As is often the case with me, I’m a day late and a dollar short blogging. Except in this case it’s more like almost two weeks late. Better late than never though, so welcome to my wrapup of the March 22 SRTC Board retreat.

We started the retreat with an exercise and discussion around three open-ended questions. Here are the questions and a sampling of answers:

1.) SRTC is unique because ____________.

• Participants have broad cross-section of expertise
• Available for all jurisdictions of any size at a fair price
• Coordination of vision between jurisdictions
• Its’ Responsibility transcends municipal boundaries
• It’s a storehouse of collective traffic information, opportunities & implementation

2.) Concensus is important at SRTC because _____________.

• Our role is to look at the big picture (collective vs. individual need)
• We need a unified vision for forward progress
• Our decisions have long-range implications for the region

3.) In five years, SRTC will _________________.

• Be more effective at influencing economic growth with transportation investments.
• Be recognized as one of the top tier MPOs in the U.S. as measured by:
 Staff expertise & quality
 Effectiveness
 Financial strength
 Political support
• Enjoy long-term financial sustainability

Next, Board members facilitated discussions on action items. The intent wasn’t to reach conclusions, but to identify priorities and action steps.

Agency budget issues, Board composition & membership dues
• Create subcommittee to develop dues formula for SRTC members
• Invite Spokane International Airport to become SRTC member
• Offer outreach to small towns on fee scale

Core Functions
• Consider conducting special studies that are funded
• Reconsider printing outreach materials that have been printed in the past but can be found online
• Develop process to determine what is out of SRTC’s area of responsibility to keep staff focused
• Educate partners on SRTC’s core functions
• Continue to provide a focus on freight movement

SRTC’s voice on regional, state and federal transportation issues Suggestions-
• Determine how to engage proactively in the legislative setting
• Work to get small town input

That doesn’t seem like a whole lot for four hours, but there was a lot of discussion that went along with each of those topics or questions. This year’s Board is incredibly engaged and has a lot of big ideas on how to move the agency forward and maintain our staffing and workload levels in this time of economic hardship. For more information on SRTC’s Policy Board and who sits on it, you can check out the SRTC website Board page.

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