(OLYMPIA)– Members of the Washington State Transportation Commission on Tuesday announced that Anne Haley, Walla Walla, has been elected to serve as the commission’s new chairman. On July 1, she will succeed Commissioner Dan O’Neal of Mason County, who has chaired the commission for the past two years. Commissioner Joe Tortorelli, Spokane, was elected to serve as vice-chairman, replacing Tom Cowan of Lopez Island.
A commission member since 2011, Haley brings a breadth of experience serving on private, public, and nonprofit boards and commissions, and has 30 years of experience managing public libraries in Washington. She currently is chairman of the Board of Directors of Brown & Haley, Tacoma. She has served as chairman and president of several statewide bodies including the Washington State Library Commission, the Washington Library Association and the Pacific Northwest Library Association. She is active in her local community of Walla Walla, founding “Project Read” and leading several local committees.
Haley views the transportation system as the critical foundation of our state’s economy and vital to our daily lives; “When we cannot reliably and safely move about, whether on foot, bike, bus or car, it impacts our quality of life and the prosperity of our state,” Haley said.
Tortorelli also became a commission member in 2011. He is an economic development consultant with more than 30 years of experience working with cities, counties and ports interested in growing the local economy by creating jobs and private sector capital investment. Tortorelli served as president on numerous boards for economic development and has served on a variety of local boards including the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council and Spokane Area Good Roads Association.
“If our transportation system crumbles, so does our economy. It’s that simple,” said Tortorelli. “We therefore must work toward identifying long-term funding solutions that will sustain our transportation system well into the future.”
The Washington State Transportation Commission is an independent state agency that provides a public forum for transportation policy development. It reviews and evaluates how the entire transportation system works across the state and issues the state’s 20-year Transportation Plan. As the state tolling authority, the commission sets tolls for state highways and bridges and fares for Washington State Ferries. The seven-member board is comprised of private citizens who are appointed by the Governor for six-year terms.