Gov. Ted Strickland last week appointed a temporary infrastructure czar to lead Ohio’s effort to secure and distribute infrastructure dollars that are part of President Obama’s expected federal stimulus fund program.

Strickland appointed Ronald B. Richard, president of the Cleveland Foundation — one of the world’s largest community foundations — to the newly created, part-time, and unpaid position. Richards is expected to work with federal and state officials as well as local governments to determine the best way to quickly and efficiently secure and distribute the money.

“We must act strategically and boldly to take full advantage of this unique opportunity to make lasting investments in our state’s infrastructure,” Strickland said in a statement announcing the appointment. “The process he will lead will help identify strategic investments in our state’s infrastructure and cut through red tape so our communities benefit from the immediate impacts of the stimulus package.”

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