After nearly a year without a General Manager, the SMART Board of Directors has appointed John Hertel to the position. Hertel is replacing Hayes Jones who retired last June. Hertel is no stranger to the issues surrounding public transportation in the City of Detroit. He will transition into the new job after serving as CEO of the Regional Transportation Coordinating Council. The Council was designated to move Detroit's transit effort forward. Hertel was instrumental in devising the Comprehensive Regional Transit Service Plan. The plan was approved by leaders in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties last year and proposes improved and expanded bus service, light-rail and commuter trains connecting the three counties. Hertel also has a keen understanding of the political climate. He is past Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for Wayne and Macomb counties and was director of the Michigan State Fairgrounds from 1993 to 2006. Prior to that he served as a Senator.