A longtime area engineering manager has been hired as executive director of the Fresno County Transportation Authority, which oversees projects funded by the county’s Measure C transportation sales tax measure.
Mike Leonardo served as engineering manager for California high-speed rail contractor Parsons Brinckerhoff. He previously served as public works director for Clovis and District 6 director for Caltrans, which covers the central and southern San Joaquin Valley.
“He is a heavy hitter in transportation locally,” said Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes, chairman of the transportation authority board. “We didn’t want to have someone we were going to have to bring up to speed. He knows Fresno County. Fresno County is a little unique, and he can navigate the system and bring good things back here.”
Leonardo will take on a variety of responsibilities, overseeing programs and projects funded by the 20-year Measure C Expenditure Plan.
Fresno County is a little unique, and he can navigate the system and bring good things back here.
Buddy Mendes, Fresno County supervisor and Fresno County Transportation Authority chairman
Measure C is Fresno County’s half-cent transportation sales tax with $72.9 million in revenue projected in the 2016-17 fiscal year. Measure C has resulted in more than $1 billion in local road and infrastructure improvements, including expansions of Highways 41, 168 and 180.
The Measure C extension is expected to raise more than $1.2 billion by 2027, the sunset for the current measure. That revenue is used to leverage state and federal funds for Fresno County’s growing transportation needs.
Leonardo is a Fresno County resident, Fresno State graduate and is the third executive director to lead the FCTA since 1987. Ron Peterson, the previous director, passed away last year.
Leonardo serves a nine-member board of directors that includes local elected officials. He will earn $190,000 annually.