Here’s a look at Fort Worth’s eight new appointees to the Fort Worth Transportation Authority Board, to be voted on tonight by the City Council:
Neftali Ortiz, Council District 2, North Side. Lockheed Martin engineer, former chairman of the Fort Worth Zoning Commission, Heritage homeowner association leader. Councilman Sal Espino says Ortiz brings perspective as a commuter from far North Fort Worth, where there’s a dearth of public transportation options and plans.
Scott Mahaffey, Council District 3, West Side. Owner of an industrial pipe company, Colonial Country Club member who recently headed renovations to the golf course. “When you do something like that, you don’t make a lot of friends, you make a lot of enemies,” Mayor Pro Tem W.B. “Zim” Zimmerman said. “He was able to keep it going and by the time it was over, the members were very pleased with the results.”
Ken Newell, Council District 4, East/Northeast. Fort Worth developer who teamed with family to develop Riverbend Business Park in east Fort Worth and now is working on big mixed-use project off of Trinity Boulevard east of Loop 820. Project has a site set aside for a planned destination-oriented commuter rail stop. “He knows how to start a project, he knows what comes in between, and he knows how to get it to the finish line,” Councilman Danny Scarth said.
Dennis Dunkin, Council District 5, southeast side. Retired Fort Worth schools. Former Fort Worth parks board member, former member city public transportation task force. Frequent leisure traveller by train with family to Chicago, says Councilman Frank Moss. “He’s very excited about it.”
Jeff King, Council District 6, South side. New chief of the Fort Worth office of the Northern Trust Co. Longtime JP Morgan Chase private banker. Formerly Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce chairman, Cook Children’s Medical Foundation vice chair, Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau chair, Fort Worth T vice chair, Fort Worth Zoning Commission vice chair. He has a strong financial background important to The T and its projects, Councilman Jungus Jordan said. “I was looking for someone who has a citywide vision, and Jeff has it,” Jordan said. King lives in Council District 9.
Carter Burdette, Council District 7, West Side/Northwest/Far North. Former Fort Worth City Councilman. Cantey Hanger lawyer. “It’s not the board that we’re looking for the expertise” in commuter rail, Councilman Dennis Shingleton said. “We’re looking for the board to find the expertise.”
Andre McEwing, Council District 8, southeast. Former executive director, Southeast Fort Worth, Inc. “He does a lot of work in southeast Fort Worth and is really concerned about transportation and moving us forward,” Council member Kelly Allen Gray said.
Jeff Davis, Council District 9, Near South/South. Former Fort Worth city councilman, chair of Fort Worth division of Republic Title Co., commuter rail supporter. "I think Jeff is a superstar," Burns said. "I think he's very good and he's passionate about transportation," including both bus and rail.
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley has the ninth T board appointee. During a visit to City Hall this afternoon, he said commissioners are "probably 99 percent sure" they''ll replace their T board appointee.
- Scott Nishimura, Star-Telegram Fort Worth City Hall reporter