The newly reorganized advisory board of the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority has elected Sonya P. Dancoe as its chair during the body’s first meeting at the COTA conference room last Thursday.
Dancoe, who represents the business community, said yesterday she did not expect to be nominated to lead the Commonwealth Public Transportation Advisory Board.
“However, due to the essence of time and difficulty of establishing a quorum, I felt it was simply in the best interest of the organization to accept the nomination so that business can begin and critical decisions can be made in a timely manner,” Dancoe said.
She assured, though, that is truly honored to be chosen for the position. “I believe we have a strong group of individuals serving as members and I look forward to a successful year ahead.”
Dancoe has already had some experience working with the staff and management of COTA and has seen the organization grow from a two-person operation to the diverse group it is today.
“I have seen how COTA’s management operates, and I feel very comfortable working with such a dedicated, well organized, and knowledgeable group of staff. The professionalism and organization transpires throughout every meeting that we have had with the leadership at the COTA office,” she said.
The other new officers are Department of Public Works Secretary Martin C. Sablan as vice chair and Public School System’s Patricia P. Kapileo as secretary.
The new CPTAB officers will be serving a two-year term. The board assists and advises COTA and the governor in developing a community-based, multi-modal surface transportation system that provides mobility for all, complements land use, and improves air quality.
Other board members include Rota Mayor Melchor Mendiola, Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz, and COTA special assistant for public transportation Thomas J. Camacho.
The advisory board’s duties include reviewing the CNMI transportation needs and making recommendations to COTA on developing a viable public transportation system.
Camacho said the board was recently reorganized due to the passage of Public Law 18-71, which amended PL 17-43, trimming the number of board members from 10 to six and requiring one to be of Carolinian descent and at least one woman to be a member.
Camacho said the new officers term will begin in January 2015.
Prior to the meeting on Thursday, COTA held a new membership and staff orientation last month so that new board members would understand their mandated roles and responsibilities.
Thursday’s meeting also included discussions on the final Saipan bus route map and the final Bus Stop Designation Report.
For more information about CPTAB and COTA, call 664-2682 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Call-a-Ride reservation, call 664-2690, text at 483-4344 or email email@example.com.