In December 2016, Mike Heiligenstein was one of the four panelists on the Williamson County Growth Summit held at the prominent Sheraton Georgetown Conference Center. The other panelists were Joseph Kopser, Leandre Johns, and Jared Ficklin. Their debate was anchored on the effects of technology on transportation within the Austin region.
In his submission, Mike argued that even though technology has the potential of transforming transportation infrastructure, it was still necessary to invest in building more and better roads. According to him, that remains the only way of meeting mobility demands of a rapidly growing population, such as Williamson County. He argued that without raising the capacity on the roads within the Austin region, any technological solution to transportation problem would be beaten up by the increased migration into the area. Jared Ficklin called for the adjustment of the existing land codes. He said that flexible building laws would accommodate rapid technological advancements.
About Mike Heiligenstein
Mike Heiligenstein is the executive director of the Mobile Authority, a position he has held since 2003. Heiligenstein holds two advanced degrees, one in business and the other in government administration. His postgraduate degrees are from the University of Texas. Prior to his appointment as the head of the Mobility Authority, Mike had served as an elected county official in Williamson for 23 years. Over the 23 years, he worked in different capacities, the highlight of them all being the chairmanship of the Clean Air Force of Texas. At the time he took the mantle of leadership at the Mobility Authority, the agency had nothing in terms of revenues. Mike has successfully led the organization to put up a revenue program that will see them raise revenues to the tune of $4 billion by 2020.
The CTRMA was established in 2002 as an independent government agency, under the Texas Transportation Code Chapter 370. It was tasked with the responsibility of finding transportation solutions in the suburban counties of Williamson and Travis. The Mobile Authority is authorized to issue revenue bonds and to fund and implement transportation projects in the region, including roadways, seaports, and airports. A Board of Directors heads the Mobile Authority. The board chairman is appointed by the governor. The Travis and Williamson Counties Commissioners Courts appoint three members each, making seven members. Director Heiligenstein leads the professional staff.
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