CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546
|FOR RELEASE: December 12, 2007||
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
Fax: (860) 594-3066
Governor Rell Announces Ralph Carpenter Retiring as
Commissioner of Transportation
Former Commissioner Emil Frankel Will Serve On Interim Basis While
National Search For New Commissioner Is Conducted
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that Department of Transportation Commissioner Ralph J. Carpenter is retiring after nearly 30 years of outstanding state service. The Governor has asked former Commissioner Emil H. Frankel to return to that role on an interim basis while a national search is conducted for a new Commissioner.
“Ralph Carpenter’s entire career has been dedicated to the people and the state of Connecticut,” Governor Rell said. “After 25 years in the Department of Public Safety, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, I asked him to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and then to move to DOT. In every role he has been innovative, dependable and supremely energetic. All of us are indebted to him.
“Ralph has very ably begun the dramatic reform process that I have instituted at DOT,” the Governor said. “Our national search for a new Commissioner will be focused on finding the right person to continue these changes and spur the agency to new success.
“In the last few years we have altered the face of transportation in Connecticut with new investments and new priorities,” Governor Rell said. “The lifeblood of our state flows through its transportation network – and the DOT is changing with the times. This is an exciting moment for the agency, for my Administration and for everyone in Connecticut.
“As grateful as I am for Ralph’s loyal and steadfast service, I must also thank Commissioner Frankel for stepping back into the role during this transition period,” the Governor added. “As Commissioner from 1991 to 1995, and later as Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy to President Bush, he has already served our state and our nation with distinction. DOT will be in very good hands indeed.”
Governor Rell has formed a Commission on Reform of the DOT, part of sweeping changes ordered at the agency over the past year. While that panel – chaired by Michael Critelli, Chairman and CEO of Stamford-based Pitney-Bowes – is continuing its work, DOT has already made numerous policy and program improvements.
Among the changes: Reorganizing and consolidating the fiscal and administrative functions of the Department into a new Bureau of Administrative and Financial Services; new policies governing the employment of agency employee family members on transportation projects; new oversight and inspection procedures for highway construction projects; new procedures including an 800 number and an internal web link, to allow DOT employees to inform the Commissioner of internal issues such as possible corruption, waste or abuse; and moving the Department back to a two-year cycle of inspecting all bridges in Connecticut.
Next week, the Commission on Reform of the DOT will release its final report and recommendations, establishing the blueprint for future changes at the agency.
“I charged the Commission on Reform of the DOT with creating a ‘whole new DOT’ with a refocused mission and a top-to-bottom change at the agency,” Governor Rell said. “The national search for a new commissioner and the release of the Commission’s report next week is an opportunity for a fresh start all the way around.”
The Department of Transportation is headquartered in Newington and is responsible for the construction and maintenance of major Connecticut roads, highways and bridges, and the state’s public transit system. The 3,200-employee agency also oversees commuter and freight rail lines, shoreline ports and piers, ferries and Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. Its stated mission is to “provide a safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation system that meets the mobility needs of its users."