When federal stimulus money became available last year, Ridley's agency was first in line and secured $465 million for state projects. ODOT operates with about 2,400 employees, roughly 800 fewer than 15 years ago. â€œI would hope to think people are happy with how their money is spent,â€ he says.
Ridley's stewardship in encouraging. When Oklahomans see roads getting fixed and bridges being repaired, as promised, they have reason to believe that perhaps other areas of state government can deliver, too.
Ridley is state transportation secretary as well as ODOT director. The former post is at the pleasure of the governor. Gov.-elect Mary Fallin would be wise to keep him on board, although Ridley won't campaign for it.
â€œWhat's important to me is that the plans we have in place move forward,â€ he says.