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RTC Board Appoints New Interim Executive Director

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) has appointed Mitch Weiss, former executive director of the California Transportation Commission (CTC), as interim executive director for the agency. Weiss will temporarily replace former Executive Director Guy Preston, who retired on Dec. 1, 2023, while the RTC searches for a new permanent executive director.

Weiss has more than 20 years’ experience as a transportation leader in California, including working on nearly every major transportation funding program in the state. Along with serving as Executive Director for the CTC, he also served as its Chief Deputy Director and Deputy Director, as well as Deputy Secretary for Administration and Finance for State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), and in several positions at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

“Mitch Weiss will make a great interim executive director for the RTC. His background in economics means the Commission can count on him for clear and unbiased presentation of the facts,” said Manu Koenig, RTC board chair and Santa Cruz County Supervisor. “His experience at the CTC managing state awards totaling over $20 billion means that Santa Cruz County will have additional insight as we navigate grant applications. Finally, he has firsthand experience with reorganizations, meaning that he will bring valuable perspective to the RTC as we consider our own structural changes.”

During his tenure at the CTC, Weiss led the agency’s implementation of Senate Bill 1 (SB1), which provided the first significant, stable, and ongoing increase in state transportation funding in over two decades. This effort culminated in the programming of nearly $18 billion across six programs in just thirteen months. He also led the development of the Active Transportation Program which funds more than $220 million annually for transportation projects across the state and managed the approximately $5 billion State Transportation Improvement Program. While at CalSTA, he was responsible for fiscal policy and administrative and personnel matters for the agency and departments under the agency, including Caltrans, California Highway Patrol, Department of Motor Vehicles, and High-Speed Rail Authority. In addition, he co-authored the first Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program guidelines.

“I appreciate the trust placed in me by the commission and am excited to help guide the RTC in its continued work to develop and deliver sustainable transportation solutions to the region as the commission searches for a permanent executive director,” said Weiss.

Weiss, who retired from the CTC in March 2023, will start as the RTC’s interim executive director on Dec. 21, 2023, and will report directly to the RTC Board of Directors.

The RTC is currently engaged in the recruitment process for a new permanent executive director.

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