Housing task force looks to better define its membership
by John Hales
The Times-Independent
Jan 18, 2018 | 470 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print


The Moab Area Housing Task Force is trying to figure out how to be responsive to the public while at the same time making sure that actual membership on the task force remains clearly defined. With housing being such a pressing issue in and around Moab, there is more than a passing interest in the task force by area residents.

“I think in the past we could have done better at welcoming people,” said Grand County Community and Economic Development Director Zacharia Levine, who sits on the task force, during a meeting on Thursday, Jan. 4.

That doesn’t mean the members of the public don’t attend the meetings. They do, and because of the relatively loose nature of the body, it has become sometimes difficult to distinguish between interested citizens and actual task-force members with voting privileges.

Some positions on the task force are appointed, but others are not, and people can join by request. Some interested citizens come and go.

“Is there something that can clarify what constitutes being a member of the task force?” asked member Claire Spalding, an AmeriCorps volunteer with Community Rebuilds, which specializes in providing environmentally-conscious, energy-efficient and economical housing (and which was founded by Moab City Mayor Emily Niehaus).

There is some guidance, officially, to answer her question. Documents do state that members must attend a certain number of meetings, and most officially have requested to become members.

Until now, there have not been a set number of people that make up the task force. Currently, there more than 40 people on an email list sent out to members, but, said task force member Amy Weiser, “The people who regularly come and regularly show up, the number is 20.”

Twenty seemed to be the size of that appealed to most at the meeting last week.

If a limit is implemented, Moab City Council Member Rani Derasary, also on the task force, suggested some elected officials vacate their spots to make more room available for lay citizens who may want to take part.

And to facilitate people who may want to become members, or who simply wish to attend meetings and observe, Levine suggested the appointment of someone to be responsible for making sure that notice about meetings is clearly disseminated.

“That’s where I think we could do a better job of keeping the housing task force transparent,” Levine said.


Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.