Reactions of some top legislative leaders indicate the transportation still has a long ways to go to regain credibility with lawmakers. The transportation department in the last couple of years has gained a director, someone who is not a highway person, an engineer, but is an administrator. The legislature is requiring regular reports on progress made on various projects. But House Republican leader Delbert Scott of Lowry City says all of that has not changed a thing. He wants to put operations of the department under a state secretary of transportation, eliminating the role of the state transportation commission. That makes no sense to House Speaker Steve Gaw, who says that move would only politicize the department by putting road-building decisions in the hands of one person responsible to the governor. The department has just run a statewide survey of consumers’ opinions. Department officials say it will help the department move in new directions.
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