Tarrant County will continue to wield its influence in statewide transportation issues.
Arlington businessman Victor Vandergriff has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas Transportation Commission, the five-member body that oversees the Texas Department of Transportation. Vandergriff will serve a six-year term expiring in 2019.
Vandergriff replaces Bill Meadows, a former Fort Worth councilman who has served on the state commission since 2008. Meadows' term expired in February, although as is common practice Meadows has remained on the board until a replacement could be found.
Vandergriff's appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation, so the actual switch may not occur until April.
Perry also announced on Tuesday that he would reappoint another state transportation commission member, Jeff Austin III of Tyler.
Vandergriff recently stepped down from a long tenure on the North Texas Tollway Authority board, amid rumors that he would run for Arlington mayor - a position he eventually opted not to pursue. Vandergriff also currently serves as chair of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, but Vandergriff said he would resign that position if confirmed for the transportation commission. State law won't allow him to serve on two state agency boards.
At the tollway authority, Vandergriff was instrumental in many key projects, including the planned extension of Texas 360 from Arlington to Mansfield.
"I haven't served on the transportation commission so I don't pretend to know the ins and outs, but I am certainly familiar with the process and working with the commission for so many years," Vandergriff said in a phone interview. "In five and a half years with NTTA we did a lot of projects together. I don't believe I have that steep of a learning curve as a lot of people."