The Lake Norman Transportation Commission hopes to fill its executive director position before the end of the year, several commission members said.
Carroll Grey, who held the position for three years, resigned in October, effective Dec. 31. The commission is taking applications.
Andrew Grant, a commission member who is leading the search, did not return phone calls last week.
"I hope we can find someone before the end of the year and not need an interim," said Davidson Town Manager Leamon Brice, a member of the commission.
Other members agreed with Brice and said they hope the next director shares the same philosophies as Grey.
"He got us off to a good start and helped us make a big difference early," Brice said.
Others said Grey set a high bar. "Carroll has made the LNTC a regional force," said Huntersville Town Manager Greg Ferguson, also a commission member
Some high-profile projects Grey has helped propel forward are the proposed HOT (high-occupancy toll) lanes on I-77, the widening of I-77 and the Red Line commuter rail project. The new executive director likely will play a pivotal role in advancing those projects.
Bill Russell, a former commission member, said the commission must anticipate regional growth.
"We will need to ... act proactively rather than adjusting to the needs created by our growing and diverse population," said Russell, president of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce.
He added the commission's executive director should be able to listen to opposing views and find a middle ground.
Gray set that example by getting Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville and Charlotte to discuss regional transportation efforts, said Russell.