SAN ANTONIO — The Texas Transportation Commission voted Tuesday evening to appoint Texas Department of Transportation Chief Financial Officer James Bass to take over the agency on an interim basis starting Jan. 17.
Bass will take the position of current TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson, who accepted a job last month as head of the Lower Colorado River Authority.
Commissioners met in executive session for 90 minutes before voting unanimously to give the job to Bass. They also approved to increase Bass' annual salary to $292,500, equal to what Wilson currently receives in the position, according to TxDOT spokeswoman Veronica Beyer.
Commissioner Jeff Moseley was selected to head up a committee that will search for Wilson’s permanent replacement. Moseley said after Tuesday evening's meeting that he did not have a timeline for picking the agency’s new executive director.
“We’ll open the posting immediately, and we’ll use all the tools we have to let qualified candidates know about the opening,” Moseley said. The job posting will expire on Jan. 30, at which point the committee will review the candidates who applied for the position, he said.
Bass began his career with TxDOT in 1985 and has been in charge of the agency’s finances for more than a decade. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2014/01/07/transportation-commission-taps-cfo-head-txdot/.