Thursday, August 26, 2010

Donald J. Mahoney

Public transportation - and most specifically, the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA) - lost a staunch supporter, a wise counsel and very dear friend, this week: Donald J. Mahoney. His obituary ( lists his business interests, highlights his career, hobbies and his loving family ... we knew him best of course, for his long association with LANTA as a member of the Board of Directors.

Don was first appointed to the Board in 1978 by County Executive David Bausch for a five-year term and re-appointed for several terms after that. Don's strong suit, according to Mr. Bausch, was his many years of experience in the heavy duty vehicle sales and leasing industry. But, as we came to discover, Don's expertise was a good deal more broad.

Don's judgment, experience, ability to weigh all sides of an issue before offering an opinion were invaluable to the success that the Authority achieved over the past three decades. Of course, his ready smile and witty Irish sense of humor resulted in his being a pleasure to work with.

Over the 31 years of public service Don dedicated as a LANTA Board member, he served as Chairman of the Authority and also, at various times, as Chair of all the Authorities standing committees. He was Chair of the LANTA Operations/Metro Committee for many years. During Don's tenure, he assisted the decision-making process on a wide range of operating and capital improvements both in terms of vehicles and physical plant expansion. While Don was on the Board, LANTA purchased, more than 200 heavy-duty Metro city transit buses, and 500 minibuses for its Metro Plus paratransit divisions! A monumental achievement!

The community has been fortunate in the quality of leadership available for appointment to the various of boards and Authorities throughout Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Don Mahoney stands out as one of the truly sage and generous leaders who was there when the community needed him, and who moved on gracefully when his tenure came to an end.

Our thoughts are with his family who suffer his loss most dearly. We, to whom he was such a great and loyal friend for so many years, deeply mourn his passing. His contributions live on however, and the riding public in the Lehigh Valley enjoys the benefits of his stable leadership each and every time they board a modern, well-maintained bus.

We've missed him since he left our Board room a little over a year ago but at least on occasion, we could meet and break bread with him. Now, we don't even have that to look forward to and we miss him all the more.

Rest in peace, Don.

No comments: