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COOS COUNTY — A special election is being held Tuesday, Nov. 5, to fill seven empty positions on the newly formed Coos County Area Transportation District.

The new non-taxing district, which was created earlier this year, transfers authority over CCAT’s operations from the Coos County Board of Commissioners to its newly elected board of directors.

In January, former CCAT manager Sergio Gamino proposed the restructure to commissioners as a way to increase its administrative efficiency and management of state and federal grant money. 

Currently, the county is working on transferring funds and assets over to the new CCAT governing body as the new board is expected to take office in January 2020.

A total of eight candidates are vying for a spot to serve on the district’s initial board which includes residents John Favors, LouAnn Dewater, Melissa Dovenspike, Rebecca Jennings, Doug Veysey, Richard Leshley, Timm Slater and Lauren Morris.

"While transportation district board members generally serve four (4) year terms, ORS 255.325 requires the terms of the initial board members to be altered to allow for board elections to occur every other year,” said an election notice by the Coos County Election’s Office. “This process will result in some initial board members serving shorter terms than others.”

In addition to a new board of directors, CCAT will also have a new general manager next month.

Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins announced at the county’s regularly scheduled board meeting Tuesday morning that longtime transportation professional David Hope will step into the position beginning Nov. 14.  

Hope, who has about 34 years of experience in the transportation industry, is relocating to Coos County from Florida where he worked in a number of counties focusing on rural public transportation.

“I think he is going to bring a lot of experience to our transit department,” said Cribbins. “He is going to be able to take a look at the system and also bring best practices from other areas. It’s an exciting transition.”

For more information on the candidates running for the new CCAT board, visit the county's website at www.co.coos.or.us. Election results will become available shortly after 8 p.m. on the county's website on Nov. 5. 

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Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-2039 or by email at amanda.linares@theworldlink.com.