Former Superior mayor David Ross has been named Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday announced that Ross will move to transportation on Jan. 7 from his current job as secretary of the state for the Department of Safety and Professional Services.
Mark Gottlieb, outgoing transportation secretary, offered his resignation to Walker taking effect Jan. 6.
It’s a big jump for Ross, 64. The transportation department is one of the largest state agencies, with 3,500 employees and an annual budget of more than $3.5 billion. The department supports state highways, local roads, railroads, public transit systems, airports, harbors and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The department also serves 50,000 people each day through the Division of Motor Vehicles and includes the Division of State Patrol which enforces laws and aids motorists throughout the state.
“Dave Ross has been an outstanding leader for our administration at the DSPS since 2011,” Walker said in a prepared statement. “Dave has always looked to improve the way government operates, and I am confident he will bring the same innovative, taxpayer-first approach to the DOT.”
Walker has been firm in that he will not support a tax increase for transportation unless it’s offset by a decrease elsewhere. Gottlieb was apparently firmly in Speaker Vos’ court and was actively pushing for a tax increase and more spending. He was fighting against Walker instead of finding ways to achieve Walker’s goals for transportation. And now Gottlieb is gone and being IMMEDIATELY replaced by a loyal Walker conservative.
This is a positive development for those of us who think that the Department of Transportation still spends too much and that a tax increase should be off the table.