As a member of the Northwest Area Commission on Transportation (NWACT), I'd like to commend Lylla Gaebel, of Warrenton, for her service on the NWACT.

The NWACT is a board of 28 members representing elected officials and other community leaders in Clatsop, Tillamook, Columbia and Western Washington counties. Among other things, the NWACT is responsible for advising the Oregon Transportation Commission on statewide transportation policies affecting our region and for prioritizing regional transportation investments within the four-county area.

I'm continually impressed with this group's solidarity and regional perspective.

NWACT participants have shown themselves to be excellent strategists. In an environment where transportation needs far outweigh available funding, decisions made by NWACT members are not always popular. However, our members understand that they must collaborate to make the most of their influence.

Gaebel has participated on this group with energy and dedication, and has met difficult issues head on. As chairwoman of the NWACT for the past year, she insisted on clear, open public processes for all of the NWACT's work. Last summer, she led the NWACT in the development of a public involvement plan, which was the first such plan developed by any of the area transportation commissions throughout the state. Because of initiatives like this, the NWACT is respected statewide and is often held up as a model for other ACTs in Oregon.

We're fortunate to have thoughtful participants like Gaebel on the NWACT.

Carole Richardson