The deputy director and chief financial officer for the Oklahoma Transportation Department will be taking over the helm of the agency April 1.
Mike Patterson, who has held both jobs since 2010, was named Monday by the Oklahoma Transportation Commission to head the agency. His annual salary will be $139,000.
Patterson, 60, was among three key executive officers from the Transportation Department vying for the post. He will succeed Gary Ridley, who is retiring March 31.
“It was not an easy decision,” said Greg Love, chairman of the Transportation Commission.
The vote to promote Patterson, of Edmond, was unanimous, 8-0. Commissioners met for slightly more than an hour in a closed, executive session before coming back and voting during their regularly monthly meeting.
“Wow,” Patterson said to commissioners after they voted, giving credit to the agency's 2,300 employees. “There are a lot of great people here at ODOT. It's what makes ODOT what it is today.
“I welcome the opportunity to serve the department. ODOT is known nationally as one of the best, and we will continue to be so. We will continue to be laser-focused on providing a safe, effective and efficient transportation system for the people, commerce and communities of Oklahoma.”
Patterson complimented other executives of the agency, specifically Deputy Director/Chief Engineer Gary Evans and Director of Engineering David Streb who also sought the job.
“I can only imagine your decision was difficult to make because I know the talent of these individuals,” Patterson said.
Love said Patterson's financial knowledge of the agency and his knowledge of the legislative process gave him the edge. Patterson often is at the state Capitol tracking budget bills affecting his agency.