Road Worrier Bruce Siceloff says he misses the Lyndo Tippett days.
Tippett, the secretary of transportation under former Gov. Mike Easley gave Siceloff, the N&O's transportation columnist, lots to write about.
Tippett wasn't one to dwell on problems - or even to acknowledge them. He went a year without saying a word to the state Board of Transportation about DOT's most spectacular screw-up, a $22 million pavement failure on Interstate 40 in Durham.
One morning in 2007, Tippett got an earful from employees about bosses who couldn't set priorities and about new computers hobbled with old software. Then after lunch he gave News & Observer editors an earful about his proud legacy at DOT and his unshakeable self-esteem.
Current transportation secretary Gene Conti isn't as fun to needle, Siceloff said, tongue in cheek.
He thwarted the Road Worrier's attempt to embarrass him over the high-tech meltdown on a highway he hyped for its high-tech innovation, the U.S. 70 Clayton Bypass.
He admitted that DOT had goofed. Worse, he thanked the Road Worrier by name for pointing out the problem.
Then he fixed the problem. Where's the fun in that?