MILWAUKEE - Local officials have made their picks for the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority.

Racine Mayor John Dickert and Racine County Board Supervisor Peter Hansen on Friday said they will appoint Jody Karls and Jon Hendersen to the panel.

Karls will represent Racine and Hendersen, a local business owner who lives in the Town of Raymond, was Hansen's pick to represent Racine County.

The pair will be part of the board established by the Legislature as part of the 2009-11 state budget. The board will oversee the process of applying for federal money to get the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail project up and running.

Karls currently serves on the temporary RTA established by Gov. Jim Doyle.

"The reason I appointed Jody was for consistency. He is extremely knowledgeable about what is going on. To get up to speed on this would be impossible," Dickert said.

Hansen said he was reluctant to make the appointment because he still isn't sure what he is asking of Hendersen, who helped start Horizon Retail Construction, Inc., in Sturtevant. But he's sure he picked the right person.

"He's got the time. He's a thoughtful guy and he loves this community," Hansen said.

The new nine-member RTA will also include members from Kenosha and Milwaukee counties. Doyle will also appoint his own representatives.

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