Gov. Rendell on Friday reappointed Philadelphia labor leader John J. "Doc" Dougherty to a seat on the governing board of the Delaware River Port Authority, which operates four toll bridges and the PATCO commuter rail line.
The appointment came a day after New Jersey Gov. Corzine appointed three new commissioners and reappointed five holdovers to the politically connected, bi-state board.
"Doc – Thanks for doing a great job supporting us here," Rendell wrote in a note on the reappointment letter sent Friday to Dougherty, the business manager of IBEW Local 98 and an unsuccessful candidate last year for state Senate.
There was no word on whether Rendell will also reappoint Philadelphia city councilman Frank DiCicco, whose DRPA term expires in September. DiCicco and Dougherty are political rivals in Philadelphia Democratic politics. Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo said last month Rendell would confer with new DRPA chairman John H. Estey about the appointment and make a decision soon.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey each have eight representatives on the board, which has been influential in economic development spending on both sides of the Delaware River and oversees an agency with a $281 million operating budget and a $104 million capital budget this year. Board members are unpaid.
The board has been substantially revamped in recent months.
Rendell last month stepped down as chairman of the DRPA, appointing Estey, his former chief of staff and long-time stand-in as DRPA chairman, to the post. Rendell also appointed another ally, former Pennsylvania Treasurer Robin Wiessmann, to return to a seat on the DRPA board five months after she left. She replaced Philadelphia Republican State Rep. John Perzel on the board.
The DRPA operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross toll bridges between Philadelphia and South Jersey, as well as the PATCO commuter line and the RiverLink Ferry between the Camden waterfront and Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.Contact staff writer Paul Nuusbaum at 215 854-4581 or firstname.lastname@example.org