Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Changes To SRTC Board Spark Council Discord

SRTC's Board is going through a lot of changes, as I mentioned here a while back. To start with, Diana Wilhite from the City of Spokane Valley lost her bid for re-election in November, meaning she can no longer be on our Board as she is no longer an elected official. Gary Schimmels will replace her as the representative for Spokane Valley. Schimmels served three years on the SRTC Board previously, if I remember correctly.

The lineup of City of Spokane representatives is changing as well. Joe Shogan forfeited his seat so that Mayor Mary Verner can sit on the Board, and while Council member Nancy McLaughlin won her re-election campaign in November, she didn't get reappointed to our Board. New Council member Jon Snyder will take her place.

Judging by an editorial that ran in today's Spokesman-Review, it sounds like Nancy didn't give up easy, as her interest in transportation is well known.

I watched Monday nights City Council meeting and it was somewhat contentious, with Nancy trying to defend her spot on both the SRTC and STA Boards.Here's a link to watch it and a couple of items of interest:

At 21 minutes and 35 seconds into it, Joe Shogan thanks Nancy McLaughlin for 'providing that rendition of something I already knew.'

At 23:59 McLaughlin makes a comment about following the Council rules and Shogan hastily calls a recess, then changes his mind after an uncomfortable pause.

At 127:11 the subject of who will serve on the SRTC and STA Boards come up for discussion and continue on for about 25 minutes.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.