08/19/14 — GATEWAY appoints interim director

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GATEWAY appoints interim director

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on August 19, 2014 2:08 PM

GATEWAY has hired an interim director after former transportation chief Lynn Lamberth's resignation earlier this month.

The Transportation Authority's board hired Alfred Fontana on Friday to serve in the job temporarily. His first day will be Thursday.

He will serve through the end of the year while the city looks for a permanent replacement.

Fontana has 30 years of experience in the transportation field, and his most recent positions include general manager of motor vehicle transportation in Wake County, director of Guilford County transportation and deputy transit manager for the city of High Point transportation department.

"Mr. Fontana comes highly qualified, and I'm sure he will help make a difference and help move GATEWAY forward," said Gene Aycock, GATEWAY board chairman.

Aycock said there were two applicants for the position, and after looking at the resumes of the applicants, Fontana's experience set him apart.

"We are very fortunate to find someone with his experience to come and help us out," Aycock said.

City Manager Scott Stevens said his interview with Fontana went well. He said County Manager George Wood suggested asking Fontana about applying for the job after receiving a recommendation from the state Department of Transportation.

"He was very knowledgeable about transportation systems, and asked us good questions about how operations work," Stevens said.

Training for the new director and board members will begin Thursday.

"I'm definitely excited for it," Fontana said. "I appreciate their trust in accepting me for the position, and I'm looking forward to it."

Ms. Lamberth, who had been considered a county employee, announced her decision to resign in the spring after a year on the job.

She was rehired by the GATEWAY board as an employee of that agency at a higher salary and said at the time that she was committed to the job, but then announced her resignation again a few weeks later, effective Aug. 1. She served for a total of 13 months as GATEWAY director.

In her one-sentence resignation letter, Ms. Lamberth cited her reason for quitting as having personal differences with specific members of the GATEWAY board of directors.

Her resignation was accepted immediately without two weeks notice so as to prevent having a disgruntled employee on staff, Aycock said.

In July, five new members joined the GATEWAY board of directors due to a newly discovered bylaw limiting members to six consecutive one-year terms on the board. The board is made up of three representatives each from the city and county and one jointly chosen seventh representative.