In a short three-paragraph statement released late Thursday afternoon, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon announced Wyoming’s head of transportation, Luke Reiner, will retire after four years in the role.
“I’d like to thank director Reiner for his dedicated and consistent service and unwavering commitment to the state of Wyoming in his capacities as WYDOT director and previously as the adjutant general of the Wyoming Military Department,” Gordon said.
Reiner did not immediately respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment.
Reiner and his staff battled through a rough winter this year, with historic snow and cold temperatures blanketing most of the state’s roads. Entering the winter, the agency was short 71 snowplow drivers.
WYDOT has been battling low staffing for some time in a number of areas. The Wyoming Highway Patrol, which WYDOT oversees, had more than 50 vacancies for sworn officers in January, about a quarter of its available workforce.
In a spring 2021 survey of its nearly 2,000 employees, adequate pay was listed as the top improvement WYDOT staff wanted. Although a pay raise was approved during the 2022 legislative session, Reiner told legislators in December there were still vacancies for snowplow drivers, state troopers, dispatchers, fuel tax examiners and engineers.
During the 2023 legislative session, Reiner lobbied for several bills that would increase pay and benefits for his employees, hoping these efforts would help retain more employees. Reiner was mostly successful.
According to his Department of Transportation profile, Reiner previously served as adjutant general for Wyoming the Wyoming Military Department, where he was responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs for the roughly 3,000 men and women assigned to the Wyoming Air and Army National Guard. He also was responsible for the Wyoming Veterans Affairs Commission and the Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery.
Reiner previously was in the Wyoming Army National Guard, where he commanded the Guard’s 115th Fires Brigade. He also served as commander in Operation Iraqi Freedom II.
Per statute, the Wyoming Transportation Commission will submit three nominees to the governor for consideration to serve as director.