Front-Runner Emerges for CAMPO Seat

Capital Metro board mounts search to fill vacancy

With so much bubbling at Capital Metro, eyes are on the selection of a new Cap Metro board member to replace Lee Walker as the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization representative – and, separately, on the board's selection of its new chair. On July 25, the CAMPO selection committee met to review the six applicants: Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez, Leander Mayor John Cowman, John Trube, Norm Chafetz, Paul Hamilton, and Mike Manor. The committee decided not to consider current Cap Metro board members who wanted to move over to the CAMPO seat; it thus declined Cowman's application, and Martinez withdrew his name from consideration. The remaining four applicants will be interviewed soon.

Martinez explained that he was initially interested in moving to the CAMPO seat to expand Austin's representation on the Cap Metro board. Austin provides 92% of the transit agency's funding yet has just two representatives (Martinez and Brew­ster McCracken) on the seven-member board. He has since concluded that the peer review of Cap Metro being conducted by CAMPO is the best way to address the issue. Leading that effort, which should be completed by December, is former City Council Member Betty Dunkerley.

Martinez also said he withdrew his name to encourage serious consideration of applicant Mike Manor, an African-American. Martinez said that after learning about the Travis Co. employee and his background, he felt "it would be an interesting perspective to have." Support for Manor's candidacy has grown. (The selection committee includes all four city of Austin CAMPO board members: Will Wynn, McCracken, Lee Leffing­well, and Sheryl Cole.)

In his application, Manor noted that he grew up in East Austin. He said: "My parents themselves neither owned a car for their sole personal use nor did my parents ever drive a car. My parents relied primarily and heavily upon public transportation." He also wrote: "Why Now? Why Me? My personal passions are addressing race, cultural, geographical and economic equality, and ameliorating, eliminating the adverse effects of poverty through business and family-friendly policies and macro relationships facilitated through public sector governance and private sector ingenuity. My professional convictions are: affordability, accessibility, availability, appropriateness, and adequacy." Manor is a social-services program administrator with Travis Co. and has served on numerous community boards, including Austin Area Interreligious Ministries.

But don't count him in just yet – the selection committee still has four interviews to conduct. They will interview all candidates on Friday, Aug. 22, at the Travis Co. Commissioners Court from 1 to 4pm; members hope to make a decision im-mediately after the interviews.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Capital Metro, CAMPO, Mike Martinez, Mike Manor

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