Gatz announced the implementation of a recent market study, which calls for an employee salary adjustment driven by the market force. The adjustment is not performance based nor across the board, but to bring compensation more in line with current market standards. The full fiscal year cost to the department will be $10 million; the last market adjustment was in 2022.
“There’s no more important investment we can make than in our people. The reason we perform at the level we do is because of them and the people out there with boots on the ground every day,” Gatz said.
Members of the commission held an executive session to discuss Gatz’s performance evaluation and salary. Following the executive session, members of the commission unanimously voted to make a recommendation to the governor to raise Gatz’s salary from $185,000 to $245,000 annually.
“Tim Gatz has helped ODOT make big strides in addressing inadequate shoulders along rural two-lane highways, improving seatbelt usage statewide, and reminding all Oklahomans every month how important safety is on our highway network,” Commission Chairman Bob Peterson said. “He has also helped guide the agency by working closely with federal, state, and local partners to achieve some of the largest construction contracts ODOT has ever seen.”
Additionally, ODOT and the commission were presented with a national award from the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) for Excellence in Concrete Pavement Awards. District 1’s more than 6-mile $36.5 million concrete pavement rehabilitation and bridge replacement project on I-40 in Vian — which alleviated a perpetual maintenance need in the area — was given the ACPA’s National Gold Rural Pavement Award.
Gatz shared with commissioners that the department received one of the first three made-in-Oklahoma electric vehicles from Canoo as an innovative part of the state’s ongoing fleet modernization initiative, one of the governor’s current top initiatives to realize efficiencies across the state. The vehicle will be assigned to ODOT’s Multimodal Division as an opportunity to advocate for electric vehicle usage and infrastructure initiatives across the state.
The commission viewed ODOT’s 2023 Year in Review video, a look back on major transportation highlights from the past year. The video showcases ODOT’s determination to increase safety by addressing two-lane rural highways with no shoulders, celebrating the opening of the US-69/75 reconstruction in Southeastern Oklahoma, dedicating the I-35/SH-51 interchange to Secretary Ridley, groundbreaking legislative achievement requiring teen drivers to complete a Work Zone Safe training program before receiving intermediate driver’s license, among others.
The nine-member Oklahoma Transportation Commission, appointed by the governor and legislative leadership to oversee the state’s transportation development, awards contracts monthly for road and bridge construction.