Governor-Elect Wolf announced yet another cabinet pick today.
Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards is Wolf’s choice to head the Department of Transportation.
“I am happy to announce Leslie Richards will run the Department of Transportation,” said Gov.-elect Wolf. “Leslie Richards will work with me to continue to grow and modernize our transportation system by taking advantage of our location. As a business owner, I know that a strong transportation system is necessary to move people and goods efficiently and effectively, and I look forward to working with Leslie Richards to expand our thinking and grow a 21st century, statewide transportation system.”
The current Transportation Secretary, Barry Schoch will become a senior advisor to the Governor on transportation and infrastructure issues. Schoch’s work will only be temporary and will focus on implementing Act 89.
“Secretary Barry Schoch will continue his work to improve Pennsylvania’s transportation system,” Wolf explained. “He will play a key role in the continued implementation of the transportation bill, and he will work across agencies to make sure implementation is efficient and cost effective.”
The Wolf transition team provided the following biography of Richards:
Leslie Richards has extensive leadership experience in the management of transportation projects from her work in local government, as well as her private sector work in the planning and engineering fields over the past two decades.
Leslie Richards is currently the vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and a member of the SEPTA Board. Richards heads the planning, transportation, and economic development initiatives in the county. Having advocated and executed projects for municipal, county, state, and federal governments, and with her experience serving as Chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Richards has a detailed understanding of funding resources for all phases of transportation projects. She played an active role working with state legislators to educate them on the importance of passing Act 89 and provided official testimony to the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee.
Before being elected commissioner, Richards served as the chair and vice chair of the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors. Richards served on the bi-partisan boards at the township and county level that voted unanimously on over 99% of all votes taken. In the private sector, Richards served as a senior project manager at a woman-owned civil engineering firm. She has led meetings with residents, business owners, and government officials regarding transportation issues in urban, rural, and suburban communities. As a consultant, she received special recognition for minimizing the negative impacts of construction, detours, and road closures on the local business community. Richards has built a reputation professionally and politically of finding common ground and moving forward. Her experience in both the public and private sector gives her a unique perspective on understanding stakeholder issues.
Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She received a master’s of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Richards and her husband, Ira, have lived in Whitemarsh Township for 19 years. They have three children, Ben, Sophie, and Rebecca.
Why don’t school buses have spelt bets?
The Court of Common Pleas will appoint the replacement. It would be doubtful they would appoint an individual of a different party than the Commissioner they were replacing.
Do the Board of Judges not appoint Richards’ replacement? Josh Shapiro could be the minority commissioner very soon!
Let’s hope Richards and the others in the Wolf team don’t forget rural Pennsylvania, the way Corbett and his fellow Republicans did after rural voters elected them.
So then, who gets annointed as the new Montco commissioner? Many different ways it could go; I assume cell phones are getting a workout tonight.
Maybe the Betzwood bridge in Montco will finally get some attention.
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