the agenda is packed.
Public comment's been moved to the beginning (thanks, we suspect, to Mayor Bennett, who actually wants to hear from the public), and just after that, the Task Force will hear from MWVCAA's Jon Reeves about his committee's community engagement efforts. This item was carried over from the 1/23 meeting, even though everyone agreed last fall that this report should not be left for the final meeting, on account of the optics are bad.
Bad, but consistent with the Task Force's disdain for the general public.
Looking at the written "report" (which are just survey responses), it appears that no attempt has been made to interpret/summarize the content. Reeves was warned in advance that the project as planned would require a great deal of work, and that is no doubt why it appears not to have been completed. So, unless Reeves is somehow going to pull it all together in his oral presentation, which is highly doubtful, the surveys were a waste of time. That's unfortunate, as it looks like collecting and collating the responses took a fair amount of work. If anyone bothers to read and analyze the responses, please share your findings. [Update 2/4/17: we've found an "issue brief" on the responses (not useful).]
The "outstanding" recommendations to be discussed under Item 3 have, to date, not been distributed or posted to the web page, and some are brand new. Given the difficulty it's had adhering to its schedule during the last two meetings, it's doubtful the time allotted (15 minutes) will be sufficient. Nevertheless, it's likely that the Task Force will adopt the draft Strategic Plan at this meeting under Item 4.
After they adopt the draft plan (to be completed, presumably, by staff), Karen Ray will help the Task Force "pivot to implementation" (her $20K contract, set to expire 12/31/16, was extended to the end of February, presumably to allow her to complete the pivot intiated last fall).
It's likely that Ray will ask the City of Salem to agree to take responsibility for implementation. This would, we think, be a mistake, but it might be desirable politically. Because, if not Salem's, upon whose shelf would this plan sit?** Political considerations aside, what's important to this community is that resources be allocated where they are most needed and will be most effective, and that does not include implementing the Strategic Plan, although it would include some of the projects described in it.
Mayor Clark's ten-minute wrap up apparently includes presenting the Task Force with a "regional cooperation award" and likely other self-congratulatory content that does not require a quorum.
**[Update 2/6/17: There is talk that the Task Force will be asked to put a limited duration, dedicated staff person and the Strategic Plan in the MWV Council of Governments, though it doesn't seem to good a fit, and who pays?]