- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Obama administration this weekend appointed two federal representatives to Metro’s board of directors — a move to bring additional leadership and oversight to the agency during a difficult period.

Mortimer L. Downey will serve as director and Marcel C. Acosta as alternate director, each for four years, according to the General Services Administration.

GSA will appoint a total of four directors — two voting and two alternates — under a deal in which the transit agency will receives $1.5 billion in federal money.

The additions mark the first time in the agency’s 43-year history that its board will have federal representatives. The board is now composed of 12 directors from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Once the federal appointments are complete, the board will have 16 members — eight voting and eight alternates directors.

Mr. Downey and Mr. Acosta could be seated as early as this week when the board reconvenes and likely addresses a $40 million budget gap and a possible fare increase to avoid service cuts.

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