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July 2, 2010 Special Meeting Transcript

Texas Department of Transportation Commission Meeting

Ric Williamson Hearing Room
Dewitt Greer Building
1125 East 11th Street
Austin, Texas

Friday, July 2, 2010


Deirdre Delisi, Chair
Ted Houghton, Jr.
Ned S. Holmes
Fred Underwood
William Meadows


Amadeo Saenz, Executive Director
Steve Simmons, Deputy Executive Director
Bob Jackson, General Counsel
Roger Polson, Executive Assistant to the
Deputy Executive Director


MS. DELISI: It's 11:05 a.m., and I call this special meeting of the Texas Transportation Commission to order. Note for the record that public notice of this meeting with the posted meeting agenda was filed with the Office of the Secretary of State at 3:54 p.m. on June 24, 2010.

Before we begin, please take a moment to place your cell phones on the silent or off mode.

Today's commission agenda contains one item for action. We will accept public comment that is relevant to that agenda item but we will not have an open comment period. To comment on the agenda item, please complete a yellow speaker's card which you can find on the table out in the lobby.

So with that, I'd like to call on Commissioner Ned Holmes to present the action item on today's agenda.

MR. HOLMES: Thank you, Madam Chair.

I would like to present for consideration of the commission the appointment of Howard Wolf to serve on the special reorganization committee. I think it is yet to be named and so that is one of our future actions. Mr. Wolf was introduced at the last commission meeting and he addressed the commission and the audience. I think any of you that missed that, I would encourage you to look at the replay on the TxDOT site. Also, I believe there is maybe a written transcript of his statement.

As we reviewed in the last commission meeting, Howard Wolf has an extremely impressive resume with both legal background, financial background, corporate restructure background, having worked in restructuring organizations in the airline industry, oil and gas industry, banking industry. He has a very broad perspective and level of experience.

And as, I think, importantly, he noted that for any sustainable change and significant change to occur in any organization, and certainly one with a storied history such as TxDOT, that that change has to be embraced by the staff, they have to believe that it is in their interest and in the interest of the agency and the public so that they can really be onboard for that change, and I think that is a very appropriate statement that he made in that last meeting.

We would expect that there would be a team that Mr. Wolf would put together. I believe that one of the early members of that team might well be Jay Kimbrough, who brings quite a vast experience as well in working through state agencies to help them change. I feel like this is an important step for this commission and this agency, and it's one that is needed.

We would expect that there would be a much broader team put together and that it would have internal TxDOT people as well as additional external members that bring a varied perspective on the mission, the duties, the change needed at TxDOT.

And Madam Chair, I would move that we appoint Howard Wolf as a volunteer to lead this effort as chairman of this new entity.

MS. DELISI: Are there any comments or questions from any other commissioners? No. All right, so we have a motion. Is there a second?


MS. DELISI: All in favor?

(A chorus of ayes.)

MS. DELISI: The motion passes.

I do want to clarify --, you said you suspect Jay Kimbrough will be coming on. I, it is official Jay Kimbrough will be coming on as part of the leadership team for this to-be-named entity. And I've known Jay Kimbrough for many years and he has a long history of successfully helping transform state agencies. A and he's a welcome addition to the team and we look forward to adding more members of the team as we go forward, and I fully expect that Jay will be on the ground ready to work beginning on Monday.


MR. UNDERWOOD: Madam Chairman.

MS. DELISI: Yes, sir.

MR. UNDERWOOD: I have a comment, if I could, please.

MS. DELISI: Absolutely.

MR. UNDERWOOD: I just want to make a comment to our stakeholders, legislators, and all interested parties and leave you with this thought: "Never tell people how to do things; tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." That came from General George S. Patton.

And also, I want to remind those people out there that make their business decisions with their latest fortune cookie or whatnot, this decision today has taken a lot of thought and study, and we look forward to working with Mr. Wolf.

MS. DELISI: Thank you, Commissioner.

That concludes the business on today's agenda. Is there any other business to come before the commission?

(No response.)

MS. DELISI: There being none, I will entertain a motion to adjourn.

MR. HOUGHTON: So moved.

MR. HOLMES: Second.

MS. DELISI: All in favor?

(A chorus of ayes.)

MS. DELISI: The motion passes. Please note for the record that it is 11:10 a.m., and this meeting stands adjourned.

(Whereupon, at 11:10 a.m., the meeting was concluded.)


MEETING OF: Texas Transportation Commission Workshop
LOCATION: Austin, Texas
DATE: July 2, 2010
I do hereby certify that the foregoing pages, numbers 1 through 8, 88, inclusive, are the true, accurate, and complete transcript prepared from the verbal recording made by electronic recording by Nancy H. King before the Texas Transportation Commission.

(Transcriber) (Date)

On the Record Reporting, Inc.
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Austin, Texas 78731


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