Frisco manager to help influence national transportation policies
Frisco Town Manager Michael Penny has been appointed to the National League of Cities’ Transportation & Infrastructure Services Policy and Advocacy Committee, based in Washington, D.C. The league is made up of several different committees – like energy, finance and public safety – and serves as a resource to and advocate for over 19,000 towns and cities throughout the United States. The transportation committee has the lead responsibility for considering the organization’s federal policy positions in the areas of public transit, streets and highways, aviation, passenger and freight rail, pipelines and water infrastructure. Penny will help shape policy positions and advocate on behalf of America’s cities and towns on Capital Hill, with the administration and at home. “It’s an honor to be appointed to this committee,” Penny said. He answered the following questions about the appointment:
Michael Penny: Federal transportation funding and policy needs to change. The National League of Cities committee is one way for local voices to be heard at the national level.
MP: I-70 is the lifeline for Summit County. Our economic vitality is fueled by tourism and access to the mountains. I-70 is that corridor. The funding necessary for I-70 improvements and the policy challenges we have in implementation require national involvement. The state does not have the money to make the necessary improvements. Frisco and all of Summit County will benefit from policy changes resulting in better cooperation between federal departments and coordination with local and state entities.”
MP: Transportation and infrastructure is a passion of mine, a focus of the Frisco council, and something I have the experience and knowledge to assist in national conversations on.
MP: Colorado has been pushing for one federal Department of Transportation. Currently, we work with a multitude of different agencies all having different responsibilities and requirements. Corridors like I-70, which have multi-modal solutions, do not fit well into the existing federal structure. While I’m not optimistic enough to think we will change the federal transportation structure, if we can at least get the different administrations to talk better to each other, that would be a significant improvement. A focus on maintaining our existing infrastructure and public assets would be good conversation to have as well. As a nation, our transportation infrastructure has billions of dollars of deferred maintenance costs.”Penny will visit Washington, D.C. soon for a bi-annual meeting of the league, which he was already planning on attending as a member of The Colorado Municipal League. The Town of Frisco will be paying for travel costs, which he said is normal.
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