11/30/06 — GATEWAY searches for new director

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GATEWAY searches for new director

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on November 30, 2006 1:45 PM

Goldsboro-Wayne Transpor-tation Authority is seeking a new director and could have one within the next month, officials announced this week.

Former director Stephen Wright, who has lead the public transit system since April 2005, has taken a new job with Atlanta-based Route Match. He will still live in Wayne County, but will periodically travel to install transportation software for regional transit systems and to train employees how to use it.

His departure is effective today.

Wright said GATEWAY has already has accomplished much -- with even more projects pending.

"It's sad. We've got so many big things in the works, and I want to see them through. But then again, you have to do what you have to do," Wright told Gateway board members Tuesday afternoon at their regular meeting.

The GATEWAY board agreed that the amount of daily oversight needed during the holiday season will be limited. So, any transportation issues will be handled by the board until a new director is found.

For the past month, Wayne County Manager Lee Smith, Goldsboro City Manager Joe Huffman and Wayne County Human Resources Director Sue Guy have acted as GATEWAY's search committee for a new director, Smith said.

Mrs. Guy told GATEWAY board members Tuesday that there are three candidates for the position and interviews will begin Dec. 11. Smith, Huffman and Mrs. Guy will conduct the interviews and make their recommendations to the board.

Since GATEWAY's next scheduled meeting isn't until the end of January, board members agreed they might need to call a special meeting before Christmas to decide on a new director.

In other personnel issues, the board welcomed a new member, John Forbes. Also, the board considered how to handle its treasurer position.

Norman Ricks, who retires as the county's finance director Friday, serves as the board's treasurer. Although he is leaving his county position, GATEWAY bylaws say Ricks can continue his duties on the Gateway board until his term expires next summer.

Since Ricks didn't officially resign from GATEWAY, county attorney Borden Parker said he can keep his position. Ricks didn't attend Tuesday's meeting to discuss the issue because he was on vacation. Until he returns at the next meeting, the board decided to let Smith authorize any GATEWAY checks.

In other business, multiple grants totaling more than $60,000 should be available to GATEWAY in January. Some of the grant money will be distributed among the Council on Aging, the Department of Social Services and the Wayne Opportunity Center to transport residents associated with those groups.

The state Department of Transportation should award contracts for four transit buses by the end of December. After those contracts are awarded, Wright said. GATEWAY will need to order those buses as soon as possible because it takes one year for orders to arrive.