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tc court120hTompkins County Chief Transportation Planner Dwight Mengel has been awarded the 2015 George Rucker Award from the Community Transportation Association of America.  The award was presented June 3 at the association's 2015 Community Transportation Expo in Tampa, Florida.

According to CTTA Executive Director Dale Marsico, the award, in memory of late association staff member George Rucker, recognizes "those searching for new and innovative ways to make mobility options a central feature of all public policy and push for concepts that make these services not just good for operators, but good for the people who depend on public and community transportation as a necessity."

In his notification letter, Director Marsico told Mengel, "We've been impressed with your work in this period of difficult change in New York.  Your efforts to organize operators, create information about how changes affect riders, how you've tried to provide leadership for mobility managers and much more are important examples of trying to make things better in difficult circumstances.  You have exhibited some of George's finest qualities including never giving up, never allowing the impact of policy changes that have negative outcomes to go unchallenged, and always proposing alternative strategies that put people and their needs first."

In a letter of congratulation to Mr. Mengel, Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit Board of Directors Chairman Frank Proto called the award "a significant achievement and recognition for your work in the area of mobility management."

"The recognition is well earned," Tompkins County Administrator Joe Mareane added.  "Throughout your career, you have been a stalwart advocate of mobility opportunities for all members of the community.  Even more important than your advocacy are your accomplishments.  You have rolled up your sleeves, engaged stakeholders and providers, nurtured new ideas, charted new paths, and found ways to get things done.  This task, never easy, has been particularly difficult in an era of constrained resources that sometimes puts allies into competition with each other for scarce dollars.

"We are proud of your accomplishments and the fact that a national organization as respected as the CTAA has recognized your leadership in mobility management.  Your work reflects well on the values of our government and our community, and has made us a better place."

As reported on its Twitter feed, the CTAA relayed the following advice to his colleagues from Planner Mengel: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are...We are all engaged in work worth doing."

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