Local attorney Robby Robbins is the new DOT Commissioner for the First Congressional District.

The commission is the general policy-making authority of the Department of Transportation. It comprises eight members, seven of whom are elected by the legislative delegations of each of the state’s congressional districts and one at-large member who is appointed by the governor. Commissioners serve four-year terms.

The First Congressional District includes all or parts of Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester Counties. Robbins is replacing former commissioner Jim Rozier, whose term is expired.

“I know it’s going to be a lot of work but…I think this is the most critical need our state has right now and I’m just looking forward to trying to bring some positive energy and some new, fresh ideas to the table,” Robbins said.

Robbins grew up in St. George and moved to Summerville in 1998. He was a deputy solicitor for Walter Bailey, a current Summerville town council member.

Robbins’ journey to becoming a commissioner started in December, when he applied. He was the only person who signed up for the First Congressional District.

Robbins has had interest in improving state and local roads for some time. He was one of the initial members of the Dorchester County Sales Tax Transportation Authority, on which he served for 10 years; Robbins said he enjoyed his time on the authority and learned a lot about roads and transportation issues.

In 2007 Robbins opened his own law practice and part of his practice is a governmental relations practice. He said because of this experience he has had a lot of interaction with matters related to roads and infrastructure.

Since about 2009 Robbins has served as a proxy to the Charleston Area Transportation Study Committee.

He is a former public policy chair for the Greater Summerville/Dorchester Chamber of Commerce.

He has chaired the Infrastructure Visioning Task Force at the Metro Chamber of Commerce.

When Robbins learned that Commisioner Rozier’s term was up, Robbins said he decided to take a shot at being a DOT Commissioner.

“It’s just something that interests me,” he said. “It’s a very critical need right now for our area and our state as a whole and I just feel like I got something that I can contribute and I’m ready to go to work.”

Robbins said there are many needs all over the state and said he is looking forward to being an advocate for transportation and road projects.

Robbins is married and has a son who is a junior at the University of South Carolina and daughter who is a senior at Summerville High.

Robbins said he is relieved to be done with the process of becoming a commissioner and is anxious to get started, but is also looking forward to “getting my feet wet and getting started.”

Robbins also said Rozier has done a “tremendous job” and his shoes are going to be big to fill.

source: The Summerville Journal Scene