Political Notebook

Brown says no to another Assemi transportation commission term

Gov. Jerry Brown did not appoint Granville Homes President Darius Assemi to another term on the California Transportation Commission.
Gov. Jerry Brown did not appoint Granville Homes President Darius Assemi to another term on the California Transportation Commission. Fresno Bee Staff Photo

Granville Homes President Darius Assemi, who has served the past 6½ years on the California Transportation Commission, was not reappointed for another term by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“You serve at the pleasure of the governor, and he did not reappoint me,” Assemi said.

Brown spokesman Evan Westrup confirmed the decision, saying in an email that Assemi’s term on the commission was up at the end of March.

You serve at the pleasure of the governor, and he did not reappoint me.

Granville Homes President Darius Assemi

Assemi was initially appointed to the commission in September 2009 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and was actually reappointed to a second term by Brown in March 2012.

Over the past year, however, Assemi became a vocal commission advocate for completing the Highway 99 widening to six lanes from Bakersfield to Sacramento, and for widening other San Joaquin Valley highways to help move goods and people.

His advocacy may have made him enemies among his colleagues or in the Brown administration. Whatever the reasons, it wasn’t Assemi’s decision to leave the commission.

The state Transportation Commission consists of eleven voting members. Nine of those members are appointed by the governor. The commission is responsible for allocating funds for the construction of highway, passenger rail and transit improvements in the state.

Just because Assemi is no longer on the state commission, he said don’t expect him to stop working on transportation issues.

“I’ll always be involved in transportation and transportation funding, and how it involves our Valley and Fresno,” he said. “It is one of my passions.”

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