CATS board president won’t seek reappointment

The board president of the Capital Area Transit System says he won’t seek reappointment because he believes the bus system is on the upswing and he wants to spend more time with his family.

Marston Fowler, a lawyer, has served as CATS board president since August, filling the seat previously held by Isaiah Marshall, who resigned amid controversy and calls for his dismissal.

“I have a 2-year-old and a new baby, and CATS has been a very demanding board,” Fowler said. “I never wanted to quit when there was chaos and a lot of resignations, but at the same time, signing up for another three years was a tough sell for my family.”

Fowler has served on the CATS board for three years, joining the agency as it struggled to deal with budget shortfalls and seeing it through the tax election that established dedicated funding.

CATS endured some of its most tumultuous months this year, with a series of controversies that led to a former board member’s arrest, several staff and board resignations, and state and federal audits.

Fowler was appointed to lead the board as the controversy died down, and he led the negotiations that cemented Bob Mirabito as the agency’s chief executive officer for at least another year.

“I think my contribution is that I left the organization better than I found it,” he said. “I think the organization, while it still has a lot of challenges, is in a solid position today to move forward.”

While Fowler is not resigning, he is the fifth CATS board member since July to step aside, leading to a dramatically different board makeup.

In the past few months, four new board members, Ben Miller, Linda Perkins, Jim Brandt and Antoinette Pierre, were appointed to the board.

The Metro Council will replace Fowler at its Jan. 8 council meeting. The council also will consider reappointing Ken Perrett, who was appointed to an open seat in March.

Twelve other applicants have already applied for the open seats.