s Director’s Office, other ODOT branches, and the Oregon Transportation Commission.
Being a technical resource to parties interested in the program.
The position will also support the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Program and Transportation Options Program, helping to lead implementation efforts and integrate these modes and topics into the way ODOT and the state does business.”
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With the departure of Fergason, The Street Trust loses yet another veteran staffer. Of the organization’s remaining 11 full-time employees, only five were hired before 2016. Five of The Street Trust’s current staff — including Executive Director Jillian Detweitler, were hired in 2017. The current average tenure of a Street Trust employee is 3.5 years.
As I wrote in an editorial back in April, The Street Trust is going through a major transition as an organization: From staffing changes, to the formation of a new political action committee and a change to their name and mission.
The Street Trust plans to celebrate what Executive Director Jillian Detweiler calls her, “immeasurable contributions” at the organization’s upcoming Holiday Party on December 7th (5:00 to 7:00 pm at Glisan Garage, 714 NW Glisan).
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