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New Director Slated for Helm of TBARTA


For only the second time in its history, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority has a new person at its helm. The TBARTA Board of Directors unanimously selected Don Skelton as interim Executive Director.

Skelton will replace Bob Clifford, who has served as the board's sole executive director since it was formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007. Clifford resigned to join the engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff.

TBARTA was created by the legislature in 2007 to  develop a multimodal transportation system connecting  seven counties of the Tampa Bay region - Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota.

Skelton served as Secretary of the District 7 Office of the Florida Department of Transportation from 2005 until 2012.  During that time, he served on the TBARTA Board of Directors as "ex officio" member, and  provided support for the development of TBARTA's Master Transportation Plan.

Ronnie Duncan, chairman of the TBARTA board, said in a prepared statement that he was delighted that Skelton has agreed to step in and support TBARTA.

"Don was there when we started and played a major role in our early success," Duncan said. "There could not be better person to serve in this capacity as we work through the process of selecting a permanent Executive Director."

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.