Frisco to disband economic advisory group
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
FRISCO ” Eliminating some of the town’s standing committees and replacing them with ad-hoc groups will fuel public participation, said Frisco town manager Michael Penny.
“The intent is to get more people to participate in issues they’re passionate about,” Penny said. “The shift is less substantive and more procedural,” he said.
“The committees seem to go too long,” said Larry Sawyer, elected to the council last month. “We’re talking about keeping the same kind of committees but having aimed at a specific task. Some of the committees seemed to run out of things to do. They’re trying to figure out things just to justify having meetings.”
Penny said one group could be formed to offer citizen recommendations on implementing the recently adopted improvement plan for the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area.
In preliminary discussions, the town council found widespread support for the idea of doing away with some of the existing committees, said Mayor Bill Pelham. For now, the town is looking at the Economic Development Advisory Committee.
“There’s good consensus that ad-hoc is the way to go as far as the Economic Development Advisory Committee is concerned,” Pelham said. “Most of the people on EDAC raised it themselves.”
For now, only the economic group is slated for dissolution, Pelham said. The council will look at some of the other groups like the Frisco Open Space and Trails committee in the future.
Penny said the elected officials might start considering formal council actions required to make the committee changes at a meeting later this month.
Pelham said the ad-hoc structure could be more flexible and have a wider range of voices. Standing committees require town residency, but an ad-hoc group could include Main Street business owners who live in Silverthorne, for example.
Disbanding the standing groups could lead to a dilution of institutional knowledge, Penny acknowledged. But many of the same residents appointed to the standing committes will probably end up serving on the more specialized groups, thus still providing the same background on the issues, he said.
“I think the new council is making a good move,” said local Realtor Chris Eby, who serves on the economic advisory group. “Things have gotten stale just a bit,” he said.
The economic committee was intended to meet every month, but has lost momentum for lack of agenda items, Eby said. Moving toward ad-hoc groups with a more do-able agenda and clear stops and starts should be a benefit, Eby said.
“In whatever decisions it makes, the Frisco Town Council has a responsibility to use its resources appropriately. I liked serving on the committee because it kept me informed, and I was also able to voice citizen input and perspectives,” economic advisory committee member Katie Roberts said via e-mail.
“I’m hoping council’s new approach will serve everyone well and not be a time-waster for the council, the people serving on the committees, and the public who deserves to reap the benefits of any and all efforts put forth … There’s new leadership within the council, and I can only hope and trust that they have some great reasons for taking this new approach,” Roberts said.
Frisco has several ongoing committees, including a police advisory group, an ad-hoc marketing committee, the open space and trails committee and the economic development advisory panel.
For more information, go to http://www.townoffrisco.com and click on town boards link on the left side of the page.
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