By STEFAN MODRICH
Fort Bend County Judge KP George and the county commissioners’ court announced Oct. 6 the appointment of Richard L. Muller, Jr. to serve on the Gulf Coast Rail District (GCRD).
The GCRD, which aims to improve mobility and access while improving the safety and security of rail transportation in the Houston region, is composed of 16 members who serve two-year terms. Fourteen have voting powers, and two non-voting members serve ex officio.
Fort Bend County holds Position 10 and Position 11. The former is appointed by the county judge and the latter by the Fort Bend Mayor and Council Association.
In September, former Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen was appointed to fill the Position 11 vacancy of the late former Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella, who was a member of the GCRD since its inception in 2007.
Ten of the positions are appointed by either Harris County or the City of Houston, including Carol Abel Lewis, the chairperson of the board.
The board now has five remaining vacancies, including Position 3 (appointed by the Harris County Commissioners Court), Position 13 (Galveston County Judge) and Position 14 (Montgomery County Judge.) Waller County Judge Trey Duhon, a Katy native, serves in Position 12. Both ex officio positions are vacant.
Attempts to reach GCRD Executive Director Katherine Parker were unsuccessful.
Muller is a founding partner of Muller Law Group, which has been headquartered in Sugar Land since 2014. He has practiced public law for more than 20 years with an emphasis on infrastructure development and finance, including the development of major transportation projects. Since 1998, he has served as general counsel to the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority, where he assisted in the development of the Fort Bend Parkway, the Westpark Tollway and the Grand Parkway segment between U.S. 59 and Interstate 10.
“I’m proud to appoint Rich Muller on the important Gulf Coast Rail District Board,” George said in a statement. “We are at a crossroads in our history, as one of the fastest growing and most diverse counties in the United States, we need bold, skilled leadership on boards such as this one to ensure a future that puts the needs of our community first. From expanding mass transit options to increased freight mobility and even pedestrian safety, this appointment will help us achieve that vision for Fort Bend.”
Muller has also worked on infrastructure development projects for several master-planned communities, including Cross Creek Ranch, Edgewater, Riverstone, Sienna, Telfair, Tuscan Lakes and Woodforest, facilitating agreements between developers and county and municipal governments.
He holds a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University and doctoral degree from Louisiana State University. Muller is a licensed attorney in Texas and Louisiana.
“As a resident of Fort Bend County, I look forward to using my transportation and legal background to advocate for solutions that keep all of us and commercial enterprises moving,” Muller said in a statement. “With Judge George’s vision for Fort Bend, this is the time to ensure we plan accordingly for a growing and prosperous future.”