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You have until Thursday to comment on ODOT Director job description

Posted by on May 7th, 2019 at 1:46 pm

What would you like to see in the leader of ODOT?
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Transportation is in desperate need of new leadership. Thankfully, the Oregon Transportation Commission is moving full steam ahead in their search for a new director.

The OTC’s search committee — led by Vice Chair Bob Van Brocklin, a lawyer with Stoel Rives LLP — has published a draft version of the job description and will accept public comment on it until this Thursday, May 9th. Below are a few salient excerpts from the description:

The OTC seeks a new chief executive that will manage ODOT through significant change…

The next Director will work effectively with a wide range of people, interests, and viewpoints to achieve an agenda that promotes a stronger economy, a cleaner environment, and a safer network of transportation facilities to serve all of Oregon…

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The selected candidate will support increasing the availability throughout the state of accessible, convenient,
and affordable mass transit, continuing to invest in existing and new facilities that strengthen Oregon’s diverse economies, and advocate for and take actions that result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle emissions.

Oregon Transportation Commission Vice-Chair Bob Van Brocklin leads the search committee.
(Photo courtesy Stoel Rives)

Qualifications will include:

– A track record of solving access and mobility needs with holistic, equitable, multimodal investments.

– Demonstrated ability to align transportation investments with environmental, environmental justice, and public health objectives, including but not limited to meeting the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.

To offer feedback on the job description, fill out this form on ODOT’s website.

According to their published timeline, the OTC plans to confirm the new director via the Senate in September.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

21 Comments
  • Avatar
    Alan 1.0 May 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Qualifications will include:

    […]

    – Over 1,000 miles of bicycle riding in the past 12 months

    Recommended Thumb up 6

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    mh May 7, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I hope David Bragdon is looking for a new home and challenge.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

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    9watts May 7, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    I hope excellent candidates who do not share any of the previous director’s demographic characteristics apply and are considered seriously by the search committee.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty May 7, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      How are a candidate’s marital status and religion connected to whether they’d be a good director?

      Recommended Thumb up 5

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        David Hampsten May 7, 2019 at 4:41 pm

        Living in sin/cohabiting with their bicycle?

        Recommended Thumb up 2

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        9watts May 7, 2019 at 5:03 pm

        Was I unclear? Older white male was the demographic triad I had in mind.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 7, 2019 at 10:18 pm

          I concur. I think an older white male would be an excellent choice.

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    Jillian Detweiler May 7, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    When Garrett announced his intention to leave, thirteen organizations, including The Street Trust, came together to send a letter to the Oregon Transportation Commission regarding our expectations for the next Director. We are pleased to see many of those recommendations reflected in the draft released by Bob Van Brocklin. We are working on comments on the draft to further improve the description and the process to attract a leader who can make ODOT a truly multi-modal agency that is advancing the State’s climate change goals.

    Recommended Thumb up 15

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    B. Carfree May 7, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    The draft job description is a mess. It calls for things that cannot be met simultaneously. Basically, it boils down to asking for someone to lead the propaganda chorus as we move to off-shore our transportation emissions (20-40 tons of embodied CO2 per e-car, with a 10-12 year life, is hard to make up when IPCC calls for emissions of about 2 tons per person per year). It also calls for continuing to maintain a transportation mix that is almost exclusively cars and trucks and continuing our dreadful record on safety.

    I’m not optimistic on these sort of things by nature, but this draft job description was so far below my extremely low expectations that I was practically weeping as I read it.

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    Jim Lee May 7, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    ODOT is an engineering organization.

    An engineer would be best qualified to direct it.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Avatar
      AMA May 8, 2019 at 8:52 am

      Is ODOT an “engineering organization?”

      What in an engineer’s training qualifies them to lead any organization?

      Recommended Thumb up 4

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        Chris I May 8, 2019 at 10:41 am

        An engineer with management training would be a good fit. It is common to see engineering undergrad with management post-grad in technical leadership roles.

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  • Avatar
    Jim Lee May 8, 2019 at 10:24 am

    AMA
    Is ODOT an “engineering organization?”What in an engineer’s training qualifies them to lead any organization?Recommended 2

    Actually understanding what it is one is supposed to be doing.

    Matt Garrett is not an engineer. Leah Treat is not an engineer. ODOT and PBOT became disaster areas largely because of their technical incompetence.

    Our water bureau is administered by a highly competent registered professional engineer. No one in Portland dies from bad water.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Avatar
      Chris I May 8, 2019 at 10:42 am

      Our water is (mostly) safe, but a few people may have died from heart attacks when they opened their monthly water bill.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

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      Glenn the 2nd May 8, 2019 at 11:33 am

      The drinking of tap water is so safe nationwide that the rare exception (Flint, parts of Texas) makes headlines. If having engineers as leaders correlated with non-lethality of drinking tap water, I would expect most of the country to have engineers in charge of their water departments.

      ODOT has some engineering expertise (though the analysis in their recent Rose Quarter I-5 environmental assessment doesn’t speak to that). But what criteria/parameters should they design and optimize for? Mostly so far it’s been the throughput and velocity of cars. That’s a leadership issue, not a technical one.

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      Roberta M Robles May 9, 2019 at 1:53 pm

      Bwahaha – An engineer as the water department head, surely we remember the water catastrophe on Alberta St? So you are saying an engineer is better at the water department? Is he paying the home and business owners for negligence based on their engineering license requirements and liability? HAHA! Of course not. The city isn’t paying these citizens for the water fiasco, nobody disciplined because……? ENGINEERING SCALE RULERS ONLY!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

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