Town council will have a larger role on the transit task force than originally designed and Mayor Jeff Genung questioned why but saw no harm.
The task force format presented included Mayor Jeff Genung in the chair, one representative from the FCSS advisory board, two from the business community and three from the public-at-large, but two councillors have now been added to the mix. Councillors Tara McFadden and Marni Fedeyko will be on the task force. Councillors Susan Flowers and Morgan Nagel also expressed interest, but stepped back.
Mayor Jeff Genung questioned the need for further council representation on the task force. He believes it is designed to be a window for feedback from the general public for consideration in making a decision, but does not supercede the authority of council to make the final decision.
"Adding more councillors is not harmful," said Genung at the Dec. 11 council meeting, "but what are we trying to achieve by being on the task force? I think the council is open to listening to what the public has to say on what we should address. I'm okay with having more, but I don't really understand the desire."
Attending via telecommunications, councillor Alex Reed was concerned over how much authority the task force will have and believes it shouldn't be assumed a transit system will be forthcoming.
Stacey Loe, senior manager of Legislative and Government Services, explained the expectation of the task force is to bring forth recommendations of what a transit service could look like should it proceed.
Reed pressed to have the words "and development" removed from the defined purpose but did not carry the support of council. Some councillors believed removing the words would limit the scope of work that could be completed by the task force.
The authority of the task force is to work with town staff on giving consideration to previous studies, reports and information on the feasibility of a local transit system and explore the options available, then assist the town staff in making a recommendation to council on strategies, costs and timelines.
Preference for the business representatives is one from the chamber of commerce and one from the technology industry. The preference is also to have one senior and one youth among the three from the public-at-large.
The appointments will be short-term, expecting to last from January to June 2018.