Transit panel to interview five for executive director's post
By Samantha Joseph
The voter-mandated group that oversees spending of $17 billion in sales surtax revenues on transportation projects is finalizing its search for an executive director.
The Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust has narrowed a list of 31 candidates to five who will be interviewed this month.
Vying for the post are Theodore Berman, Jane Feurer, Mario Garcia, Nan Markowitz and Virginia Diaz, the trust's division director of external affairs. Trust officials would not release other information about the finalists or their backgrounds.
Hilda Fernandez left the post in May to head Miami-Dade County's communications department. She replaced Juan Mendieta, who left to direct public-relations efforts for the county's drive to put a $2.7 billion General Obligation Bond on November's ballot.
An interim director, Irma San Roman, has headed the CITT since Ms. Fernandez's departure.
The new executive director will oversee the group's administrative, financial and special projects and coordinate with community groups and county officials. The director would ensure that county and other public administrators meet deadlines and budgets while implementing projects in the People's Transportation Plan, which created a half-cent tax to finance improvements to the county's transit system.
When voters approved the surtax in November 2001, they also created the trust to "monitor, review and audit the implementation" of the plan.
According to a job description from trust officials, the executive director's responsibilities include:
Providing quarterly progress reports to the county manager, mayor and commission on the transportation plan.
Exercising responsibility over the trust secretariat's actions and programs.
Evaluating the group's efficiency.
Preparing an annual budget.
Ensuring that no more than 5% of the budget goes to administrative expenses.
The group plans to start interviews with the candidates July 15.
Meanwhile, the CITT is working to fill other vacancies. On June 30, it named former state legislator Luis Morse as vice chairman. Mr. Morse was chairman of the trust's external affairs committee. While in the Florida House of Representatives between 1996 and 1998, he served on the Transportation Committee and for 14 years worked for Eastern Airlines.
Mr. Morse replaces Marc Buoniconti, who became chairman after the May 26 resignation of John Cosgrove. Mr. Cosgrove's exit leaves the trust without a representative from County Commission District 8.
The trust is seeking a financial consultant and has issued a request for proposals from interested parties by July 9.