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Director's Board Report

 Director's Board Report - October 2014

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
On September 23, I gave a presentation to the Nampa Rotary. Rotarians use their service and expertise to improve the quality of life and the economy of their communities.

In my presentation I showed them how the Idaho Transportation Department uses our service and expertise to improve the transportation system and the state’s economy.

More specifically, I shared how we implemented nine initiatives that changed ITD from a passive/defensive organization that had lost its credibility with the public, to an award-winning agency that is leading the way for other transportation departments across the country.


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 Director's Board Report - September 2014

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
I recently attended the WASHTO Committee on Highway Transport conference. The meeting was hosted by ITD and held in Boise.

I serve as the executive sponsor of the committee.

Sixty-five delegates from 12 states attended the meeting. Both public and private sectors were represented at the conference.

The conference included a tour of Western Trailers, which was also a sponsor. Attendees saw first-hand how different regulations in various states resulted in different trailer configurations and added expense.


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 Director's Board Report - August 2014

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
On August 12, Interstate 84, from Idaho's Oregon border to the Utah border, was officially designated the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway at a ceremony on the Statehouse steps in Boise.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway begins in Portland, Oregon, and ends on Idaho's border with Utah.

The Oregon portion of the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Highway was designated by the Oregon legislature in 2013.

Pete Oaklander is commander of the 509th Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Pete was our civilian contact for the ceremony, and he praised District 4 staff for their cooperation and for producing the memorial highway signs.


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 Director's Board Report - July 2014

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
First I would like to thank District Engineers Damon Allen and Dave Kuisti for their hospitality last month as I toured Districts 1 and 2 and visited with employees. Also for the great tour yesterday.

I also met with employees from the Division of Motor Vehicles and the Division of Administration this month. I learned from these visits how we can improve - but I also received many thanks for the internal raises approved by this board and the general direction of the department.

I attended the Governor's Cabinet meeting on June 24.

I updated the cabinet on the status of the 129,000-pound truck route applications. I also reviewed the results of our recent organizational cultural study.

The Governor and cabinet are interested and excited to learn more about our efforts to improve the department's culture.


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 Director's Board Report - June 2014

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES

First I would like to thank Acting District Engineer Dave Jones for his hospitality this week. I will be visiting with District Three employees once the new District Engineer is in place.

Since the last board meeting, I also continued my employee visits in the Headquarters’ complex. I have been very impressed with all of my visits to date. Employees are implementing performance measures specific to their areas across the department. Everywhere I go I see performance score boards posted. I believe the Board members would also be impressed. Performance measuring is now part of the ITD culture.


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 Director's Board Report - May 2014

WASHTO CEO MEETING
I attended the WASHTO CEO meeting last month. There, I learned that most of WASHTO states share the following three priorities:

The first is succession planning. Many states are facing the same issues as ITD, with us having the potential to lose 50 percent of our staff over the next five years.

At the Texas Department of Transportation, 40 percent of their staff is eligible to retire right now, and 50 percent of their staff has less than 10 years of service.

The second priority is the need for increased state funding. All WASHTO states are looking for ways to increase state transportation revenues. Wyoming recently enacted a 10 cent per gallon gas tax increase.

The third priority is the need for stable federal funding. All states agree that with the current federal transportation funding bill expiring at the end of this September, and with funds for the current bill running out sometime this summer, immediate action is necessary at the federal level.


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 Director's Board Report - April 2014

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
The 2014 Legislative session ended on March 20th and already industry representatives and legislators are saying next year's session will be focused on transportation funding.

Director of the Idaho Association of Counties Dan Chadwick and Idaho Trucking Association lobbyist Skip Smyser told Idaho Public Television about the importance of increased transportation funding to the economy. They both predicted transportation funding will be addressed in the 2015 legislative session.

Senator Bracket and Representative Palmer told a similar story on IdahoReporter.com after the session.

Representative Palmer said: "The bottom line is if we don't put more money into our transportation infrastructure soon, we may not have much of an infrastructure left."

Similar comments have been shared by legislators across the state.

These comments demonstrate two things:

• That the case for increased transportation funding has been clearly made
• And that the legislature believes the department and its partners are efficient and effective and can deliver additional projects if the new revenue is approved

Now it is a matter of proposing the right funding formula that is agreeable to the good citizens of the state.


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 Director's Board Report - March 2014

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
It's the time of the year that I like to take the opportunity to thank the staff for their hard work with our legislative presentations and for answering legislative requests. Everyone does a great job in preparing and presenting accurate information - usually on short notice.

The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee approved our budget in late February. I am pleased to report that there were no material changes to our budget from the Governor's request outside of the impact of the CEC recommendation.

Representative George Eskridge carried our budget. I would like to show a video of his comments at the hearing.


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 Director's Board Report - February 2014

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
I attended the January Capital For A Day in Richfield and the February Capital For A Day in Craigmont. At both meetings, there was a good discussion about the state's transportation needs and how to fund them.

Addressing the state's transportation needs is important 24-hours a day, seven days a week. When bad weather, or if a disaster strikes, we need to be able to respond quickly, and effectively. Our operations, and our transportation system must continue with as little interruption as possible. I am pleased to report that during the last four years, the department has made tremendous progress in developing a continuity of operations plan.


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 Director's Board Report - January 2014

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
January starts a new year and I am bringing a new format to my board report. Each Executive Team member will be providing a portion of the Director’s report and updating you on what is going on in their areas. This is another step in my commitment to placing decision making as close as possible to where the work is being done and the operations are taking place.

The Legislature convened last week. Our annual presentation to the House and Senate Transportation committees is tentatively scheduled for January 28. Our budget presentation to the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee is tentatively scheduled for February 10.


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 Director's Board Report - December 2013

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
Thank you Chairman Whitehead. Good morning members of the Idaho Transportation Board. For the past four years, it has been my privilege to summarize the department’s accomplishments of the previous 12 months. And every year, there is more to report, which reflects on how far we have come in our drive to become the best transportation department in the country.

2013 will become a watershed mark in ITD history and will set the bar even higher for the coming year.

I would like to review our progress as a department since January.


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 Director's Board Report - November 2013

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
We are currently conducting our annual legislative outreach meetings. On November 6th, we held meetings in districts 5 and 6.

On Monday of this week, we met with legislators in Boise, and on Tuesday in Twin Falls.

We will conclude the outreach meetings in District 1 and 2 on Dec. 10th.

I would like to thank Chairman Whitehead for his involvement in these important interactions, as well as Board members DeLorenzo, Kempton, Horsch and Gagner.

These meetings engage legislators and encourage open discussion and relationship building.

Much of the discussion is about a potential revenue enhancement, state and local system needs, and the unstable future of federal funding.


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 Director's Board Report - October 2013

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
Improving ITD’s customer service and its culture were the key themes of the department’s second Leadership Summit held in Boise on October 1st.

Board Chairman Whitehead spoke to the more than 200 employees attending and introduced the lieutenant governor. Vice Chairman Coleman and Member DeLorenzo sat with employees and participated in the discussions and activities.

I would like to thank them for their support and participation.

We have been receiving great feedback about the summit from employees through our on-line survey.
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 Director's Board Report - September 2013

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
Before beginning, I would like to thank District 1 for its hospitality this week and assisting me with employee visits. This concludes my meetings with employees for the year.

With each year, I am able to listen more and talk less. In most of the meetings, employees are spending the time showing me how they are doing more with less, their efficiency efforts and ideas to do even better.

In August, I attended the Transportation Hazards and Security Summit and Peer Exchange in Irvine, California. Idaho State Police Colonel Ralph Powell also attended.

The conference was sponsored by AASHTO, the Federal Highway Administration, the Transportation Security Administration and the Transportation Research Board.
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 Director's Board Report - August 2013

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
On July 17, Board Chairman Whitehead joined me at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Summit in Anchorage the meeting. More than 400 people from five western states, three Canadian provinces and two territories attended the summit.

My presentation focused on two key points. The first was to show the importance of PNWER's mission and goals to the region's economy. The second was to show how Idaho's approach to improving economic opportunity could serve as a model for the entire Pacific Northwest.
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 Director's Board Report - July 2013

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
I met with employees from the Division of Aeronautics and District 3 in late June. I will complete my meetings with employees when the board travels to Districts 1 and 4.

Former Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx was sworn in last week as the new Secretary of Transportation.

Foxx says safety will be his top priority as secretary. The Senate voted unanimously to confirm the 42-year-old Foxx who replaced outgoing secretary Ray LaHood.
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 Director's Board Report - June 2013

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
Last week I participated on a panel discussion about transportation needs and solutions hosted by the Idaho Business Review newspaper.

The Business Review hosts quarterly breakfast panels on the state’s issues.

I was joined by George Iliff, the managing owner of Colliers International; newly elected Ada County Highway District Commissioner Jim Hansen; Idaho Health Department Central District spokesman Dave Fotsch (a self-described “bicycling evangelist”); local business owner Skip Oppenheimer; and Nampa Mayor Tom Dale.

I was pleased by the unified message of the panelists that it is time to raise transportation revenue.
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 Director's Board Report - May 2013

First I would like to thank District Engineer Ed Bala for his hospitality this week as I visited with employees. I would also like to thank him for yesterday’s excellent tour of the district.

MEETINGS/SPEECHES/CONFERENCES
Earlier this month I attended the AASHTO spring meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.  There was extensive discussion among the chief executive officers regarding performance measures for all transportation departments as required in the latest federal funding bill.

It looks as if the performance measures implemented by ITD three years ago align closely with those required at the federal level.
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 Director's Board Report - April 2013

On Tuesday March 26, a package of bills was introduced in the Idaho Legislature that would generate more than $200 million in additional transportation revenue.

The introduction of these bills by Senator Brackett and Representative Kaufman illustrates a willingness to start discussing how to increase transportation funding.

But it represents more than that. These bills show the legislature believes the department and its partners are efficient and effective and can deliver additional projects if the new revenue is approved.

The revenue bills received statewide media coverage.

The Idaho Falls Post Register did give a “cheer” to Senator Bracket for introducing the bills. I would like to read it to you now...
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 Director's Board Report - March 2013

I was able to attend the WASHTO Committee on Highway Transport late last month.

The committee’s goal is to develop a prioritized plan to make uniform three or four inconsistent trucking laws that are a barrier to commerce. The committee started with a 28-page list of issues.

The transport committee will meet again this fall in Boise.

There are two other meetings I would like to mention...
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 Director's Board Report - February 2013

Since the last board meeting, I have made presentations to the House and Senate transportation committees and the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee. Member DeLorenzo attended the House/Senate presentation and Board Chairman Whitehead joined me at the JFAC presentation.

At both meetings, legislators praised the department for delivering on the promises we have made. Most questions focused on the condition of our roads and bridges and need for additional transportation funding.

Our budget will be set by JFAC on Friday, March 1, at 8 a.m.
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 Director's Board Report - January 2013

I just returned last night from the annual Transportation Research Board meeting in Washington D.C.

As you may recall, I was invited to present the successes and lessons learned from the department's reorganization at two separate sessions. I was joined by the directors of the Michigan and Delaware DOTs and the Deputy Director of the Rhode Island DOT as presenters at one of my sessions.

The department's "Public Outreach Planner" tool, which was presented to the board at its September meeting, was also featured at one of the TRB sessions.

Our presentations at the TRB conference are another indication of the growing respect and recognition the department is getting across the country.
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 Director's Board Report - December 2012

Next month, I begin my fourth year as Director. When I started in January 2010, I outlined a five-year vision for the department, and provided a path for achieving our ultimate goal of being the best transportation department in the country.
Each initiative undertaken in these three years by the department, with your direction, guidance and support, was a building block, or a piece of the puzzle if you will, to allow us to take the next step.
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 Director's Board Report - November 2012

On Friday, Oct. 26, Vice Chairman Coleman joined Governor Otter and other local dignitaries in dedicating the Dover Bridge. Sue is handing out the program for the dedication. The program was an insert in the Bonner County Daily Bee. I appreciate their participation and representation of the department.

The Capital for a Day was held on Oct. 19th in the Elmore County community of Pine. District 3 Engineer Dave Jones represented the department. The next Capital for A Day will be held Tuesday, November 27 in Aberdeen.

ITD’s Mike Cram received national recognition for work on a team that developed a compensation matrix for ASSHTO.

Cram, a specialist in the Office of Internal Review at ITD, received the Dave Campbell Quality Award (DCQA) from AASHTO’s Administrative Subcommittee on Internal and External Audit at its annual meeting recently.
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 Director's Board Report - October 2012

Recently, Mike Pape accepted the position of administrator for the Division of Aeronautics. He is a veteran of nearly 30 years in the cockpit and has been part of ITD's Division of Aeronautics for the last five years.

He has logged over 13,000 hours of flying. Before becoming Director of Flight Operations at ITD, Mike was a captain for Boise Cascade, Albertsons, and U.S. Bancorp and several commercial airlines.

He graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor's Degree in Aeronautical Science and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree at Boise State University. He is past president of the Idaho Business Aviation Association and serves as a commissioner for the Boise Airport.

Congratulations to Mike on his promotion and we look forward to having him as a member of our Department's Leadership Team.
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 Director's Board Report - September 2012

The following is my report for September. You will see a common theme. As we strive to become the best transportation department in the country, we continue to receive national recognition throughout many areas of the department.

Idaho’s efforts to design projects to specific needs rather than applying broad, more costly measures are being featured by a national research program. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) will highlight ITD’s practical design efforts along with six other states. The NCHRP is a cooperative effort among the Transportation Research Board, the Federal Highway Administration, and state DOTs to promote research on highway planning, design, construction, and maintenance.
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 Director's Board Report - August 2012

Many good things are happening at the Idaho Transportation Department. We are advancing elements of our strategic plan as we focus on our customers, the citizens of Idaho.

Donate Life America awarded Idaho with a Gold level designation, meaning our state reached the top tier in all five of the rating categories. Idaho was one of 10 states to receive a gold award. Idaho will be recognized by Donate Life America at the National Learning Congress awards ceremony on October 4, 2012.

The Idaho Transportation Department has completed the six district freight forums that are associated with our freight study. The department was able to learn unique things about freight movement in each district. We will continue our efforts to reach out to our stakeholders as we continue to learn how to best make transportation investments in the state.
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 Director's Board Report - July 2012

On June 25th and 26th the Leadership of the Special Committee on Transportation Emergency Management met to make final preparations for the 2012 Transportation Hazards and Security Summit and Peer Exchange in August. Bryan Smith and I will represent ITD. Colonel Russell from Idaho State Police and General Shawver from Idaho Homeland Security will also attend on behalf of the State of Idaho.
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 Director's Board Report - June 2012
On May 8, 2012, I received a letter from the Legislative Services Office, Legislative Audit Division, stating that their office has "completed certain audit procedures at the Idaho Transportation Department in conjunction with the audit of the statewide single audit report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011." Their conclusion was that "We have no findings and recommendations related to our work conducted at the department." This is a credit to multiple staff members from a variety of areas throughout the department.
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 Director's Board Report - May 2012
The Executive Team held its quarterly meeting with the Ada County Highway District on April 24, 2012. We discussed goal alignment, performance evaluations, methods for providing feedback to employees, and organizational culture. Board member Julie DeLorenzo was able to join us for this meeting. The next ITD/ACHD meeting will be in July.
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 Director's Board Report - April 2012
As you can see, today we are using our new video teleconferencing system. We anticipate that this new system will provide much more reliability during our transportation board meetings than what the previous system provided. This system will also be available for other public meetings as well. Note that the microphones are much more sensitive than what you are used to. You may want to take this into account during sidebar conversations or when we break. A lot of research went into finding the right equipment to meet our needs. I would like to thank Reid Lamson, Jeff Carpenter, Rachelle Swanson, Glenn Roberts and Chris Alden for all their work to make this a success.
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 Director's Board Report - March 2012
On February 13, 2012, ITD leadership met with representatives from the local agencies. I also met with Stuart Davis, the Executive Director, of the Idaho Association of Highway Districts separately on February 23, 2012. Department staff also participated in the quarterly meeting with the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council on March 9, 2012. These meetings are held regularly basis to strengthen our partnership with the locals. We have many common issues and goals we are all trying to achieve in the transportation area; most notably continuing to maintain services during an era of declining revenues.
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 Director's Board Report - January 2012
On December 28, 2011, I received a letter From the Legislative Services Office of the Idaho State Legislature. The letter stated that their audit has been completed for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. The conclusion was that ITD has complied with all laws, regulations, rules, grant agreements, and contracts which were audited for compliance. There were no findings or recommendations to report. This is a direct reflection on all the employees at ITD that take very seriously their job to protect the taxpayer's money, invest it as wisely as they can, and comply with all laws and regulations. This is another indication of ITD's smart fiscal management.
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 Director's Board Report - December 2011
I completed my annual employee meetings this month in Districts 5 and 6. My goal is to offer all 1,800 employees in the department an opportunity to meet with me. That has been accomplished. While it is a challenge, I plan to continue the employee meetings next year with a goal of visiting with every employee prior to Labor Day. I also met with the supervisory and non-supervisory Direct to the Director employee groups on Dec. 5.
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 Director's Board Report - November 2011
Three documents will be forwarded to the Governor and Lt. Governor, and handed out to our legislators at the legislative outreach meetings that start at the end of this month. I wanted to review these in advance with the Board. The three documents are: 1. The 2011 Idaho Transportation Department Annual Accountability Report. 2. The Five Year Idaho Transportation Department Investment Plan. 3. The Idaho Transportation Department Strategic Plan.
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 Director's Board Report - October 2011
During last month's meeting, both Deputy Director Stokes and I commented how we covered for each other these past couple of months as we both dealt with personal losses. But I have found that this is not just about the two of us. Covering for fellow team members happens on a regular basis at the Idaho Transportation Department.
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 Director's Board Report - September 2011
On August 23rd, we had our second briefing session with State Representatives Joe Palmer and Julie Ellsworth who respectively chair and vice chair the House transportation committee. We provided updates on our Strategic Planning, performance management, ITIP and how we select projects, and a briefing on the GARVEE program.
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 Director's Board Report - August 2011
Last month, the Idaho Transportation Department announced that an additional $5.7 million was put back on the street or invested in equipment as a result of cost savings due to realignment and other efficiencies. This investment directly supports the mission of ITD.
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 Director's Board Report - July 2011
On June 21, 2011, ITD leadership and District Three Engineer David Jones met with Mayor Tammy de Weerd and other officials from the City of Meridian to discuss the maintenance facility located within the city. Mr. Jones will continue to meet with the city in an effort to blend the existing facility into the area or relocate the facility.
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 Director's Board Report - June 2011
On May 20 and 23, 2011, the first sessions of the Direct to the Director meetings were held. Fifteen employees representing a cross section of the department, both geographically and functionally, met with me for about one-half day to discuss issues pertinent to the employees.
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 Director's Board Report - May 2011
The month of May started with the spring meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and a renewed focus on what is happening with transportation at a national level. Most of the discussion involved funding.
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 Director's Board Report - April 2011
On March 21, 2011, the ITD budget for fiscal year 2012 passed the House by a 64 to 6 vote. The same budget passed the Senate unanimously with 35 votes on March 29, 2011. I believe that the combined approval of 99 to 6 is an indication of the strong support we have in the legislature. What makes this even more impressive it that the budget bill included increased flexibility to align the budget without the limitations that exist in current Idaho Code.
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 Director's Board Report - March 2011
On February 22, 2011 I met with Idaho State Police Director Jerry Russell to discuss how our departments could work more closely together. Our partnering efforts will continue with the State Police and involve additional staff at future sessions, including one on March 28, 2011 where ITD, the State Police, and the Ada County Highway District will meet to discuss traffic operations in the Treasure Valley.
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 Director's Board Report - February 2011
The January Transportation Board meeting concluded with ITD's presentation to the joint House and Senate Transportation Committees. Deputy Director Stokes and I had the pleasure of presenting on behalf of the Department. Many of the questions focused on three areas; GARVEE, the condition of our roads and bridges, and transportation funding.
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 Director's Board Report - January 2011
On January 10, the 2011 Legislative Session kicked off with the State of the State address. I was pleased that the Idaho Transportation Department was mentioned as one of the agencies which is becoming more efficient and saving the taxpayers money. Our department was only one of four agencies highlighted in this portion of the Governor's remarks. A video is available on our web site.
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 Director's Board Report - December 2010
Starting this month, my Director's report to the Board will be a little different. Our Executive Officers will have a greater role in presenting pertinent information to the Board. This is an important step as we move the entire organization forward in a coordinated and cohesive manner with the Board, the Director, and through the front lines of the organization. We cannot separate the policy level from the implementation level.
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 Director's Board Report - November 2010
On November 10th, the department issued permits for over-sized loads to travel from Lewiston to the Montana border on U.S. 12. Shipping the loads was suspended pending a hearing.
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