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Reconfigured Port Authority board elects new officers

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 11:12 a.m.

Port Authority of Allegheny County's reconstituted board met Friday for the first time and elected Robert Hurley as chairman.

Hurley, 55, a Point Breeze Democrat and senior deputy director of the county's Department of Economic Development, succeeds Jeff Letwin.

Tom Donatelli, 65, of McCandless was elected vice-chairman of the 11-member board; Connie Parker, 71, of Penn Hills and president of the Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP, was elected treasurer; and state Sen. Jim Brewster, 65, of McKeesport was elected secretary.

Hurley, a member of the old board, was reappointed by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

The vote in favor of the slate of candidates was 8-0.

Board member David White was absent and Allegheny County Councilwoman Amanda Green Hawkins did not arrive in time for the vote. Gov. Tom Corbett, who has one appointment, has not made his selection for the board.

Hurley said his first priority is to lobby the Legislature to pass a transportation bill with increased dedicated state funding. His second is to focus on the search for a CEO. The old board voted to fire former CEO Steve Bland on Feb. 1 at Fitzgerald's urging. Hurley said the CEO search stalled after the Legislature in July passed a law changing how the board is appointed.

Hurley said there's no conflict between serving on the board while working for Fitzgerald and the county in economic development.

“Quite frankly, what I do for the county goes in hand-in-glove with this. Businesses need transportation. It's a regional issue,” Hurley said.

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or bkerlik@tribweb.com.

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