Oklahoma City, OK – Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman Mark Liotta recently accepted The County Courage and Leadership Award from the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma for creation of the County Improvement to Roads and Bridges (CIRB) fund.
Prior to taking on his current role as Chairman of the WCC, Liotta served five terms in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1996 to 2006. It was in this capacity that he authored legislation creating the CIRB fund. The fund has helped to repair or replace 496 Bridges and 662 mile of county roads over the last decade. The current 5 year CIRB plan will help fund the replacement of an additional 541 county bridges and repairs for 1,050 miles of county roads.
As part of his acceptance speech Liotta explained,
“Remember, these are projects which would likely never have been funded otherwise, but by working together and pooling their resources, the counties have made it happen.”
Liotta used as an example a 90 year old bridge across the Red River in Harmon County, which was load limited to 3 tons for decades. The bridge has since been replaced under the CIRB with a new bridge limited at 122 tons, and a 100 year expected life span.
Mark Liotta is only the second recipient of The County Courage and Leadership Award. He was presented the award by State Representative Mike Sanders, who was the first to receive the award.
ACCO Executive Director Gene Wallace quipped, “We nickname this the Rock Star Award!”
The award ceremony was held at the ACCO Spring Conference in Norman. The Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma is an organization made up of the 231 commissioners in all 77 Oklahoma counties. ACCO serves as a statewide clearinghouse for leadership training, educational programming and a comprehensive array of services designed to meet the needs of its member counties.
In his closing his closing remarks Liotta stated,
“I don’t take credit for this, remember what the Legislature did in 2006; we doubled funding for the state system, while miraculously and voluntarily removing legislators from the road project selection process. We doubled funding for the county system, created emergency bridge funding, and did all of this without raising taxes or increasing debt.”
The WCC is an administrative agency responsible for handling claims of injured workers. The administrative system took effect Feb. 1, 2014. Mark Liotta joined the commission in May 27, 2015 and assumed the role of Chairman in August of 2017.
Source: OK WCC