The developer and executive director of the Central Area Rural Transit System Inc. has resigned to accept a North Slope Borough position in Barrow.
Kristin Lambert, who was instrumental in developing CARTS as a public transportation system for the central Kenai Peninsula, expects to begin her new job Sept. 1.
"The board of directors will truly miss her ability to manage the many, many things she does," said CARTS board of directors President John Hammelman. "She's done an incredible job organizing the many things she does and the board really appreciates all her work."
Lambert recommended that her executive assistant, Jennifer Beckmann, be named the new executive director. Hammelman said the board was to meet at 9 a.m. today to discuss plans for replacing Lambert.
Since CARTS was formed by concerned citizens and social service agencies in October 2000, Lambert has led the transportation brokerage in its work to fund affordable rides to people in the area with transportation needs.
While most of the rides provided carry people to and from work, special programs also assure that senior citizens can get to and from town for shopping and doctor visits. CARTS also has provided rides for kindergarten pupils returning home after a half day of school.
Lambert has accepted a mayoral appointment from North Slope Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak as department deputy director for housing. She will leave CARTS in August.
"One of the goals of the new position would be to pull housing out from under the borough and make it an independent agency," said Lambert.
She said her prior five years of experience with Housing and Urban Development on the Kenai Peninsula and previous work in rural Alaska would help her in her new role, which includes helping with construction projects in rural villages, developing new grant funding and helping with department administration.
Beckmann has been with CARTS since November 2000, when she came from the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District. She started as volunteer coordinator for CARTS and has been the executive assistant since March 2001.
If appointed, Beckmann said she would continue working to attain "more grant funds to use as matching funds and try for more local funding."
CARTS receives federal grant funding, if it can raise matching funds through private grants or local government funds.
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