Hales chooses interim transportation director, Toby Widmer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Mayor Charlie Hales has announced that Toby Widmer will come out of retirement to be the interim director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Hales emphasized the need to fix Portland's roads during his winning mayoral campaign, and criticized then-Mayor Sam Adams for choosing Tom Miller to the transportation director without conducting a competitive search.

Hales took over as mayor Jan. 1 and immediately requested Miller's resignation.

Widmer retired as the director of the Bureau of Maintenance in 2002.

Hales said Thursday that Widmer came up through the ranks, can operate every piece of equipment in the maintenance yard and understands that street maintenance will be his first priority.

Widmer will have the job for six months as the city conducts a national search for a permanent replacement.

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