Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation

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Oklahoma
Secretary of Transportation
Seal of Oklahoma.svg
Great Seal of Oklahoma
Agency overview
FormedJune 6, 1986
Headquarters200 NE 21st Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Employees3057 (FY2011)
Annual budget$1.23 billion (FY2011)
Minister responsible
Child agencies
WebsiteOffice of the Secretary of Transportation

The Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation is a member of the Oklahoma Governor's Cabinet. The Secretary is appointed by the Governor, with the consent of the Oklahoma Senate, to serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Secretary serves as the chief advisor to the Governor on land, water, air and space traffic transportation needs and infrastructure.

The current Secretary of Transportation is Gary Ridley, who was appointed by Governor Brad Henry in 2009.

History[edit]

The position of Secretary of Transportation was established in 1986 to provide greater oversight and coordination to the agricultural activities of the State government. The position was established, along with the Oklahoma Governor's Cabinet, by the Executive Branch Reform Act of 1986. The Act directed the Secretary of Transportation to advise the Governor on transportation needs and infrastructure policy and advise the state transportation agencies on new policy as directed by the Governor.

Dual Position[edit]

Oklahoma state law allows for Cabinet Secretaries to serve concurrently as the head of a State agency in addition to their duties as a Cabinet Secretary. Historically, the Secretary of Transportation has also served as either the Director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation or as the Director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. As of 2019, seven of the eight Transportation Secretaries have served in one of those dual positions, with three serving in all three.

Name Other Position Held (if any)
Neal McCaleb Director, Oklahoma Department of Transportation
Delmas Ford
Neal McCaleb Director, Oklahoma Department of Transportation
Director, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
Herschal Crow Director, Oklahoma Department of Transportation
Director, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
Phil Tomlinson Director, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
Gary Ridley Director, Oklahoma Department of Transportation
Director, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
Mike Patterson Executive Director, Oklahoma Department of Transportation
Tim Gatz Executive Director, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority

Responsibilities[edit]

The Secretary of Transportation is responsible for the construction, maintenance, and regulation of state's transportation system. This infrastructure includes rail lines, state highways, state turnpikes, state seaports, state airports and state spaceports.

As of fiscal year 2011, the Secretary of Transportation oversees 3478 full-time employees and is responsible for an annual budget of over $1.9 billion.

Agencies overseen[edit]

The Secretary of Transportation oversees the following State agencies:

Seal Agency Employees Budget (in millions) Function
Seal of Oklahoma.svg Aeronautics Commission 10 $5.7 Promotes aviation throughout the State by supporting the establishment and maintenance of public airports
Department of Transportation 2488 $1,596 Responsible for the construction, maintenance, and regulation the use of the state's public highway, rail, and waterway transportation infrastructure
Seal of Oklahoma.svg Space Industry Development Authority 3 $0.4 Responsible for the development of a State-owned public spaceport
Turnpike Authority 681 $223.8 Responsible for the construction, maintenance, and regulation the use of the state's turnpike infrastructure
  • All numbers represented Fiscal Year 2011 levels

Salary[edit]

The Secretary of Transportation is one of the few cabinet secretaries whose annual salary is not set by law.[1] As such, it is left to the governor to determine the position's salary through the annual budget. Despite this, if the Secretary serves as the head of a state agency, the Secretary receives the higher of the two salaries. What makes incumbent Secretary Gary Ridley's example unique is that he serves as both the head of the Transportation Department (ODOT) and the Director of the Turnpike Authority (OTA). As such, he receives the salaries allowed to both positions.

List of Secretaries[edit]

# Name Took Office Left Office Governor served under
1 Neal McCaleb 1987 1991 Henry Bellmon
2 Delmas Ford 1991 1995 David Walters
3 Neal McCaleb 1995 2001 Frank Keating
4 Herschal Crow 2001 2003
5 Phil Tomlinson 2003 2009 Brad Henry
6 Gary Ridley 2009 2011
2011 2017 Mary Fallin
7 Mike Patterson 2017 2019
8 Tim Gatz 2019 Present Kevin Stitt

References[edit]

External links[edit]