Governor Appoints New Secretary of VTrans in Vermont
MONTPELIER, Sept. 9, 2015—Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today that Agency of Transportation Secretary Sue Minter will step down after serving in the Administration since 2011. The Governor has appointed current Deputy Secretary Chris Cole to lead VTrans following Minter’s resignation, which takes effect at the end of the day Friday. A copy of her resignation letter to the Governor is attached.
“For four years, Sue Minter has been working hard to keep Vermonters moving forward,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Whether it was overseeing recovery efforts following Irene, steadily improving Vermont’s transportation infrastructure, or managing one of the largest agencies in state government, Sue has been an invaluable asset to the state of Vermont. She is smart, driven, and an incredibly talented leader. I wish her all the best.”
At VTrans, Minter has helped oversee significant progress in improving Vermont’s transportation infrastructure. In 2008, Vermont ranked near the bottom of all states – 45th in the nation – for the number of structurally deficient bridges. By 2013 the state had cut the number of deficient bridges in half. By 2014 only 7 percent of the state bridges were rated as structurally deficient. The percentage of pavement rated in very poor condition has also declined from a high of 36 percent in 2008 to only 13 percent by 2014.
Minter also played a leadership role responding to the catastrophic flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 that wiped out over 500 miles of roads. She was tapped by the Governor to be the State’s Irene Recovery Officer, responsible for implementation of all state recovery and resilience activities following the storm. Given that experience, the Governor asked Minter to lead a team to assist the state of Colorado following severe flooding in September of 2013.
Minter has also supported the Governor’s climate change agenda, serving as his liaison to the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, where she served as the co-chair of the Disaster Recovery and Resilience Sub Committee.
Incoming Secretary Chris Cole has a long history working on transportation in Vermont. Prior to being appointed Deputy Secretary in January 2015, Cole served as VTrans’ Director of the Policy, Planning and Intermodal Development for four years.
Before joining the Administration, Cole was the General Manager at the Chittenden County Transportation Authority for ten years. He also worked for the Vermont Legislature from 1998 to 2001 as a Fiscal Analyst at the Joint Fiscal Office and prior to that at the New York State Legislature as a policy analyst for the Transportation, Education and Environmental Conservation Committees.
“While we’re sad to lose Sue, we could not have found someone more ready to step in and continue the good work being done at VTrans,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Chris has been a key leader at VTrans since 2011, and we’re lucky to have someone with his experience stepping into the top job.”
A search to replace Cole as Deputy Secretary is underway.