The Brazos County Regional Mobility Authority, a new entity that area lawmakers believe will help address local transportation challenges, now has its five-person board, following Brazos County Commissioners Court approval — and the appointment by Gov. Greg Abbott of Tedi Ellison as its chair.
The Texas Transportation Commission gave formal approval for the creation of a county RMA on May 30. A regional mobility authority is an independent local government agency with authority to finance, acquire, design, construct, operate and extend transportation projects.
Along with Ellison, the four other board members are former Bryan Mayor Pro Tem Ann Horton; Dennis Christiansen, Texas A&M Transportation Institute director emeritus; and Veronica Morgan and Alan Munger, who both have extensive backgrounds in transportation and engineering work.
Ellison works at the Ellison Law Firm, is a former director of athletic compliance at Texas A&M, and has been involved with numerous area organizations, according to a press release.
“It is a very exciting time for Brazos County with so many people involved and ready to work together to solve transportation problems, improve the efficiency of the transportation system, increase local control over transportation planning, and improve mobility and safety,” Ellison said Friday. She said that the RMA will work closely with the Texas Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Planning Organization and a number of other local entities and individuals to develop and implement projects.
Christiansen said Friday that the board likely will have its first meeting early next year.
Funding for the authority remains an open question after House Bill 642, which would have authorized a $10 fee on vehicle registration in Brazos County to fund the RMA’s work, received Texas House approval but died in a Senate committee during this year’s legislative session. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick expressed disapproval, according to previous reporting by The Eagle.
“It will be an early task of the board to look at funding options that would allow the entity to function until the next legislative session,” Christiansen said.