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Released: 2/7/2011 

Citizen Advisory Committee Members Announced

The DRPA Board has approved a recommended list of candidates for its first DRPA/PATCO Citizen Advisory Committee.  Pennsylvania Auditor General, Jack Wagner, who serves as an Ex-Officio Commissioner on the Board, first introduced the Resolution that created the Committee on September 15, 2010.  In the Resolution, Auditor General Wagner urged the Board to create the Committee to provide the Board with direct input from citizens who live within the DRPA Port District and who use DRPA and PATCO facilities.  The Committee was created as a result of DRPA’s increasing efforts for transparency and community participation.

 The Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), will work in cooperation with DRPA and be advisory in nature.  The Committee will be independent of the Authority.  However, as needed, administrative support will be provided by DRPA and, as requested, information on Authority projects and operations will be provided for CAC review.  The CAC will have an opportunity to comment on Board actions and may take part in Board activities where appropriate.  At each Board meeting one CAC designee each from New Jersey and Pennsylvania will be invited to provide input to the Board on relevant issues.

 The list of recommended members was compiled from applications submitted by 122 individuals who responded to aggressive outreach begun in November after the Board resolution creating the panel was approved.  The Board’s new Audit Committee, which is chaired by Wagner, led the search and the DRPA Customer Service and Community Relations Department coordinated the effort.

“These men and women will serve as the Board’s eyes and ears in the communities that we serve, and we appreciate their willingness to play this vital role,” said Wagner.

 According to DRPA CEO, John J. Matheussen, “The Citizen Advisory Committee will give us the opportunity to hear from those citizens who have a stake in our day-to-day operations.  We want to hear from them as we make important decisions concerning our bridges, PATCO and issues that will impact the entire region.”

 The Audit Committee and full Board worked hard to ensure the membership of the new Citizen Advisory Committee was balanced in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, geography, and the types and frequency of DRPA and PATCO services used.

The pool of qualified candidates was so expansive that the original plan for a committee of 20 was amended.  The group will now be comprised of 24 members, 12 each from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  The CAC will begin to meet at the end of February and eventually create bylaws, procedures, agendas and calendars as well as select leaders.  Meetings will take place at locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania at times selected by the members.

The members of the 2011 Citizen Advisory Committee are;

 From New Jersey
 Barry Beck, Turnersville; John Boyle, Edgewater Park; Anthony DeSantis, Collingswood; Patricia Ettore, Sewell; Stephen Grady, Washington Township; Jonathan Latko, Camden; Sean Leonard, Haddonfield; Carole Owens, Collingswood; Chrisandra Parker, Sicklerville; Kirtkumar Patel, Marlton; Julie Richburg, Camden; and Fredrick Winkler, Clarksboro.

From Pennsylvania
Joanne Bernier, Media; Jennifer Funderburg, Philadelphia; Sean Garry, Philadelphia; Francis Graff, Philadelphia; Ryan Linhart, Philadelphia; Behari Mehta, Plymouth Meeting; Thomas O’Donnell, Philadelphia; Marcella Ridenour, Gwynedd; Michael Rochester, Philadelphia; Julie Still, Glenside; Fred Stuart, Philadelphia and Tyrone Wesley, Philadelphia.

The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency.  DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross Bridges, and PATCO.  The DRPA also owns the RiverLink Ferry.

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