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Parker County Judge Mark Riley, after being elected as Secretary of the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) last June, has now been elected to the position of vice chair for the 44 member body. Riley was elected to the position at a Thursday, June 12 meeting. As the transportation policymaking body for the 12-county Dallas-Fort Worth area, the RTC oversees transportation planning for the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country. The RTC guides the development of roadway, rail and other programs; allocates transportation funds; and recommends projects to the Texas Transportation Commission for other programs. Riley was appointed to the RTC in 2008. It has served Parker County well as he has advanced Parker County’s transportation infrastructure through his development and leadership of the Parker County’s 2008 Transportation Bond Program, which will come to completion this summer with the completion of the Aledo Trail Project and the expansion of FM 1187 from I-20 to Aledo. “I am proud to serve as vice chair of this important policymaking body,” Riley said. “I believe serving on this council as a member and now continuing as an officer is good for Parker County because it continues to give Parker County a voice and vote in the allocation of federal and State funds for the implementation of transportation improvements and projects.” Creating partnerships, both local and regional, are a key component of Riley’s transportation plan for Parker County. “The RTC is great for helping to create regional and local partnerships and it is one of the reasons this region is getting transportation projects done,” he said. “However there is more to do, and by working together, be that Parker County and our cities within Parker County, or our partnership with the RTC and TxDOT, we have found that we are able to accomplish more and at a quicker pace than most.” The RTC also ensures transportation services are coordinated throughout the region and that the region complies with air quality regulations. Riley said he will work with the newly elected chair of the RTC, Dallas County Commissioner Mike Cantrell, to work with the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature to seek additional transportation funding for the North Central Texas Council of Governments region. “I have been and will continue to call for our state and federally elected officials to properly fund our transportation needs,” Riley said. “It will take not only traditional funding but innovative measures as well to meet the needs of Parker County, the region, the state and our country as a whole.” Riley said some progress has been made with the Legislature’s approval of a ballot measure that will go before voters in November that would provide up to $1.4 bill a year in additional transportation funding. “I urge voters to approve the constitutional amendment in November,” Riley said. “Our infrastructure is in need and transportation development drives our economic development. With the growth this country and this region is experiencing we must take action and just saying no is not an option.”