Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane's monthly calendar just got a little more crowded. He was selected to chair the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) at the panel's recent meeting.
"It's based on an annual rotation that goes on in government," said Ruane, who was serving as MPO vice chair and treasurer. "I was going to MPO monthly anyway so it's really no more responsibility to run the meetings."
Ruane's seat on City Council is one of three that were up for re-election in March. However, no candidates filed papers with the Supervisor of Elections by this week's deadline to oppose Ruane, Marty Harrity or vice mayor Mick Denham. All three will retain their positions for another term.
Ruane has been Sanibel City Council's liaison to the MPO for four years and became the group's treasurer in addition to being liaison on the Tourist Development Council (TDC).
"Treasurer is a new position for MPO and I am honored that my peers selected me to do that, too," said Ruane, who will continue as treasurer in addition to his chair duty.
The state and federally funded MPO is a transportation policy-making organization made up of representatives from local government and transportation authorities. MPO reviews and approves urban transportation planning and programming for the Lee County area as well as plans and programs developed through the process.
"We try to educate the public about forms of transportation other than by car," said Ruane. "MPO has a laundry list of a couple hundred projects on the books worth $5 billion over the next 25 years in Lee County - infrastructure, roads and highways."
Ruane was first appointed to City Council to fill a vacant seat in February 2007. Months later he was elected to his first full term on council. He was re-elected in 2009, appointed Vice Mayor for 2009-10 and has served as Mayor since 2010.
Ruane also sits on the board of the Florida Municipal Insurance Trust (FMIT) as well as Sanibel Police Officers Pension Board of Trustees, and several other committee posts.