A new BART board member was appointed Thursday to fill in until an elected member is seated in December.
Mary King, a former interim general manager of AC Transit, was unanimously approved Thursday to succeed Bob Franklin, BART’s District 3 representative, who stepped down from his position in June to take a full-time job at the agency.
King’s tenure on the nine-member board will last until Dec. 7, when a full-time replacement who is chosen in the November election takes the seat.
“Mary’s unique blend of talent and experience should serve the public well until voters have an opportunity to elect a Director for this important District,” BART board president John McPartland said in a release Thursday. “We’re fortunate to have Mary work with us over the next several months.”
King was elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in 1988, becoming the first black woman to hold that position. She served two more terms on the board, representing many of the towns and cities that are covered under BART’s District 3. In 2004, she joined AC Transit and in 2009 she acted as the agency’s interim general manager before retiring this year.
When asked by the BART board why she wanted to join the body in a temporary manner, King said that “it’s really hard to just stop.”
“My interest and commitment to public transit and regional policy issues remain,” said King at the agency’s special board meeting Thursday. “I’m looking for ways to use my experience and knowledge to do interesting things with short-term commitments.”
King was chosen over three other candidates — Clarence Fischer, David Meckel and Theresa Nelson. The BART board was very effusive in praise for all four candidates.
The BART board made it clear that they wanted to appoint a temporary replacement for Franklin, a move that would allow voters to make the choice for a director to serve out a full four-year term.
The BART board also had the option of leaving the District 3 seat vacant for the next four months. However, several director said it was important to appoint someone who could represent the thousands of riders who live in the district.
Three candidates — Rebecca Saltzman, Fred Wright Lopez and Anthony Pegram — have filed to run for the District 3 seat. The district includes San Leandro, Piedmont and parts of Berkeley and Oakland.